The Shining by Stephen King. This book was on my 2015 to read list. I completed it last week, but I never was able to get my fingers moving on the review.
I’d like to think this is because every time I would start writing, it ended up being a comparison to the movie. Which honestly isn’t fair. Both the book and the movie are wonderful pieces of art… they just don’t have too much in common other than the overall premise.
I say that it isn’t fair to try and compare the two, but I decided to watch the movie last night because something was nagging at my brain. I couldn’t remember certain parts of the movie and didn’t want to confuse them with the book. (Stupid memory forgetting things.) Alex was kind enough to sit through my hour long commentary on the differences between the book and movie. What I liked and didn’t like.
For the time and the feel of the movie, some very important things were changed, including how Jack Torrence dies. Most of the differences I could see why Kubrick decided to change them. Moving topiary (without making it look fake) would be too much of a challenge for 1980.
Two changes really got to me though: Hollorann and The Room number. In the book Hollorann becomes the hero, in the movie he’s taken out with one blow. He deserved better than that. The room number… I’m not sure why this one got under my skin so much. Its just a number, but then again, if its just a number why change it in the first place? I’m sure Alex enjoyed me yelling, “217!” at the TV.
Jumping back to the book, I loved it! It was creepy and intense. The history of all the characters (including the Overlook) was flushed out in such a way that I nearly felt like I was there in the world. Several times I found myself setting down the book and letting my heart rate fall back down. I had also taken to only reading it during the day time due to the creepy factor going through the roof.
I would gladly read another Stephen King novel. I gave this book full marks. A wonderful read for anyone who’s brave enough.