Review: The Shining

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As I wrote the other day, I wasn’t quite done with The Shining. I was a little over halfway, but you can read about all that garbage here. Anyway, thanks to a little help from the weather and my school superintendent, I was able to finish the book early this morning. (Just a warning: If you were too lazy to click the link earlier, you may want to do it now. I’m not going to go over anything I touched upon in that post. 

To put it simply, I was underwhelmed. Well, that may be a slightly misleading statement. I did enjoy the second half of the book, but I may have set my expectations a wee bit high. The second half of the novel only managed to scare me once, whereas it happened multiple times in the preceding half. It wasn’t that there were less scary situations, but that those situations were much less subtle. In the first half of the novel, little random scenes would send chills down my spine. In the second half, where most of the “scary” stuff takes place, I was less frightenedand more…thrilled. I guess that’s a victory in itself, so it isn’t all a let down. And none of the above is to say that The Shining is an imbalanced book; it’s not. I was just so impressed with the beginning part that the second could not live up to my unnaturally high expectations.

The Shining helped me learn a little about writing. Stephen King is the master of the backstory; his flashbacks are unlike any other author I’ve ever read. They are done with such excellence, at places I myself would never think to put one, and they work flawlessly every.single.time. I’ve not only learned how to write backstory a little better, but when. I’m beginning to employ those tactics in my own writing, and I think I’m seeing improvement.

If you want it in a nutshell: I thoroughly liked the book. It scared me multiple times, made me laugh a few more, and constantly had me wondering what would happen next. It’s a must read for SK fans, and a recommended one for fans of the horror genre. The movie just won’t cut it; King himself hates the film, so that should tell you how different they are and why you should do yourself a favor and enjoy both.

Well, I think I’ve exhausted all the pretentious thoughts from my brain for the day. I know this kind of sucks as a lone review, but if you add the two parts together I think it works quite well.

I rather enjoyed my stay at the Overlook Hotel, murderous madman and all. I met people I’ll never forget, saw things I’ll never unsee, and was told a story that will stick with me for a while. If I were you, I’d look into it. Room prices are less than 20 bucks at your local bookstore 🙂

-Next book on the list is Fahrenheit 451. I tackle Ray Bradbury’s classic in hopes of getting back on the OWOB pace. Look for a review of the film version of The Shining as well (I have to go buy it first).

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