Sunday, 22 September 2013

154/111 - The Shining by Stephen King

I read this for the very reason that Doctor Sleep is out next Tuesday, and I'm super excited. It's probably been about ten years since I read The Shining, so I was also pretty excited about re-reading this, as I had forgotten a lot of it.

I'm not going to go into the story or anything here because surely everyone knows the story of The Shining. I had, however, forgotten a lot about what happens in the book because it's pretty different from the film. There is way more backstory on the Torrance family, Jack's relationship with his father and his internal struggles with his temper and alcoholism. There are also lots of iconic moments in the film that don't feature in the book, for example the blood flowing out of the elevator doors, the copy of Jack's script which says nothing but, "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" over and over again, and of course the classic scene with the axe and the bathroom where he screams, "here's Johnny!"

Stephen King hated the film, he thought Jack Nicholson hammed it up too much and that Shelly Duvall was insulting to women in how passive she was, and I understand both of those. Similarly, the film misses out lots of great stuff from the book, like the parallels with the huge pressure boiler that Jack has to keep an eye on, the sordid history of the hotel and the inner life of Dick Halloran who features much more prominently.

I was still surprised by how creepy I found it when reading it alone at night, and I'm looking forward to getting some chills from Doctor Sleep next week.

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