Review: The Shining

The Shining
The Shining by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was so much of this book that was not in the movie that it amazed me that the movie got such great reviews!! I watched the movie several times growing up and so I knew the story pretty well. I have been really in to the “horror” genre lately so I looked up many internet book lists (including goodreads listopia) trying to find the scariest books out there. This book kept making the top of all of the lists so, of course, I had to give it a try.

I will say that for being the “scariest book of all time” by many people, it really wasn’t all that frightening… I was disappointed in that aspect.

A really cool part that could be considered scary and wasn’t in the book, for me, was: The thing with the Topiary hedges, for one. The animals coming to life and stocking the living was cool. It would have been even cooler if the book was more psychological and not so literal, though. You get the sense that these things are really happening… not just that the characters are being crazied-to-death which would be scarier because it would have more of a truth to it, to me, anyway.

I could have done without so much back story of the adult characters. Their parents being assholes, his total abuse of alcohol, her mistrust, was important of course, but I feel that they over exhausted the pretense and told the stories over and over again… I would have enjoyed more action and less exposition.

Overall, this was a really good book. It is a classic for a reason and should be read by anyone who might enjoy this type of suspense story. I listed it as horror because it is meant to be horror but would really rather put it into the suspense category; at no time during this read did I feel the need to keep the lights on, throw it under the bed, put it in the freezer, nor did nightmares ensue. It just wasn’t frightful enough for any of that nonsense that so many reviewers before me have claimed it to be.

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