Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: The Shining

The Shining by Stephen King

My rating:

“Sometimes human places, create inhuman monsters.”

I'm kind of new when it comes to Stephen King. I read my first book by him - The Stand – last year and I loved it, so I became an instant fan and I told myself I would read all of his works... eventually, because they're a lot. I wanted to start with some of the classics – Carrie, The Dead Zone, etc – and so, I picked this one too.

Jack Torrance and his family leave to the Overlook hotel for winter because Jack is gonna be the caretaker for that period of time. Things don't end as they wanted. First because the hotel is kind of haunted, and it seems to be getting inside Jack by using his alcoholism to play him mind-tricks. But these things don't remain unseen because Danny, Jack's son, is a “shiner” - he can look inside people's minds and he can sometimes feel other things.

As the novel goes on, we see Jack descend more and more into a madness that's ruining his marriage more than how it was at the beginning and by the end, things are horrible.

What made this book so creepy at some parts? Not the haunted hotel. It was Jack's struggle. There are many people in real life who battle with this, and just reading it in this book caused many chills up my spine. We see how he really tries to avoid drinking for his own family's sake – because he loves them –, but we also see how it affects him not to do it.

During most of the novel, I didn't know how to feel about him. Some parts I pitied him, some others I hated him; but that was great. It just shows how human he was, and I love realistic characters.

There's no need for me to say anything related to characterization and writing, is it? I mean, because in this book, just as in all of SK's novels, the characters are well written and well developed. They're all flawed and perfectly human. I don't know what is it with authors that feel the need to write perfect characters; like, they're human beings! We're very far from perfect.

As for the writing... perfect. As always. It's easy to read and it's kind of entertaining whenever a character's inner thoughts are shown. They add a little more suspense and it's greatly done!

Some things didn't work for me, though.

1. Haunted houses are not really my thing. If I were in the Torrance family's situation, I know I would be just as scared, but in books they don't manage to creep me out.

2. The ending. It felt a little rushed and a little anti-climactic.

3. Danny. Cute boy with scary abilities, buuuut annoying as hell. Perhaps I hated him because I hate children and my level of patience is really slim. Being inside his head for a 500 pages novel was too much for me.

4. Hedge animals. Really, dafuq? Every time I imagined them I laughed. Really, I LAUGHED.

But this is a good book, people; don't get me wrong! I don't hesitate when it comes to recommending this, and I'm definitely reading Doctor Sleep. Also, just so you know, I came to read this without having a clue as to what it was about. I didn't even read the synopsis. I never do that with books, but I totally expected to be completely mind-blown with this for several reasons that you can guess (spoiler: It's because it was Stephen King.).

In the end, of all the books I've read by SK, this is the one I've liked the least, but it was good all the same.


  1. I tried this one not too long ago and it indeed was really, really creepy! The best part is that we see Jack spiraling down and out of control gradually... it's amazing how too much alcohol and stress can distort reality for some. Danny was really annoying, though haha. Are you going to try Doctor Sleep? It's the sequel with Danny in it (he's much older now)

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. Yes, I'm going to read it! And as you, the scariest parts were when Jack was battling with his alcoholism an how he gradually transforms into something else entirely different and creepy. I don't know when I will read Doctor Sleep, though, because I barely have time tor read now.