The Shining by Stephen King

11 Dec 2014

I listened to the Simon & Schuster Audio audibook.

Jack Torrance has failed at many things, and his last chance at redemption is as winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, where he can make ends meet and finish the play he’s been working on. Wendy, his wife, and Danny, his son, join him to stay alone at the hotel throughout the winter. As the snow cuts them off from civilization, they are not truly alone at all.

Here, the typical devices of a horror story almost pale in comparison to the terror invoked by the effects of Jack’s alcolism in the family. Although I thought Jack, as a character, was nuanced and interesting, I hated his personality, which was one with a clearly external locus of control. He blames everyone except himself for his problems, and this is one of the sources of his failure.

My least favorite parts involve Jack succumbing to the influence of his own delusions and other, outside forces. Although these were always well written and interesting, I seemed to always dread them, like how you want to turn away when you see a speaker make a mistake.

My favorite parts involve either Wendy bravely standing up to her husband, or encounters with the hedges (you’ll see).

I’ve always been wanting to read/listen to this book, and it did not disappoint. I’ve been on something of a Stephen King kick recently, having listened to Under the Dome and 11/22/63. I’m sorry that I haven’t read King until now, because I’ve been enjoying all his stories very much.

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