Sunday, March 9, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Shining

“Any big hotels have got scandals," he said. "Just like every big hotel has got a ghost. Why? Hell, people come and go. Sometimes one of em will pop off in his room, heart attack or stroke or something like that. Hotels are superstitious places. No thirteenth floor or room thirteen, no mirrors on the back of the door you come in through, stuff like that."

Written by:  Stephen King
Year:  1977
Genre:  Horror, gothic novel
Followed by:  Doctor Sleep
Pages:  447
I have read The Shining before, but my memory of it was hazy I needed to read it again when it was voted Book of the Month by my bookclub/group. Now I'm sure that the movie is indeed better. Stanley Kubrick's version still scares the hell out of me! He delivered the creep/chill factor that I should have felt from reading the book. Sure, King has the right to complain if he didn't like Kubrick's version, it's his novel after all. But Kubrick's movie will forever be remembered as a cinematic masterpiece... while the more faithful tv adaptation (which I haven't watched, but I'm planning to) will be further pushed into obscurity. King should at least be thankful for that. Just sayin'.

Stephen King may not be the greatest writer in the universe, but he is a great story teller. I have loved several of his short stories & novels, and I have constantly defended him whenever people say he's a talentless hack. So imagine my dismay with The Shining

Yes there were some creepy parts, and I love several aspects of the story. I love how King mixed the supernatural (the haunted hotel) and the human aspect (Jack's alcoholic problems etc.) that makes the insidious transformation of everything the Overlook touches very chilling. But overall, I felt cheated. Like my time was wasted. There's no sense of fulfillment after reading this.

It piqued my interest, yes. It made me flip the pages for a short while. But there was just too much telling of stuff I don't care about, in a drawn-out, repetitive way. He did that too in Gerald's Game. I like that story, but a novel it shouldn't have been (or at least it shouldn't have been that long). Anyway, The Shining failed to grab my full attention, and it was an effort to even finish it. 

When I read that the party was over, I was glad. I turned the page, wait, there's more! Then I read that the long darkness was over, I was ecstatic. Again, I turn the next page and I see an Epilogue, I was like Oh god please no! Stop!

Dear God, I could use a drink. Or a thousand of them.

My Rating:  2/5 

Check out MY ULTIMATE BOOK BUCKET LIST or the books I wanna read before I die!

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Tabby! What's your favorite King novel or short story?

  2. I like that you distinguished between a writer and a storyteller - you're right, his books translate best on screen. I haven't read this one (blush) but your review confirms what I have suspected. I will have to pick it up one day for myself though, I'm quite curious.

    1. Maybe it's just me though, as the ratings in Goodreads are 4-5 stars. Idk. When you do read it, let me know what you think, haha. He really has some interesting stories. Have you read Jerusalem's Lot? that was sooooo creepy!!!!

  3. I thought it was at least a four star but you make great points. I didn't like the last half because I thought it was a mistake to humanize the place so much.

    1. thank you for reading Erin! Yes, that's another part why I didn't buy the story that much.

  4. What book did you finally get around to reading in 2014? Literary review publishing essay-length book reviews and topical articles on politics, literature, history, philosophy, science and the arts by leading writers

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