I am not much of a horror fan. Most of the time when I watch a horror flick I cover my face for the majority of the movie. They scare the crap out of me. This means that I don’t read a lot of horror either. Last year I read Stephen King’s On Writing and enjoyed his way with words. I decided to read more novels by him and started with ‘Salem’s Lot.
The Shining was King’s third novel. Years ago I saw the movie and to be honest, I thought it was good, but not great. I really wasn’t expecting that much from the novel, but it’s on my 1001 list so I had to read it. After locating a copy at my library I decided now was as good a time as any.
Many know the gist of the story. Jack Torrance is in a bit of pickle. He’s lost his teaching job and his marriage is on the rocks. A buddy of his gets him a job to stay at a hotel in Colorado during the winter to oversee that nothing happens during the off-season. Jack, his wife, Wendy, and their son, Danny, all move into the Overlook Hotel. Once the snow begins to fall, they will not be able to leave the hotel until the spring. Jack is an aspiring writer and he hopes to use his time to finish a play and to spend some time with his wife and son and get his personal life back on track.
The Overlook has different ideas. Danny has the shine, which means he has telepathic abilities. And the hotel is haunted. Jack and Wendy don’t care or believe this in the beginning. Then things start to happen. Really weird things. Can the three survive the hotel and each other?
As I said, I wasn’t expecting much from this book. The movie was a little scary, but didn’t quite do it for me. The book, as it turned out, was much more terrifying. It’s over 400 pages and I flew through this one. Even though I was frightened by every sound in my flat at night, I couldn’t stop reading it. The Better Half had a jolly time jumping out behind doors and such since I was extremely nervous for several days. On two nights I got out of bed to make sure I locked all the doors. And if the Better Half was out of town I would have slept with all the lights on. I did this when I read ‘Salem’s Lot, which I read when I had the flat to myself.
Usually I don’t like to be scared, but I have to admit I really enjoyed reading this novel. Yes I had sleepless nights and one night I had the worst nightmares, but still that didn’t diminish my enjoyment factor. In fact, I think it enhanced it in some weird way. And I was shocked how different the book is to the movie. The movie, in my opinion, does not do the story justice. For those of you who are like me and a little bit chicken, you may want to give it a go. I liked it. And I plan on reading more novels by him.