The Shining by Stephen King

January 12, 2015 Whitney Review 0 Comments

The Shining by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen King
Series: The Shining #1
Published by Anchor on June 24, 2008
Genres: Horror
Source: Library

Terrible events occur at an isolated hotel in the off season, when a small boy with psychic powers struggles to hold his own against the forces of evil that are driving his father insane.

First Impressions

I have tried to watch Forrest Gump several times but with each attempt I fall asleep.  The stretch between his college football games and saving Lieutenant Dan had me yawning.  Until recently this has been my experience with The Shining by Stephen King.  I found it slow and wasn’t able to slog my way to room 217.  Perhaps it was the snowy, wooded, isolated setting that I currently call home but this time I stuck with it.  Perseverance paid off as The Shining is a horrific good read.

Impressions On The Overlook

It is The Overlook hotel that really shines in King’s novel.  Aptly named she looks over her inhabitants with eerie care.


The Overlook faced it as it had for three-quarters of a century, its darkened windows now bearded with snow, indifferent to the fact that it was now cut off from the world.  Or possibly it was pleased with the prospect.  Inside its shell the three of them went about their early evening routine, like microbes trapped in the intestine of a monster.”
~ Chapter 24, Page 211

It is when the hedge animals start to move that the atmosphere changes.  Something wicked this way comes.  Jack’s sanity begins to unwind as well as any hope that this stint at The Overlook would give the Torrances the new start they had been hoping for.  It is a telling scene overshadowed by sadness.


Staring at the hedge animals, he realized something had changed while he had his hand over his eyes.  The dog had moved closer.”
~ Chapter 23, page 208

Impressions on Characters

The Torrances are well established characters with an even balance of Danny (and Tony) strangely knowing more than they showed and Danny’s parents mimicking Miss Clavel’s something is not right.

The climax of the film All About Eve is Margo Channing descending a staircase, with daggers in her eyes proclaiming “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”.  This reminded me of  Wendy after she barricaded herself and Danny into their quarters, feeling threatened by her husband,  descending the grand staircase with a butcher knife in mind.  I relate these two scenes because they initiate the downfall that is to come.  In The Shining, I tensed up not for the puffed up woman in a bathtub, but for a simple walk down a staircase because like Eve Harrington, Jack Torrance has an agenda.

Final Impressions

Perhaps it is because I associate The Shining and therefore Jack Torrance with Jack Nicholson’s maddening “Here’s Johnny!” but I was not as terrified as I thought I would be.  Instead, I viewed The Shining by Stephen King as a suspenseful, stay up late kind of read.  Although by the end of the Torrance’s nightmare I understood why it had become a classic.


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