Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.
©1977 Stephen King (P)2005 Random House Audio
"A master storyteller." (Los Angeles Times)
"He's the author who can always make the improbable so scary you'll feel compelled to check the locks on the front door." (The Boston Globe)
"Scary!... Serves up horrors at a brisk, unflagging pace." (The New York Times)
I think this audiobook will suffer from people comparing it to the movie. The movie story had very little to do with the actual novel. While the movie eventually reached classic status, the story and character development veered wildly from King's vision, quite notoriously and controversially. The movie is fantastic in its own right but should stand alone. If you are looking for an audio version of the movie or Jack Nicholson's performance, you should give this a pass.
That being said the novel is a tremendously gripping and horrifying read, bringing you along as the characters are more and more absorbed by the forces at work. The centerpiece is the hotel, and King paints an amazing picture over the course of the book, giving the Overlook a back story, a personality and a voice. Campbell Scott does an admirable job capturing the myriad of voices and emotions. A very tough assignment given that he not only has to portray a woman and child, but inner voices and distinguish between lucidity and madness. His performance did not take me out of the story at all and that is a tall order in a suspense piece. I enjoyed every minute listening to this book and when listening at night was truly scared at times.
The Shining - Review
As to the performance: it certainly wasn't monotone. The voices are all immaculate and extremely consistent; with a smooth delivery of the constant insertion and switching of inner voice to spoken voice that keeps the listener immersed and dramatizes the story amazingly well. What people are confusing "monotone" with, I think, at the beginning of the story is a wonderful and delicate subtlety.
As the madness sets in the dramatization becomes a very intense and accurate portrayal of the characters. I really don't understand how anyone can consider this narrator to be anything other than perfectly cast.
The statement that comes to my mind is: "A pure performance."
As to the story itself: there was a point at the beginning in which I distinctly remember thinking: this certainly isn't King's best work. It certainly started a little slow and a little dull; not what I'd expected from a Stephen King masterpiece. That was part one. Part two picked up well enough. After that the story continued to get better and better until the fifth part, the climax which I couldn't "put down" until I'd finished the story.
Beautifully narrated and wonderfully horrific! Stephen King's best work, beautifully written and enormously engaging.
Jack Torrance, as Stephen King demonically demonstrates his slow demise...His slow disintegration of his mind and his perceptions of the evil which is lurking in the hotel are mind blowing!
Jack Torrance entering the "empty" lounge for the "fish and goose" soiree. As the Overlook Hotel is closed for the winter, and Jack and his wife and son are the only people in the hotel, the appearance of "Lloyd", the bartender, is the harbinger of the horror that is to unfold for Jack.
Since there were essentially only 4 main characters in the book, Jack Torrance would be the most interesting. He had little grasp on reality and his understanding of what was real and what wasn't, was very intriguing. Asking him about what he thought of the evil forces which were forcing him to kill his wife and child would be most interesting.
Yes. Very well thought out and original. Not as incredible in terms of a horror story, but more as a super natural story.
The idea that a hotel can be alive is great.
Scott was made to narrate for King.
Absolutely, I wasn't completely convinced I would like Campbell Scott's reading of this but he did a fantastic job. I was worried he wouldn't be able to sound menacing enough when required but he did just fine! I was able to soak a lot of detail in that I didn't get reading it. Definitely a great performance!
The detailed characterization, fantastic setting and the slow burn horror King can do so well.
The scene where Wendy and Jack face off towards the end of the stormy
Great reading of a fantastic book.
Born and raised in the Charlestown section of Boston. Irish-American, music (punk rock), crime & history, or anything having to do with those are my favorite subjects.
The Shining was a book I had always wanted to read, having heard how different it was from the movie. I wasn't sure if that was good or bad because that was a classic horror movie. So many quotable scenes & lines.
However, after listening to this book on Audible, I found it to be much better! It is completely different, but in a GREAT way!
It not only has plot twists & scenes not in the movie, but also the characters are studied in much more detail and we see & feel what they do. It drags you in & makes you feel like you are snowed in at The Overlook.
I wish they could do a movie that was true to the book but also, with the great acting & scenes that were such a major part of the film.
In ending, this was a great piece of writing that explores many more subjects that are beyond a simple "horror" story.
Having grown up with Kubrick's Shining I was interested in how the book would be. Now I see why Stephen King wasn't happy with the film. I found that it showed Jack Torrance as a loving caring father, missing from Kubricks adaptation. Wendy's strength is shown and Danny's love for his parents.It was great, thats all I can say. Read it, you won't be sorry!
Better than movie!
Scott gives each character their own voice, each one is very different. Some narrators aren't good at giving the different characters their own spark and personality, but Scott does.
No one character stood out more than the others.
...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.
I love books but dont have time to read them as much anymore. Listening to Audibles since Day One I've been become an addict...I love books that are mainstream popular, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. I'll usually pick my books by reviews. Come check out my reviews to find your next favorite audible!
classic stephen king
Danny cause he's so innocent yet so intutive.
Yet again, Danny.
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