- What I liked the most: I liked the evolution of the characters, there is a why, how, and when for each of the main characters, mostly applicable to Jack, how and why he turns into the No-Jack. The words, analogies, and the description of the hotel made me feel like an insect and made me feel I am wasting my time trying to be a writer because I’ll never write like this in my whole life. Stephen King’s writing is beautiful. The love both Jack and Danny feel for each other is described in such a way that even I could feel it.
- What I liked the least: I am fan of having context & the past life of the characters, however in this book I found it quite a little too much. The flashbacks & some thoughts were repetitive. I found the Overlook hotel’s history part was really boring. The horror I was expecting from this book never happened. I was hoping to feel insecure at my own home while reading this book but I didn’t. I didn’t connect at all with Mr. Hallorann at all. As much as there is much story behind the other characters, this one was quite superficial.
- You’ll like it if:
✔️ You are a Stephen King’s fan.
✔️ You are looking for a classic horror novel.
✔️ You want to get fascinated by his writing.
✔️ You like reading on-depth about characters & their evolution.
✔️You like psycology thriller.
I must admit that it was not at all an easy read. I didn’t get hooked to the story until I had read more than 50% of the book. I even feel bad saying that most of the time I started dozing as soon as I started reading it, this happened at the beginning of the book mostly.
I was hoping it to be full of horror which would make me feel unsafe at my own home while reading it (like I’ve felt with other novels). I am aware that this book was first published in 1977 and now our brains are so used to seeing blood and violence on the TV that we have no imagination left to feel the horror that was meant to feel the people of 1977.
The scene that scared me the most was the tub lady in the guest room 217, Mrs. Massey. Ugg!! What scared me the most was that she was grinning, she wasn’t asking for help, she wasn’t a trapped soul, she was there to do bad things to people, pure evil, the devil herself. Poor Danny! That little five-year-old boy, he goes through a lot and the worst is that most of the time even he doesn’t understand the things he is hearing in other people’s heads.
And all the way I was like “REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM, what the hell is that? Some kind of rum which will make Jack go crazy?” NOOO!! It is MURDER, reversed!! 🤦🏽♀️
- Daniel Antonio Torrance (Danny): He is my favorite character in the book, a five-year-old boy should never go through all those horrible things, neither hear those horrible adult thoughts. Not even from his mommy and daddy. It’s adorable how he loves his dad even though his dad has that dark-terrible-uncontrollable-self (even before being possessed by the hotel). His innocence is intact even though his shining lets him see more than he should. The prologue scene made me sad and nearly had me to tears when he confesses Hallorann that he doesn’t want to cry in front of mommy because he wants to be a good son ❤️
- Jack Torrance: He is such a bastard, isn’t he? Even before being “possessed” by the Overlook hotel, he was kind of a coo-coo-i-want-to-murder-everyone-because-i-hate-everyone-guy. Alcoholic, difficult childhood, abusive father, no link with his family, beats his son, and lacks self-confidence. The transition from Jack to no-Jack is almost invisible. The main difference between Jack and no-Jack is the love he feels for his son Danny. This description, the past, present, and the evolution of this character are so brought to life as if he was a real person. The transition from sweet-devote-father to my-family-killer-jack happens in some doses, in such a way that it makes you understand that evolution, the way he starts “hating” Wendy, how he thinks his wife is nagging him all the time. Probably, until his last-minute, he still loves Danny until he drinks again.
- Wendy Torrance: She was kind of one of the main characters, devoted mother. Danny is her world, everything to her. I found her a strong woman, although, she indeed is shown weak when she is near her mother. I think that being able to think about divorcing her husband (without any professional career) to save her son was a brave gesture from her. How she still stands up to defend herself and her son with those wounds, broken from the inside and the outside is being brave, shine with love. I loved how Wendy’s point of view is used to let us know, let us see how Jack and Danny loved each other. The Overlook hotel condemned their happy ending to a forever-trauma life for her and of course to Danny.
- Dick Hallorann: I didn’t like this character, I mean I didn’t connect with him as well as I did with the other ones. He felt like a stranger when I was reading his side of the story, I even felt kind of bored I must admit, I felt like going back to what was happening to Danny rather than knowing what was happening to Dick. The last scene in the shed at the Overlook hotel was scary, like, no-no-no-no, don’t do it, throw away that mallet and take them somewhere else safe and warm. However, this character is key to let the reader know what the heck is “the shining”, right? I am happy Danny can count on him.
- Tony: He doesn’t appear that much in the book but hell is he important, isn’t he? If it wasn’t for Tony, they would never know about the whole weird thing that was going to happen in the Overlook Hotel and the about-to-explode-boiler. I was so surprised to know that Tony is actually Danny’s future-self 😱
- The Overlook hotel “spirit”: This evil spirit or this dark entity wants Danny so that it can feed on Danny’s shining power for its own purposes. It takes over Jack, Danny’s daddy so that it can kill both Wendy and Danny. I think that it could take over Jack easily because Jack’s thirst for drink, his low self-confidence, his past with his father made him an easy target.
What did you think about it? Did you like it? Enjoyed it? Was it scary for you?