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The Shining

Narrated by: Campbell Scott
Series: The Shining, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4.5 out of 5 stars (21,484 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Before Doctor Sleep, there was The Shining, a classic of modern American horror from the undisputed master, Stephen King.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    16,359
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    4,175
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    757
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Read this book if you've only seen the film...

...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.

44 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

THE FOG OF ANGER

Jack's Anger
After being amazed that a Stephen King masterpiece actually went on sale, I was again amazed at the listening again. In the first reading you may be scared over one of the scariest books ever written. In the second reading you might want to concentrate on the writing, the dissection of anger and human behavior. King could write in any genre and be considered a genius. I am only glad he chose horror. I belong to a family in which anger is very present and all those things that go through Jack's mind, happen a lot more than you probably think. Keep that in mind when you get one of those fake smiles from someone you are dealing with.

Grab this at the sale price while you can. In five years I have rarely seen a King masterpiece go on sale.

146 of 165 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KJ
  • 09-17-12

Don't expect the movie...

Any additional comments?

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.

173 of 196 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Book is 5 stars, the reader is 3-4

While I enjoyed the book very much, I had to convince myself to keep listening during the first several chapters. The reader was lackluster.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Grant
  • NANTUCKET, MA, United States
  • 08-20-17

Better than the movie. And the movie is amazing.

There is something otherworldly about King's talent, and he shows it off in this book. Having seen the movie several times, I was ready for something that followed the ideas on the screen pretty closely, but the book is a little different. And more cerebral than the visually stunning and sometimes disturbing Kubrick film. This is different. And in some ways better.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good story, mixed narration

the narrator was inconsistent. great timing but monotone for much of the book. his telling picked up further in the book, but took awhile to get into.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bella
  • Los Angeles
  • 01-23-14

Loved it even more than the film!

Where does The Shining rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Usually I can't read a book after seeing the movie. It is too distracting to have the movie images in my head, but this book was so different in so many ways from the film. I loved the film, but the movie was so so so much better. Loved all 10+ hours of it, and wished it could go on longer. But thankfully there is "Doctor Sleep" which I am downloading now.

Any additional comments?

If you loved the movie, treat yourself to this.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bad Narration

I've read this book years ago and loved it, So now wanted to have it on audible, I couldn't finish it due to the Narrator's monotone reading

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book, lackluster performance.

As many have already stated, the reader was lackluster. While at first it helped the foreboding atmosphere of desolation and monotony, and got you into Jack's psyche as someone trying to keep his cool despite his obvious issues with alcohol and anger, once we really start getting to the meat of the interactions between characters, there is hardly any passion. Jack and Wendy's frantic screaming dialogue which should induce terror and savagery instead just sound like muffled whispers, as if the reader was trying not to disturb a neighbor with thin walls. It was a strange choice. There was characterization to distinguish different speakers, but it was very subtle. Luckily the bulk of the reading focuses on the 3-4 main characters, but that only served to highlight the lack of passionate dialogue when it counted.

As a fan of Kubrick's interpretation and using that as a benchmark, the delivery was just so lacking, which is disappointing because the characters in the novel are so much richer and deeper and more complex. I definitely recommend the book, even if it did leave a few unanswered questions, and the performance is definitely not detrimental overall, just not up to par with other great performances.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible Narrator

Such a good book. I’ve never saw the movie, so I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Everything about the book itself was amazing, the narrator was the problem. Some of the other reviews said that they liked his neutral monotone, but it took so much away from the story. It was hard for me to finish. If you want my advice, just read the book instead.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful