Reviewing the Pages: The Shining

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What of the penetrating cold terror of an old hotel, a haunted place of seductive evil with a malevolent will of its own—and a five-year-old boy of innocent beauty whose mind mirrors the nightmarish secrets of its past?

Behind every door of the Overlook’s 110 empty rooms there is a chamber of horror. Little Danny knows of these things because he has the terrible power—The Shining

I forgot how tiny the font is in the edition I read. But, 8 point font aside, The Shining is a book that you have to read to experience the terror. Of a family that started out on a bit of a rocky point; a man who has his inner demons to battle, and a kid with some sort of psychic ability (undefined, but a bit of mind-reading and precognitive aspects). To top it all off, there’s a malevolent force that wants that ability for itself, and it all takes place in the middle of nowhere in a snowy Colorado winter.

To me, that’s where all the horror lies. The scenery. The vast…aloneness in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. If we took this tale somewhere else, it wouldn’t have that exact same impact. Stephen King does a marvelous job of letting the atmosphere sink into the horror, and catches you when you let your guard down.

Now, having read this book again, I can see why King despises Kubrick’s movie so much. While I do like Kubrick’s film; this book is much better because it draws out the suspense a little bit; drawing you in until the very, very end.

So, how’s everyone doing? Sorry that I haven’t been here for a while.  I was originally going to read The Blood Lives: In The Blood to start out, but quickly realized that the electronic version I have…is just a preview.  Which irked me.  Because I read the preview.  And I wanted more.  So I skipped over that, and went to this book.  And then I couldn’t find my copy of this book.  I looked through my entire Stephen King collection shelf at least a half-dozen times; pulling books off and putting them back on the shelf.  I even checked some other spots just in case I happened to rearrange it wrong; I even went through some of the boxes I moved with to see if I happened to leave it in there.  Nothing.  So, I did the next best thing.  I finally went and got myself a library card, and checked this book out.

So, rant about getting to read this book aside, I forgot how much I liked this book until I dove into the pages.  I said it above in my Goodreads review, but I do like that King stretched out some of the suspense.  We see the slow (yet, quick) descent into insanity that the hotel brings upon him.  Which, speaking of, the time frame that the bulk of this book takes place is incredibly short.  It takes about four months from the time they get “locked” in to the time the Overlook explodes.  But, it feels so much longer than that.  And I love it.

For those of you who like King’s work, Kubrick’s version, or suspenseful horror that will stick around for quite some time, then you should check out this story.  Just…make sure you find a version with large font.

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