Review: The Shining by Stephen King
This is it. THE moment I have been waiting for. It's safe to say that I have wanted to read The Shining ever since I decided I liked reading. It was at the top of my list even when I hadn't committed to spending all my time reading books and all my money on buying books. That's how committed I was to reading this novel. Slightly embarrassing that despite all of that, it still took me this long to pick it up but it was the perfect book to save for my 5 star predictions experiment.
Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.
This wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Mainly due to the source of my information being the episode of Friends where Rachel borrows Joey's copy of The Shining. My other source of information was seeing the trailer for the infamous movie adaptation by Stanley Kubrick, only to find out that the film and the book are completely different. King shows his expertise as usual in epically setting a scene and creating a horribly uncomfortable and unnerving atmosphere. However, this book isn't short, and a vast majority of the novel is taken up by creating the environment and introducing us to the bizarre familial dynamic. The 'scares' come much later on which left me feeling slightly flat in my reading experience. I can absolutely appreciate a slow build thriller, but there was not quite enough impact throughout to keep me motivated.
It's impossible to not appreciate King's writing and character building. I was immersed in the story and I am so happy I finally read it! However, it seems that I had entirely different expectations for this book which tainted the overall experience. It was really my own doing when having this book be a part of an experiment to read 5 star predicted books. This book was fantastic, but it's not my favourite from this amazing writer. This is the final book I will be reviewing in this experiment as I ran out of time in November to read Rainbow Milk. I have a sneaking suspicion that this would have been my 5 star pick...
Initial Prediction: 5 stars
Final Rating: 4 stars
Publication Date: 28 January 1977 (my edition: 20 September 2018)
Publisher: Hodder Books
# of Pages: 497