This was my second Stephen King book ever. The first was Misery, and I read it in one of my college classes (along with The Godfather and Harry Potter…damn I miss that class!). I enjoyed Misery but never felt overly compelled to read everything else Stephen King wrote. When a coworker told me she had just finished The Shining for her book club, I was looking for a fast and entertaining read and decided that would be it.
I saw the movie a few years ago and of course it scared the living daylights out of me (my stomach isn’t strong). From what I remember, the movie was gripping from start to finish and so I expected the same from the book. I have to say, the book starts of slow. Very, very slow. I was plodding my way through the first 150 pages or so before things actually started to get really good. By the end of it, my pulse was racing. I knew the movie ending but was wary because it’s not always how the book ends. That added an extra level of suspense because I was expecting one thing but keeping a cautious eye out for another.
On the whole, the book does a much better job of explaining why Jack (and others) loses his mind at the Overlook hotel. The storyline was much eerier than a man going nuts with cabin fever and I appreciated the layers of creep that Stephen King gently crafted for us to pull back and dig deeper.
There’s not much to really say about a Stephen King novel, although I’m sure I could find an academic angle or two if I really wanted. It’s the perfect read if you want to get your heart beating and get inexplicably drawn into the strange and macabre. If you’re like me and not a huge fan of anything horror-related, I would stay away from reading the last 150 pages at night.