The Shining by Stephen King Review

The Shining by Stephen King book review
The Shining by Stephen King, ISBN 9780450032202, 447pp

The Shining by Stephen King was my third King read in October and the scariest! Things that go bump in the night and me don’t usually get along. I don’t like scary movies so I approached this book cautiously. And while I found it all kinds of scary, it was also a damn good book and a great example of suspense in a cabin fever setting.

The Shining is about a family of three: Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy and their extraordinary five-year-old son, Danny. Jack is a man with issues. He’s a writer and was a university teacher until his drinking and violent behaviour sees him lose his job. A friend pulls some strings and gets him a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel, high in the Colorado Rockies. Jack and his family are to live in the empty hotel when it’s shut down over the winter. Empty of guests and employees, it’s just the three of them in a huge hotel that has a colourful and scary past. It’s a place where there have been many violent incidents over the years. It’s also a place that gets cut off from the world as the snow blocks all the roads allowing no one in or out.

Under these circumstances, you have the perfect ingredients for the unravelling of Jack’s mental health and his family’s safety as the unwelcome occupants of the hotel start to make their mark. The character of Danny adds another supernatural element. Danny has abilities that the hotel’s cook also shares (though not as strongly) and calls ‘the shining’. He can pick up other people’s thoughts and he has a friend called Tony who only he can see. Tony sometimes shows him the future. In a place like the Overlook Hotel, Danny is about to encounter all sorts of terrifying thoughts and creatures.

The Shining is a pretty long book but I read it quickly. I found the plot just kept making me want to turn the pages. I liked how the book was told from the points-of-view of the family and the cook Mr Halloran. It definitely gave me goosebumps reading this book. There was also a lot of tension as the book hurtled towards the ending. I thought there was an element of psychological thriller alongside some of the paranormal aspects.

After reading The Shining, I’m now reading its sequel Doctor Sleep which I’m really enjoying.

Verdict: A tense, scary, perfect horror thriller.

7 thoughts on “The Shining by Stephen King Review

  1. Phil Havercroft October 30, 2019 / 6:21 pm

    Fantastic review! One of my favorite King books, Jack’s descent into madness is captivating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads October 30, 2019 / 6:26 pm

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed it too! Such a thrilling read πŸ€—


  2. Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins November 7, 2019 / 12:16 pm

    Giiiirrrrll, you are so brave! I still have chills thinking about the one time I watched the movie version of this one, I’m not sure I could bring myself to pick up the book πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ It was really interesting, though, reading in King’s On Writing how this book came to him, some really interesting psychological stuff going on with his own state of mind at the time. It’s almost enough to make me curious… πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads November 8, 2019 / 2:21 pm

      I haven’t seen the movie yet so I’m not too brave! But apparently the movie is quite different from the book and Stephen King didn’t really like it. So, I think you should try the book some time. You can do what I do and only read it during the day in bright sunlight.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Zezee November 18, 2019 / 3:21 pm

    I wanted to start Doctor Sleep in October but didn’t get around to it. The Shining is my favorite King book so far. My plan is to read his books in publication order but because I can’t stop thinking of the Shining, I was just gonna deviate from my plan and go to Doctor Sleep.
    The Shining is indeed a page turner and I love how paranormal stuff appear in it. I think it’s debatable whether or not something supernatural was going on or if it’s some sort of shared hallucination or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads November 19, 2019 / 4:48 pm

      I hope you can read Doctor Sleep soon. I found it very different from The Shining but I liked the ways they were connected.


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