The Shining by Stephen King (Shine On Read-A-Long)
Ok, here is how this happened. I was nosing around Jill (Softdrink) Fizzy Thoughts blog last month and seen she was hosting a read-a-long for The Shining. THE SHINING! A movie I had seen forever ago but had never read the book. And if that wasn’t enough… oh yes, she offered more…. Jill offered to send these snazzy glasses to anyone who cared to join her on this journey to the Overlook Hotel (insert spooky music here).
Well… of course I was in.
For those of you who don’t know the basic story line, here it is… Sheila style:
Jack Torrance applies to be the winter custodian for the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Jack who is trying to make amends for many things (being Jack for one) looks at this as a chance for he and his family to get a bit of a fresh start as the Overlook is quite empty during the winter months, hard to get to even by snowmobile and communication to the outside world – even by phone is not reliable.
Although Jack is warned of the dangers of being so isolated for months at a time, he jumps at the chance to take the job. He is a recovering alcoholic, a want to be play writer, and time with his wife and young son Danny might just be, in Jack’s mind anyway, the cure to all his problems.
The Overlook Hotel carries past haunts of its own, having been the scene of hideous murders. Being trapped anywhere for months on end is probably not cool, but a large spooky hotel with corridors you do not want to go down and of course that creepy room #237 is enough to drive anyone a little crazy… like Jack for instance…
As time passes Jack becomes more and more distant, pulling away from his already fragile family and in the end… well lets just say Jack… is not the nicest guy on the planet. In fact… he is a little nutters. You can blame the hotel if you want to but I think Jack was packing peanuts before he ever arrived at the Overlook.
My book thoughts. While it was fun to read the book that brought on one of Stephen Kings most famous movies, I don’t think I would have got into it the book as much had I not had already seen the movie. The Jack in the book did not come across as frightening as Jack Nichols did as Jack in the movie. (I am not a big fan of Jack Nichols acting but I must say… he do do creepy well… and yes, I know… I said do do. )
The Jack in the book to me came off as a little spineless, a little greasy. His demons owned him, obviously but he couldn’t go peacefully into the night… no, he has to take his wife and child with him.
Yes it was creepy, the topiary hedges I remember in the movie but seemed to play an even larger role here in the book, I think I even got a little chill while reading about them.
In my high school years I read a lot of King and as I moved into my twenties I left him for a lighter version by moving on to Dean Koontz, and then eventually lighter yet to Harlan Coben (who I still love and read everything he writes). While I used to devour Kings books, The Shining was not one I had read and I am glad to say that I have now.
I just read this morning on Jill’s blog that a sequel (WHAT????) is coming of the Shining called Dr. Sleep, which will have to do with Danny (the little boy in the book) all grown up. EEP. Now I am even more happy that I read this one as knowing there was a sequel coming I would have had to pick this one up first. (Unwritten Sheila rule).
If you are interested in doing a read-a-long, pop over to Fizzy Thoughts where up for March is Little Women. I already have picked this up on audio and I am in… all in. I wonder what I can do for that picture… perhaps a bonnet?
Final thoughts on The Shining: It was good, not great. A fairly fast read and has peaked my interest in King again. I may need to rent the movie for the full effect.