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The Shining Mass Market Paperback – June 26, 2012
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“Scary! . . . Serves up horrors at a brisk, unflagging pace.” —The New York Times
“This chilling novel will haunt you, and make your blood run cold and your heart race with fear.” —Nashville Banner
“Guaranteed to frighten you into fits. . . . with a climax that is literally explosive.” —Cosmopolitan
“The most wonderfully gruesome man on the planet.” —USA Today
“An undisputed master of suspense and terror.” —The Washington Post
“[King] probably knows more about scary goings-on in confined, isolated places than anybody since Edgar Allan Poe.” —Entertainment Weekly
“He’s the author who can always make the improbable so scary you’ll feel compelled to check the locks on the front door.” —The Boston Globe
“Peerless imagination.” —The Observer (London)
About the Author
- Lexile measure : 840L
- Item Weight : 10.6 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 688 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307743657
- Product dimensions : 4.17 x 1.07 x 6.81 inches
- Publisher : Anchor; Reissue edition (June 26, 2012)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #14,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The characters in this book are just so complex. Each one of them feels real. One moment I am sympathetic with Jack a man who just can't seem to get a break. But the next moment I am scared of him and what he might do to his family. Wendy is also so much more complex. I found myself really interested in her and absolutely scared for her life.
Danny though is my favorite. He's such a bright and sweet boy and it was interesting to get into his head. I loved to read how conflicted he got between protecting his family but also not wanting to upset them. I also really love his interactions with Dick Hallorann who is also very interesting.
Overall this is an excellent creepy read.
Even so, it was gripping enough that I read it in 3 nights. And I'll probably reread it again in a year or so.
There are so many subtle things in this book that build the anticipation and terror as it progresses. Several times I had to put it down for a day or two because I got a bit too freaked out by it. The imagery and description of the Overlook and characters as the story unfolds is intense and captivating. In particular, I was terrified by the scenes including the wasps, the hedge animals, and the use of the mallet. These are key differences between the book and the movie that I am shocked by, now that I've read the book. Those scenes were brilliantly written by King, and I actually am disappointed that they didn't make the movie version.
Great book with lots of very intelligently woven themes about family, devotion, addiction, and overcoming personal demons. I highly recommend reading this if you haven't done so already.
Apart from The Running Man, a quite different type of novel, this is actually the first book by Stephen King I've read. I do have a few more on the shelves and am really looking forward to them, not so much for the stories / plots but rather for the goosebumps and tension I experienced while reading The Shining.
I ought to mention that King's style here is dry and matter of fact, and the family members seem quite wooden initially. Over several chapters he does throw in a great deal of background history on the family and this helps flesh them out quite a bit, but they never became completely convincing to me. This and the somewhat formulaic plot based on a haunted hotel detracted somewhat from the overall experience, but once winter set in and the action began I easily understood why King is so celebrated.
Top reviews from other countries
There have been so many books that left me disappointed despite being hyped and loved. And only very few that did live upto my expectations. Clearly, THE SHINING falls in the latter category. I had never read a horror-thriller book. I was always curious about how a book had the capability of evoking creepy disturbing thoughts in your head and leave you scared. THE SHINING made me experience all that. And that's why I loved it so much.
Stephen Kings utterly fantastical supernatural novel introduces us, from page one, to one of his finest ever creations, the truly frightening Jack Torrence. On a par with the deranged nurse Annie Wilkes from Misery, Jack is a supremely complicated man who seems uncomfortable with the world around him, his high opinion of himself and his intelligent is at odds with his inability to recognise or even accept his own deep and ultimately fatal personal flaws. Jack, like al Psychopaths, sees the world in terms of himself, and sees his son and wife as merely extensions of him, they live in his world and are expected to follow the rules as he sees them. He doesn't outwardly hate them but he doesn't love or really care for them either, he just seems to accept them as a necessary inconvenience that he just has to put up with to appear normal. It's his well practised outward projection of ordinariness that sets him apart from your run of the mill homicidal killer, he's the kind of person you don't notice, the guy who mows his lawn and takes out the trash, the guy who takes his kid to the park, the guy who is always pleasant and says hello. However there is something old and ugly hiding in Jack Torrence, something from his past, something rotten, something extremely dangerous, something deadly waiting to emerge.
Although The Shining is at heart a variation on a “ghost story”, King's ability to present the reader with real and credible (if horrible) characters lifts this novel to a higher plane. Jack's tortured and often very unpleasant internal narrative peppers the text and even interrupts his own lines of dialogue and in doing so we see him in a much broader light. We see what he is saying and also know what he is really thinking in real time. We know he lies, we know he is weak and frustrated, we know he does not respect or love his wife and we know of his true feelings, those he keeps well hidden possible even from himself.
Some have said rather unfairly that it's not “very scary” or words to that effect. It is certainly true that some of the book is about Jacks early life and it does take some time to set the stage. However once set the terror builds as Jack becomes more unstable and unpredictable. The true horror of possible living with an undiagnosed and extremely dangerous psychopath who believes ghosts are communicating with him to kill his family becomes very real. As his and Danny's visions become more “real” the fight for survival intensifies as does the pace of the book. I found it very scary, not for the ghosts but Jack's inability to hold onto reality.
Whether the hotel really does have “demons” that can affect a weak and easily dominated mind or the “demons” are his own fully formed ready for use in the right circumstances is a debate for another time. King thought one way (the hotel was haunted) and that Jack was a victim. Kubrick the other (the hotel was just a hotel) and Jack was a Psychopath, however which ever way you side it's a grand ride finding out.
I have always felt that Kings earlier work (pre 1995) was his best. This his third novel is probably his second best novel after The Green Mile and that is saying something.
Danny Torrance is a young boy with psychic abilities, when his recovering alcoholic father gets a job as the winter caretaker of the remote Overlook Hotel Danny and his mother go with him. Danny's visions of horrible events that happened at the hotel in it's past start as they are being shown around and he knows that the Overlook hotel is a bad place to be.
As the winter snow comes in, cutting the family of from civilization, Danny's father's behaviour becomes more erratic and unpredictable and eventually dangerous for Danny and his mother.
With ghosts, visions and psychological horror, the Shining by Stephen King is a VERY good horror story, I would say one of his best, right up there with the likes of Salems Lot which is another SK novel that i recommend if you enjoy horror.
Stephen King has also written Doctor Sleep which is The Shining book two.
I give The Shining 5 well deserved stars.