Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Shining - Stephen King

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel - and that too had begun to shine...


Stephen King

If ever there was one book that made me fear the dark and made my spine tingle with dread, this is it. This book was my third Stephen King novel and his first two books that I read had not gone down well with me. I read Dreamcatcher and Misery before this book and I understood that I have not read the best of Stephen King yet. Amidst this background, The Shining came as a great surprise loaded with horror and terror that can inflict fear on the bravest of hearts.

In his previous two books, I felt Stephen King was beating around the bush a little as he was taking loads of time to get to the main event. I felt that problem resurfacing in this book in the beginning. I still feel Jack's history of alcohol abuse was a little off track to the main plot. However, once the reader toils through a handful of pages and finds the Torrance family locked up in The Overlook for the winter, the action begins and there is not let up in the intensity and the pace from then on.

I'm still amazed how an author can bring fear to the minds of people just by "words". He doesn't get to use visual effects; he doesn't get to use sound effects; he doesn't get to use 'Jump Scare' techniques. All the author has at his disposal are "WORDS". And yet, I must say, the words from the pen of Stephen King has managed to surpass all techniques that a traditional horror movie director employs to scare his/her audience. Perhaps, that is why, the film adaptation of this novel The Shing (Movie) directed by Stanley Kubrick did not impress me as much as the novel did. There are some people who say the movie is better than the book, but I firmly differ from their opinion.

The characters are all well-developed. The Overlook, the haunted hotel is itself a terrific character with a mysterious and horrific past.

The Overlook Hotel(as shown in the movie)

Joey Tribbiani tells what is so great about The Shining
I personally liked Wendy, who struggles to save her son from his father who has fallen into the clutches of the haunted hotel and is slowly going insane. Dick Halloran is another character who leaves a mark in the reader's minds after the book is completed. I liked the fact that there are so few characters so that the reader is not burdened with too much clutter that are not essential to the central plot. King means business in this book.

Remember Joey Tribbiani in Friends, hiding The Shining in the freezer? Well, that is one way to avoid the Overlook haunting you.


"Sometimes human places, create inhuman monsters."
"Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win." 
"Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in." 

If you want to be scared out of our wits, this is one book you must never miss. The Overlook is waiting for you! 

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