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The Shining Paperback – October 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743437497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743437493
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,901 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The New York Times Horror at an unflagging pace....scary!

Nashville Banner This chilling novel will haunt you, and make your blood run cold and your heart race with fear.

Cosmopolitain Guaranteed to frighten you into fits....freezing terror....with a climax tha is literally explosive.

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Customer Reviews

It was the first time I read a book that I just couldn't put down.
Clarice Marchman-Jones
The reason I liked this book is because the story is so well written and the characters are so interesting.
Chris Brunner
The story was very interesting, and as usual with King, the characters were very well written.
John Howard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

216 of 227 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Twenty-seven years after its publication, The Shining remains a visceral, gripping read that showcases Stephen King's unfathomable powers to hypnotize and terrify readers, a power King had in abundance in the early stages of his career. Coming on the heels of Carrie and 'Salem's Lot, The Shining truly established King as a modern master of horror and an unequaled purveyor of a literary mirror into pop culture. If you've only seen the original movie starring Jack Nicholson, you really owe it to yourself to read the novel; Stanley Kubrick made a fine and scary movie, but he did not capture the essence of King's story, and his dramatization followed a different path than what you find in the original vision brought to life through the words of King. The more recent miniseries was more faithful to the novel, but it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that a made-for-TV dramatization is limited in terms of what it can get away with in a number of important areas. Simply put, The Shining stands just behind Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House as one of the best "haunted house" novels ever written.

The plot should be quite familiar to one and all by this point. The Torrance family embarks on a months-long retreat into complete isolation when Jack Torrance signs on to be the winter custodian of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Jack takes some personal demons with him to a hotel chock-full of malevolent, ghostly spirits; he is a recovering alcoholic who, in the last couple of years, lost his job and broke his little boy's arm in a state of drunken fury. He thinks the months alone with his wife and son will allow him to find peace - and to finally finish the play he has been working on.
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102 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Cochran on January 8, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephen King has been called a great many things. The Master of Horror Fiction. Fascinating. Frightening. Hypnotic. Demonic. Tremendous. Spellbinding. His own bio blurb refers to himself as the "world's best selling novelist." One critic has even gone so far as to speculate that Stephen King is our era's Charles Dickens. Anyone who has read King would probably agree he's a writer with a tremendous range, a genius-level vivid imagination, and an understanding of human emotions both simple and yet rarely matched.

The Shining is probably his best known novel and of the first twenty or so novels that he wrote, and it seems to me the one he wrote at his happiest. He wrote part of it at the Stanley Hotel near Estes Park, Colorado when he was young enough not to be a commodity and old enough to know what the hell he was doing. Compared to The Dead Zone, Cujo, Pet Semetary, Misery it just seems like a book he enjoyed writing more than any of the other early works. The irony is that The Shining has become synonomous with horror fiction.

And that's the way "The Shining" works on you. Jack Torrance is a flawed man with a drinking problem, a violent temper, but a sense of humor and a genuine love for his wife and child. He's a guy we want to root for! And that's why his descent into madness is so powerful. (and so chilling) To some degree, we all can relate to him.

Room 217. The Overlook. Grady. The hedge animals. The isolation. And the shining. All of these devices work so well together in the novel that it's hard not to picture Stephen King writing this thing at points -- a maniacal captain aboard a hotel trip into hell. The guy just gets a kick out'a writing and as simple as that sounds it's actually kind of rare in this world.
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112 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Cassidy on July 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I saw the movie first, the Kubrick film with Jack Nicholson, and I thought that one was spectacular. But I am very serious when I say that the book is even better. Having read the original, terrying words straight from the pen of Stephen King, it almost makes me mad that Kubrick treated the characters so hollowly in his movie. In the movie, Jack Torrance is a man insane. In the book, Jack Torrance is a man fighting against the insanity. Wow! The characters are so real and handled so carefully, that being trapped inside the Overlook is no longer just a freaky experience. You run along with them, filled with dread, from all the horrible personifications of evil inside the hotel's awful walls. There were several times where I actually dropped the book and was too scared to pick it back up. Intellectually, you know it's not real. It's just a bunch of letters and words grouped together on pages. Still, whenever I go into the bathroom late at night, I have to pull back the shower curtain just to make sure.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Justice on June 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Warning: some spoilers ahead

I'm sure it's been said by countless other reviewers, but this book does in fact provide a far more nuanced and compelling portrait of the main character Jack Torrence than the famous and unforgettable 1980 Stanley Kubrick screen adapatation would suggest.

I like what King said in his own recent comments on the book-what made the book truly interesting was the idea that Torrence goes insane from a combination of factors-not just a haunted hotel but his own inner demons. That is suggested in the movie, but my impression is that in the movie Nicholson plays Torrence as someone already on the edge and there is no implication that he had deep love for his family, also no mention of his own abuse at his father's hands. It's hard to feel that he suddenly went from loving Shelley Duvall to hating her-he seems to have hatred toward her in the beginning of the movie. The movie works, of course, and has become so iconic it is hard to read this book without thinking of it, but it is very different from the book, enough so to be someone else's story.

This is a major problem with the movie and what makes the book so much more effective, moving, and tragic-in the book Torrence truly loves his wife and son and that makes his descent into madness more frightening and depressing.

This is really King's gift, to tie horror to recognizable reality and family life, to express some of our own deepest fears through terrifying metaphors, and he does it very well here. It's also, like most of his books, very exciting and a good page turner.

I especially appreciated his character Dick, the African American cook, for some reason in the movie this character was far less important or appealing.
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