The Shining by Stephen King

24 Mar

Other than Goosebumps books from my childhood, this was my first horror book. It was also my first Stephen King book. I try not to be a book snob, but I sometimes become one, and for that I suffer. I’ve always considered Stephen King to be a “grocery-store novelist.” The kind of author that churns out a couple of books a year that are big type, poorly written and can often be found in the check-out lane at the grocery store. Not good books. Trashy in some sense. But that’s not fair. I’m turning my nose up at something I’ve never taken the time to try. Surely some of those books must have some merit.

So I read “The Shining,” and from the first couple of chapters, I couldn’t put it down. No, it wasn’t beautiful and elevated literature, but it was interesting, it had levels of humanity and supernatural interwoven. And I didn’t want to stop reading it. I’d spend my days at work, thinking about the book, counting down the hours until I could get home and return myself to the Overlook Hotel. I fell asleep with the book clutched in my hands and haunted with some twisted nightmares.

I had seen the movie years ago, but it was almost nothing like the book, which I wasn’t expecting. And here, the golden rule for books rings true. The book was better than the movie. And, more to the point of Stephen King adaptations, the book was far scarier than the movie. (Stephen King agrees.) What I remembered about the movie was the haunting cinematography and the psychotic nature of Jack Nicholson playing Jack Torrence. The book doesn’t focus on Jack that way. It’s more about the little boy Danny and about the hotel itself coming alive. I left the movie afraid of Jack Torrence. I put down the book terrified of hotels. Some of my favorite parts of the book weren’t even in the movie. The hedge animals?! Wendy being a badass and not a whimpering mess?! The fire extinguisher hose?! Tony?! There’s hardly any Tony in it.

I’m officially a big Stephen King fan now. I’m officially a horror book/grocery store book fan now. I might have a lot of sleepless nights ahead of me, but my favorite part about reading is getting absorbed in a book to the point where I don’t want to put it down. On that count, Stephen King delivers.

“Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win.”

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2 Responses to “The Shining by Stephen King”

  1. A. NANCY March 24, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    Read “The Stand.” That is scary!

    • Chrissy Wilson March 24, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

      It’s on my list! A lot of people have recommended it to me.

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