The Shining by Stephen King Book Review

Of all of Stephen King’s novels, is the one that probably most benefits from its setting. Set within the Overlook Hotel in Colorado, the hotel itself becomes a foreboding character in one of King’s most frightening novels to date. A masterful work, King seems to bring the very walls of the Overlook Hotel to life. The Overlook Hotel would become one of King’s most devious, yet original villains in all of his novels combined.

The story begins as Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic with a nasty temper and a bad habit of lashing out at his young son, takes over as a caretaker for the Overlook Hotel during its winter off-season after being recently fired from his teaching position. In an attempt to salvage his failing family, he brings his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny, with him in hopes of mending the damage he has done to his family in the past.

Danny, no more than five, is also cursed with telekinesis and psychic ability. When he arrives at the Overlook Hotel, he finds himself immersed in the visions of the hotel’s past and future. Afraid for his father’s well being, he says nothing of the visions to his parents as he realizes just how badly his father needs the job as the caretaker of the Overlook.

As the images become real and the hotel becomes bent on destroying Danny in order to claim his powers, the hotel begins to come alive all around the Torrence Family. Possessing Jack, the hotel begins to convince Jack that the only way he can save his family is by murdering both Wendy and Danny.

As Jack spirals downward into the evil of the hotel, the novel reaches a harrowing, suspenseful end that would turn readers of the novel into fans for nearly thirty years to come. King would reach that pinnacle of horror again in such novels as It, Misery and Pet Sematary, but it would be that begun the reign of terror that King has unleashed on readers for years after its 1977 release.

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