THE SHINING by Stephen King

I do not read horror, because I don’t like it. But I read Stephen King’s THE SHINING, because I’d read his book ON WRITING and I wanted to see what he was like as a writer.

I can’t say that I enjoyed reading it, because explicit scenes of death and destruction just don’t appeal to me. But I could see what a good writer King is. I was surprised to see how much his technique of suspense rests of foreshadowing. Much of this comes from the point of view of Danny, the 5-year-old son of Jack Torrance, who signs on to be the housekeeper of the Overlook Hotel one winter. Of course, Danny can’t understand what his gift “the shining” shows him. So the foreshadowing is necessarily blurry and vague. But that is what drives the novel, of this scared young boy seeing things he can’t understand. Throw into the mix a recovering alcoholic with a dangerous temper, and you have great material for conflict. But King doesn’t stop there. His imagination soars as we gradually realize that the hotel is a personage as well.

If you are a horror aficionado, and you’ve never read this, you owe it to yourself to do so. Five stars.


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