- Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; Reissue edition (June 26 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780307743657
- ISBN-13: 978-0307743657
- ASIN: 0307743659
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3 x 17.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 553 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Shining Mass Market Paperback – Jun 26 2012
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“A master storyteller.” —Los Angeles Times
“Scary! . . . Serves up horrors at a brisk, unflagging pace.” —The New York Times
“This chilling novel will haunt you, and make your blood run cold and your heart race with fear.” —Nashville Banner
“Guaranteed to frighten you into fits. . . . with a climax that is literally explosive.” —Cosmopolitan
“The most wonderfully gruesome man on the planet.” —USA Today
“An undisputed master of suspense and terror.” —The Washington Post
“[King] probably knows more about scary goings-on in confined, isolated places than anybody since Edgar Allan Poe.” —Entertainment Weekly
“He’s the author who can always make the improbable so scary you’ll feel compelled to check the locks on the front door.” —The Boston Globe
“Peerless imagination.” —The Observer (London)
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are 11/22/63; Full Dark, No Stars; Under the Dome; Just After Sunset; Duma Key; Lisey’s Story; Cell; and the concluding novels in the Dark Tower saga: Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, is also a bestseller. He was the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2007, he received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Maine with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
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Top Customer Reviews
I look forward to the release of his sequel this autumn!
The book is brilliantly written, although some foreshadowing was a bit obvious. I really felt like we got to know the characters. Not only are we acquainted with their stay at the hotel, but we learn of their past struggles as a family. These past episodes add a depth to the characters that can be interpreted later in the story as being significant or not. Jack, the father, is a man with a history that is trying to support his family. He is an aspiring author and is looking forward to months of peace and quiet. His wife, Wendy, is along for the ride and plays a very supportive role. They have a little boy, Danny, and he is special.
Let's talk about the real aspect of the book: the horror. The horror was the believable type with a bit of supernatural essences thrown in. Or, if you'd like, it was purely believable. There were several scenes in the book with their fair share of gore, but also several creepy moments that I felt were more convincing than the gore itself. The book is not particularly scary, but it is absolutely creepy. Imagine being in a large hotel in the middle of a snowstorm, phones are out, radio doesn't work, and you can't escape. Then creepy things begin to happen. Ready to leave yet? This family all struggles with the hotel in their own way, and I felt the progression of the story with the winter was really fitting.
Reading The Shining was a result of an argument on a message board, about which one is better - the book or the movie. I am a big supporter of the "It is a different medium - don't compare!" school of thought, but I love an online argument as much as the next guy, so I had to check for myself. And checking for myself, I stumbled upon one of the best Stephen King novels I've ever read.
King's greatest strength as a writer has always been, in my opinion, his depiction of "classic" American life. The Shining however shows very little of this, as it quickly plunges into the oppressive claustrophobic setting of an isolated mountain hotel. Jack Torrance - an aspiring writer struggling with the lasting effects alcohol has had over his family and his career - accepts a job as a caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado during the winter months when the building is almost completely unreachable. He moves there with his wife Wendy, and his boy Danny. Although the place has a colorful history, and most of it - unpleasant, Jack feels it nurturing his inspiration to write. However, his son feels differently. Danny has psychic abilities that the hotel chef Dick Hallorann calls "shining". Dick himself possesses this gift, but not nearly as powerful as the boy. Before he leaves for the winter, he warns Danny to stay away from certain places in the Overlook, since the shining could attract things he may not be prepared to see. Of course, the boy couldn't resist the temptation, and the hotel begins to waken. But its first target isn't the clairvoyant Danny, but his father - Jack.
The Shining is an exceptionally well written thriller, and - as most of King's good books - an in-depth look into the psyche of ordinary people and the demons that possess them. Even though the supernatural element is strong, the true villain in this novel is not the entity inhabiting the Overlook, but the monster hiding in a loving father's weaknesses. The book is large in scope, detailing not just the Torrances' life in the few months of winter isolation, but also parts of the history of the hotel - little chunks of intrigue, happiness and drama, painting a vivid picture of the place. Although nowhere near as grand as It, there are some similarities between the two, especially in the way King beautifully captures a child's view of the world through the eyes of little Danny Torrance and his exploration of the haunting building.
King's style of writing is at its best. Exact and to the point, he doesn't waste time with unnecessary details, and no more than ten pages pass before something disquieting occurs. His ability to ascribe horrific qualities to mundane things like going down a dark staircase, avoiding a fire hose in a corridor, or - indeed - taking a drink, is sharpened to the point of cutting, and the book is filled with moments of chilling tension in situations most of us just pass through without ever thinking twice.
In the end, I enjoyed The Shining tremendously, and when I watched Stanley Kubrick's movie, my expectations were proven correct. There was little in common between the two, and little point to even try and make a comparison. But from this message board argument I was left with a great reading experience of a book I might otherwise have missed. So who says that arguing on the Internet is always like winning the Special Olympics?
Now re-reading it again I found the book much more satisfying.I was able to relax and enjoy the world King had created and all the characters in it.I will re-read all of King's books as they seem to age very well.
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