Friday, November 11, 2011

The Shining by Stephen King

Title: The Shining
Author: Stephen King
Publication Date: January 1977
Length: 683 pages (paperback)

For those of you not familiar with the story, The Shining is about a family, the Torrances, who stay at a Colorado hotel called the Overlook for the winter, so Jack (the dad) can be the caretaker during the off-season. Jack has a history of alcoholism and temper-losing, Wendy is always scared that Jack is drinking again, and their son Danny mysteriously knows what people are thinking. The Overlook gets snowed in every winter, so once they're up there there will be NO ESCAPE. Creepy times ensue.
I must tell you now, gentlereaders, that this book scared me right out of my pants. (What does that phrase even mean?) This is the kind of book that makes me jumpy if I read it at night or when I'm home alone.

However, do not expect to have the pants scared off of you quickly. Oh no. This book takes about 300 pages to get to the family moving into the hotel. Then another hundred or two to get to where they're snowed in. Really, the bulk of the action happens in the last 100 pages. However, at no point did I really feel that it was dragging on, or that there was any filler. It was more like hours and hours and hours of suspense build-up (and this book took me a whole lotta hours to read; it is long). And I was totally ok with that. I think that without that buildup, the scary parts wouldn't be so utterly terrifying.

And the writing. Oh, the writing. I LOVE the way a sentence is broken up with a whole paranthetical paragraph of thoughts in the back of someone's head. It's like the book version of a flashback in a movie. A character is talking and suddenly (FLASHBACK!) and you're back to their sentence like nothing happened. The reader gets so much of the characters' thoughts in this way.

So, to summarise: well-written, terrifying, almost unbearable amount of suspense.

My rating: Loved it!

This book counts towards the Read Your OWN Library! Challenge (hosted by The Beauty of Eclecticism) for November. For December, my book for the challenge will be Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.


  1. Honestly, you almost make me want to read the book, and I don't usually deal well with horror AT ALL. Your review makes it sound awfully enticing, though!

  2. JNCL: I don't really read a lot of horror either, though I don't know why since I love being scared. :) This one definitely made me want to read more!