Book Review

THE SHINING by Stephen King

Rating: 4.5 / 5

The King Buddy Reads group on Instagram book for September was THE SHINING, a true classic Stephen King novel. This was a reread for me, but it had been quite a while and it was the perfect read as we head into fall.

Jack Torrance is a man attempting to remain sober after struggling with alcohol addiction combined with anger management issues. Having lost his last job after a violent altercation with a student, a friend helps Jack land a job as the off-season caretaker for the Overlook Hotel. The hotel is cut off from the rest of the world by snow and treacherous roads for much of the year. There Jack can settle in with his wife and young son and work on finishing the play he is writing.

The remote hotel is notorious for hosting the famous and glamorous, but it has a sordid past. For people like Jack’s son Danny with a “gift” to see beyond the surface, there are dangers in the hotel which prey on the hotels only three inhabitants. Though Jack doesn’t have Danny’s gift, he is heavily impacted by the sinister forces at work in the hotel and his ability keep his anger under control is called into question.

This really is the perfect book to kick off fall reading. If you only know THE SHINING from the movie / miniseries adaptations you really should give the book a go. This book is classic King for a reason and the isolation and harsh winter conditions really create the perfect atmosphere for a horror tale.

Jack, especially, is such an interesting character to follow through the book. From the very beginning he is seen as a man who is trying to control his inner demons. He has a short temper and a weakness for alcohol and those combined have wreaked havoc on his marriage and his family. Even so, there is no question that Jack loves his family and he wants to do right by them. Still, his weaknesses make him easy prey for the outer forces at work in the hotel.

If you haven’t had a chance to read THE SHINING before, I highly recommend it. It was fun as always reading this with the King Buddy Reads crew and I’m really looking forward to my first read of the sequel DOCTOR SLEEP next month!

2 thoughts on “THE SHINING by Stephen King”

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