Okay, so yes, I finally read this! It's amazing to me how old this book is. It seems like yesterday when my parents were reading it and then they saw the film and came home saying how bad it sucked. HaHa. I agree with that observation. I read somewhere that the reason King himself was not happy with Kubrick's adaptation of the book was because he made the Jack Torrance character so unsympathetic. And he's right. In the book, we get to experience the gradual downward spiral of Jack, despite his faults and mistakes in the past. He really remains a sympathetic character because King makes it very obvious that the hotel is in control. I just never really got that from the movie. And the horrible miscasting of Shelley Duvall as Wendy is a travesty. The character of Wendy in the book is nothing like Duvall's depiction.
Anyway, I didn't mean this as a review of the film. I just wanted to make some comparisons because I have never really liked the film and after reading the book, I like it even less. The book is so much more detailed and we get to learn a lot more about the history of the characters and the hotel which is something I always look for in a book. I want to know what led us from point a to point b; something a film adapted from a book is usually very hard-pressed to accomplish. Also, there are some very genuinely creepy scenes. I will never quite look at hedge animals the same again...or tunnels in the snow (no worries on that since I live in Tennessee now). As usual, King succeeded in telling me a good story while supplying me with the creep factor I love. Can't wait for the upcoming sequel, Doctor Sleep!
About the book:
First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrance family.
The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.