Some people have it, and some people don’t—the shining, the ability to see what others don’t. Jack and Wendy’s five year old son, Danny Torrance, has the shining. But will this be a help or a hindrance at the haunted and desolate Overlook Hotel, where timelines don’t know their place?
Stephen King’s “The Shining” is a scary literary encounter. It’s often regarded as King’s best novel and is big on psychology and suspense. It’s got some great set pieces and is actually a very absorbing study of breakdown and madness, following a writer (Jack Torrance) and his family’s decision to work as winter caretaker in a ski resort hotel cut off by snow over the winter.
As for the style, let us just say that this is an incredibly strong, well-constructed novel, with King using all of the wonderful little literary tools and bricks and mortar fans love him for. Critics believe that the novel will still be read, studied and debated 50 years from now. But don’t wait that long to read it. Yes, it is a horror novel. But, as with most of King’s novels, the true, real horror presented is not of a supernatural nature but made up of things we visit upon ourselves and each other.
P.S. 1: Stanley Kubrick’s fans will be dissappointed: the ending is different to the film.
P.S. 2: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (a memorable sentence written over and over by Jack Torrance) does not appear in the novel. As I’ve always suspected, it was a Kubrick’s brilliant screenplay twist. To be continued.