[Book Review] The Shining by Stephen King

the shining

Stephen King is a novelist known worldwide, but The Shining was my first real introduction to his writing.

Following the story of Jack, Wendy and Danny, The Shining takes place at the Overlook hotel, where Jack finds a job as the winter caretaker.

Following their arrival at the Overlook, strange events begin to take place, there’s a lady in the bathtub, a mysterious ballroom party taking place at night, the elevator operates by itself.

The novel certainly promises anticipation in all the right places.

What was most surprising for me, as someone who had previously seen the film but not read the book was the more psychological element of the novel. The novel deals heavily with alcoholism, going in depth with Jack’s struggle, his guilt over hitting Danny fighting against his desire to just drink one more time. I found this perhaps one of the best parts of the novel, watching Jack sink into madness as the ghosts of the Overlook finally took over and he caved into drinking.

Overall, I thought the novel was good, it built anticipation in all the right places and dealt with a lot of issues throughout the course of the novel. Stephen King left no stone untouched, and I did not leave the novel thinking that I’d wished something had been tied up.

Initially, I had expected to be terrified out of my mind, but that did not happen. There were a few moment where I got anxious, particularly the scene with Danny and the fire extinguisher at the beginning. But, it was not the terrified I had been expecting. I find that I did not mind that so much, as I had a lot of enjoyment out of other sections of the novel.

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