The Shining by Stephen King, reviewed by Kimberly Warner-Cohen

The Shining doesn’t fool around. Jumped out of my skin reading this at 9am in a doctor’s office; and when I made the mistake of staying up late to find out what happens next, I could only doze off with the all lights in the apartment blazing. Don’t even think about picking it up if you’ve a fear of ghosts, enclosed spaces, or topiary animals.

You probably know the plot from the movie–Jack Torrence, who has a son with the psychic “shine”, is newly sober. He takes his family to the secluded Overlook to caretake during the winter offseason, where he not-so slowly goes insane; possibly with help from the possibly haunted hotel. Always thought King was an idiot for complaining about the movie butchering the story (especially given his shitty TV version), because how could someone as genius as Kubrick ruin anything, but he’s right.

The movie as a stand-alone is one of my favorites; and as many times as I can watch Nicholson say, “You didn’t let me finish my sentence. I said, ‘I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in’,” Kubrick doesn’t come close to capturing the depth of King’s novel. I’m not a fan of most of his books, but there’s no doubt King’s a master at his genre, and he works his magic here. It’s an early work, and he hasn’t figured out what I call “his formula”, so the twists hit me like kidney punches.

I had no excuse for waiting so long to pick up The Shining, and if you’re a horror fan, neither do you.