Friday, October 31, 2014

The Best Book I Read This Month...



It's that time again--time for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse --where a bunch of us book lovers chat about our favorite reads for the month! For this month, I picked...(surprise!) a scary read!



Rarely do I ever read a book after seeing the movie. I always rush to try and finish a book before the movie version comes out, and then I’m usually disappointed anyway. In this particular case, I’ve seen the movie over and over again during the course of a ten year period, yet I just got around to reading the novel.

I’ve only read one other Stephen King novel (The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon). I really enjoyed it, but it was more of a psychological thriller. I’ve wanted to read The Shining for years, but I was afraid the book would be too gruesome or brutal for me. (I hate reading anything that’s bloody or gory).

I was pleasantly surprised to find more of a psychological ride than a horror tale. There are elements of horror within the story, but overall, I was riveted. I see now why King is considered such a master of the page; he effectively crafts scenes, describes actions and images, and paints the background of characters. This novel, written in 1977, reads differently from a modern horror novel. It’s subtle with less attempt at shock value and far more attention to the storyline.

For those who don’t know the story, Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic, takes his wife and son to live at The Overlook—a hotel in the Colorado mountains where inhabitants are snowed in all winter. Torrance assumes this will be the perfect opportunity to write his next novel; instead, once the snow begins to fall and Jack and his family are snowed in, the house comes alive, tormenting Jack and his family with freaky women in the bathtub, strange characters in the ballroom (including an oh-so-polite, but all-too-dead bartender), and an elevator that runs by itself. All the while, Jack’s son, Danny, holds special powers called “shining” in which he can sense and see things that others can’t, and he can communicate telepathically with others who have the same abilities.

The Shining holds up remarkably well, and makes a perfect halloween companion.


 

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the description. I knew that The Shining was frightening because of clips from the movie, but I didn't know what happened. Now I have a clue. I've only read one Stephen King book: Carrie. That was many years ago, and I never wanted to read another one.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Ha! I kind of felt the same way after I TRIED to read Salem's Lot. I didn't make it through that one.

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  2. UGH!!! That movie gave me the super creeps. I was in Estes Park years ago and my uncle took me to the hotel there where they made the outdoor shots. Still freaked me out.

    I really can't read King. Too scary for this insomniac!
    Thanks for the review---perfect for Halloween.
    Veronica

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  3. Great choice for Halloween! I was at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado just this summer, too. Amazingly, though, I've never read the book.

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  4. I haven't read The Shining and only saw bits and pieces of it on the TV. I usually shy away from books like this, but might have to take a peek :)

    betty

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  5. Its really not that bad! But I have to say if you're not into creepy, it won't be for you. It is, at least, that.

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  6. I did read Stephen King once - never again and I have seen this film, again too scary for this wimp. My grown-up kids laugh at me when I can't watch stuff.

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    1. Well, I can't read/watch a lot of things. I'm really pretty wimpy, so this is why I was surprised I liked this book as much as I did. The violence quotient really wasn't bad.

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  7. Love that movie! Jack Nicholson is so brilliant in that role. I tried to read the book before but I can't remember why I didn't finish it. Anyway, thanks for sharing. I'll have to put it on my TBR list again (and remember to leave the lights on...).

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  8. I think The Shining was one of the books that really helped Stephen King make a name for himself. I know he was very against the job Stanley Kubrick did with the movie, since it was so different from the book. (Plus, SHELLY DUVALL? REALLY?!) He disliked Jack Nicholson in the lead role, as well, because the book is about a normal man who is slowly taken over by the house, and I don't think Jack Nicholson does "normal man" very well. He always seems like he could go over the edge at any time!

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    1. Ha! So true Stephanie! And I had to FORCE myself not to picture dippy Shelly Duvall while reading the book. Nooooooo!!

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  9. This was actually one of my favourite Stephen King books. I haven't read it in ages. Ah, I shall have to read it again and see if it holds up to being as good as I remember.

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