The Shining by Stephen King

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The Shining by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen King

Series: The Shining #1

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

Okay. Prolly been over a year since I read this book. Never reviewed. Prolly not gonna review, either. But I do have something to say.

I don’t know why this book continually manages to creep into my consciousness, but it does, and it does it in a big way. When I first picked up The Shining, it was (and still is) my first King novel but not my first horror novel. It left an impression on me, though.

Not to mention it keeps popping back up in different places:
– Movie montages (namely, “Best Unscripted Scenes”)
– Homages (namely, “The Kill” by 30 Seconds to Mars’ music video)
– ???
– and, now, my head, when I’m trying to write a creeper of my own.

I can’t say I was a fan of the movie version, simply because 1.) I typically fuckin can’t stand movies that were made before 2003 unless it’s The Lion King et al, Pulp Fiction or The Breakfast Club. I’m workin on it, but ehhh. And 2.) I’m a hard movie-goer to frighten. I laugh at horror movies precisely because I am easily frightened, so if I can make fun of a horror flick, best believe I will–to soothe my own cowardly qualms.

But I can say I am a massive supporter of this book. I’m trying to write a creepy/horror/psycho thriller book, and I can’t seem to get the atmosphere right, and I know that no matter how freaky a concept may be, it’s gonna end up laughable/ineffective a la the Evil Dead remake that came out last week. I do not want that. But I don’t know what to do to rectify that. I’ve never written a thriller like this before. And I keep skipping over all the advice columns in my emails that say to emulate other writers’ style/characterization/plots/etc. if you yourself are clueless, but I think this is the one shred I should maybe take advantage of.

King churns out horror novels like they’re bowel movements. If I try to emulate his work, preferably by favorite of his, this book, will I somehow gain the writer gods’ stamp of approval and be rewarded with the talent to freak my readers out?

Maybe I shall try.


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