While certain bits of this classic are dated, it is unfortunately a timeless topic of the trauma and consequences associated with bullying. This is Stephen King's first published novel and I enjoyed reading it for the first time even after seeing the movie years ago. While this was not my favorite of his - there are moments when he goes into tedious detail describing certain events - the plot kept me into it through to the end. The characters are slightly shallow, but not so much as to be distracting - it is the guy's first novel and a short one at that. If my first effort is this good, I'll be thrilled!
Most importantly I think King illustrates well the many levels of wounds that bullying leaves - a hard heart for the intentional bully, unyielding guilt for those who follow along with bullying instead of helping the victim, helplessness felt by school administrators, and of course, the loneliness, ostracism, and pain of rejection felt by the bullied. The story is an important reminder of the impact of choosing aggression/assimilation over sympathy.
...because the book is a much more well-developed story. I saw the movie as a kid and watched it again just after finishing the novel for the first time. While I can understand why the film is iconic, it is a completely different interpretation of King's story and in my opinion just doesn't have as much depth or emotion. And I'm a Kubrick fan!
The story that most of us know: A writer takes his young family from Vermont out west to Colorado as he has taken a position as caretaker of a secluded hotel during its off season. King tackles issues such as alcoholism, self-esteem, and the strength of the family unit while telling a deliciously frightening story of the demons of the Overlook Hotel. He is one of the most talented storytellers out there, and I spent a good deal of time sitting in my driveway to listen to the end of a chapter before turning the car off and going inside my house.
Campbell Scott put me off at first as a narrator - I thought him to be a little too monotone at first, it was lolling me into a zone, not good when one is driving. But I stuck with him and he did brilliantly acting out the different characters, particularly the violent angry ones and I felt my pulse quicken during those parts.
I know it's said over and over again that the book is always better than the movie, but it's especially true in this case. Please treat yourself to this story, now one of my favorites by King.
This story definitely wasn't what I was expecting and in a good way. For those who are fans of the Walsh sisters stories by Marian Keyes, we've all gotten snippets of Helen Walsh's personality and have been entertained by her strong, don't-give-a-crap personality. It's been a long wait for a whole novel about the youngest Walsh. However, it was a surprise to discover that she's not quite as strong as we all previously thought, and this creates a closeness, an empathy for this character. While in the midst of investigating a missing person's case, she is constantly fighting her own demons and hell, most of us can relate to the stress of having to get the job done when you'd rather just crawl back into bed in a nice dark room. Keyes' signature talent for blending humor with difficult human situations and emotions made this book yet another enjoyable read. What's next for the Walsh family?
Overall, I enjoyed this book, though it did drag a little towards the end - I felt he took a little too much time with the last quarter of the novel and rushed the ending. But aside from that, Christopher Moore crafts a humorous imagining of the years between Jesus's birth and ministry, as told by his best buddy Biff. It's Biff's plain language that sets you giggling as you listen to his recollections. His character is also an interesting blend of lowly dude, slave to his baser instincts with a quick-witted, loyal, and courageous friend. I could quote several passages, but that kinda ruins the experience, so I won't.
I also have to give Fisher Stevens kudos for an amazing performance - he did a wonderful job of acting each character without seeming odd or pulling you out of the story. Some of his characterizations make you laugh out loud. I'll be looking for some other work of his.
I love Anthony Bourdain, but this book just wasn't Kitchen Confidential. Where KC was unapologetic, Medium Raw backpedaled as he addresses discussions from KC and recants. Instead of the "in the trenches" stories of beginnings as a line cook, he now throws around the who's who of the chef world. And that's fair I suppose, he has come a long way from the drug-addled cookie he once was and good for him. Not sure it makes for interesting reading though. His jokes and sarcasm here and there are true to his voice and kept me going to the end, but don't think I'd tell people to pick it up.
Gotta love good ol' Sherlock Holmes. This was a freebie xmas present from Audible and a supershort listen. If you love Alan Cumming, please enjoy his fun performance of this classic short story.
This was a gorgeous and well-crafted story. Effortlessly transitioning from 1960's Italy to present-day Los Angeles, the story spans decades and characters. This is another story for which I'd like to recommend the audiobook narrated by Edoardo Ballerini. He is a talented storyteller and brings each character to life with his careful inflection - not once does his performance pull you out of the story, rather it accentuates it. A young Italian bed and breakfast owner/dreamer, an unknown actress, and the Hollywood machine in luscious settings make for an unforgettable story.
I'm a big fan of Marian Keyes' novels. I'm an even bigger fan of her fictional Walsh family, who hail from Dublin as she does. Keyes' voice is conversational and sarcastic without being downright nasty. This story, about Anna Walsh, one of the flightier and some may say - loony - sisters, is rich in personality. Keyes tackles a difficult topic with her characteristic humor and sensitivity.
In my chronological journey through Jennifer Weiner's novels, I've come to sympathize with her characters less and less. Something about how the characters develop from lack of self-awareness to understanding the big picture that is a bit off, I can't really explain it. Having said that (as vaguely as possible), again, the story was strong enough that I wanted to stick with it and discover how it all shook out. There were strong plot elements - a senator's wife playing the role until she discovers he cheated on her, the type A daughter with the perfect career as a doctor, perfect home and family - who is also a cheater, and the recovering addict daughter, struggling to lead a normal life. All these make for a great story, if only I found the characters a little less irritating.
This book is an excellent example of Stephen King's talent for building tension. I was listening to this story on my way to visit my folks out in the country and I found myself shouting, "Kill it! Kill the bastard already! Just do it! ARGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!" The way he describes people turning corners or tiptoeing down some dark stairs - you can almost hear the building music in the movie scene from your mind. It is difficult to keep to the description of the characters in the story without thinking of the old TV series - who can extinguish the image of the crazy blue Nosferatu from the 70's? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As is true of his writing style I did find myself glazing over from a little too much description at times, though not often and I left the story feeling as though this place truly exists somewhere outside of Cumberland, Maine. Highly recommend.
I'm a fan of Keyes' novels, but I very nearly stopped listening to this one. There are MANY different "main" characters and much of the book is dedicated to the backstory of each. It's a bit difficult to keep them all straight initially and the story doesn't move forward for quite some time while you're digesting history.
However, the individual stories of each of the characters develop richly. By the end, characters assumed to be boring are the most interesting and shallow characters gain depth. In Keyes' signature style, serious topics are treated with respect yet tempered with humor and I was completely invested in the characters by the end.
The narration went a bit slow at times, which could be a bit frustrating, but otherwise I thought Caitriona Keyes did a fantastic job.
Honestly, had this story not been by this particular author, I probably would've given up on it. But because she's one of my favorites, I stuck with it and was thankfully rewarded towards the end. But I don't know how much I'd recommend it to others.
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