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Friday, November 17, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for The Shining by Stephen King @StephenKing @SimonAudio

TITLE: The Shining
SERIES: The Shining, Book #1
AUTHOR: Stephen King
NARRATOR: Campbell Scott
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: August 2, 2005 (first published 1977)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 15 hrs and 56 mins
GENRE: Horror
First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrance family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary director Stanley Kubrick -- featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson -- The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.

This deliciously creepy tale is my new King favourite!

Jack Torrance is a former alcoholic and struggling writer. After losing his job as a teacher after getting involved in an altercation with a student, the family is forced to move from Vermont to Colorado. He takes a job as the winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel in the mountains. Due to its remote location, the hotel is shut down for the winter from October to mid-May as the snow usually makes the roads impassable. The hotel’s manager is a little concerned that Jack intends to stay at the Overlook Hotel with his wife, Wendy, and their five-year-old son, Danny. His preference is for a single bachelor to look after the hotel, after what happened with the last caretaker who killed his wife and twin daughters before committing suicide. The isolation can be hard on people. However, an influential friend of Jack’s recommended him for the job, and the manager hires Jack against his better judgment.

The family arrives at the Overlook Hotel just as it is closing down for the season. They meet the hotel’s chef, Dick Hallorann, who immediately takes an interest in Danny. Before he leaves, he has a word in private with Danny. He tells the boy that he knows he has “the shine” which is a special ability to read someone’s thoughts. Dick has “the shine” as well, and he tells Danny that he never met someone who shined as strongly as Danny did. They were able to communicate telepathically, and Dick told Danny that if there was any trouble at the Overlook to reach out to him and that he’d come. 

Danny sees things in the hotel that aren’t really there, and his father’s behavior begins to change. Before Jack sobered up, there was an incident where he lost his temper with Danny and accidentally broke his arm. Wendy was going to leave Jack and file for divorce, but he gave up the booze and they worked it out. However, things start getting rocky again as the seclusion and confinement appear to be working against Jack.

I loved the isolated setting of the story, which added to the spookiness of the story. Knowing that no one is going to come and save you if there is trouble would be pretty scary. I was fascinated with the hotel’s history, which was revealed through the boxes that Jack found in the basement.

I enjoyed the narrator Campbell Scott more and more as the story went on. I thought he portrayed all of the characters well, especially Dick Hallorann who is my favourite. Here is a sample of the narration:

I saw the 1980 film adaptation starring Jack Nicholson when I was just a kid myself! It left quite an impression on me. Who can forget the “Here’s Johnny!” scene? That actually isn’t in the book but was ad libbed by Nicholson. I thought Nicholson was cast perfectly, but King described Wendy as a good-looking blonde so how the heck was Shelley Duvall cast for that part?! I’m looking forward to watching the movie again.

5 stars!! It was superb, and I loved it. I will likely re-read it in the future. You should definitely put it on your TBR list if you enjoy horror!

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