Stephen King is an author I haven’t revisited in about a decade. Partially because Ive been distracted by other authors, partially because I’m a scaredy cat. But, finally I have conquered the book so creepy Joey hides it in the freezer, The Shining.
The psychological aspects of The Shining are incredible, and far more developed in the novel than the film (I see why Mr. King took many an issue with the latter). If you take out all the redrums and I see dead people moments, what you have is a study of an addict battling his demons, and the impact it has on his family. Not only is Jack Torrence an exquisitely executed character struggling with alcoholism and rage, his wife, Wendy, is an exceptionally well developed, layered character (POORLY depicted in the film). The most fascinating parts of the novel are the inner monologues of the couple – their love for each other and their son is palpable, as is their inner turmoil as they attempt to navigate a relationship in light of the rough hand they’ve been dealt.
The use of supernatural elements and isolation in The Shining, especially when experienced through Danny (the son), creates an even more vulnerable environment for the Torrence family. With the personal battles they are facing it’s only natural for them to be highly susceptible to the otherworldly forces running the show in the Overlook Hotel.
The Shining is a solid piece of literature, and I didn’t even mind that it was over 300 pages. This one has certainly earned a spot on my “Most Likely to Recommend” list.
Rating: 4 Unstable Boilers