Stephen King – The Shining – 1977

The Shining

My previous acquaintance with Stephen King is quite sparse, at least when it comes to literary sources. However, I have seen many of the films based on his works, including The Shining from 1980 and the miniseries from 1997, which is based on this book. Since people constantly need to compare books with movies, I thought I do the same this time

In this case, almost everyone considers that the 1980 film is not faithful to the book, that Stanley Kubrick has changed too much in the story that it’s barely recognizable. For several years, I have therefore intended to compare the three versions of the story. This is my thoughts about the book.

The first thing that strikes me about The Shining is not how different the story is; I recognize it quite quickly. Rather, I react to how different it feels to read Stephen King compared to watching the adaptations. I have repeatedly argued that there is a recurring problem in almost all Stephe King adaptations, at least those of a supernatural nature. That the build-ups are usually quite interesting but then disintegrate into disinterest the closer you get to the finale. It’s only the buildup that is interesting; the resolution rarely works.

But in The Shining it’s the opposite! The first hundred and fifty pages or so were a pain to get through. Once something starts happening, it immediately gets much better, and towards the end, I can hardly put the book down. I won’t claim that I like Stephen King’s way of writing. It’s far too verbose for my taste, at least in the buildup. Admittedly, he vividly depicts the environments, but there is far too much unnecessary text. Also, the paragraphs are often way too long. It just becomes difficult to read.

It should be noted, however, that I have read a translation and don’t know it reads in the original language. I can imagine that the language style is similar. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a good translation-.

I have no intention of making any comparisons between the films and the book in this text but can conclude that the book is about a solid ghost story. The Overlook Hotel is alive and takes possession of the Torrance family, especially Father Jack.

He is there as the caretaker during the winter, but perhaps the craving for alcohol becomes too much for him. Son Danny has “The Shining” and can see and hear things that have existed for a long time, or things that have not happened yet. He is very susceptible to the hotel’s powers, like his dad but in a different way. He is 6 years old and does not understand the adult world, but at the same time, he has a deeper insight than anyone else.

Well, as the story progresses, it becomes more and more violent. The last chapters are a real nightmare story. It’s 500 pages of text, of which I think a lot could have been shortened. But in the end, you still get your reward.

Our rating
Visitors average rating

Tommy Snöberg Söderberg

Autodidact film scholar and music-loving thinker who reads the occasional book.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.