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Book Reviews of The Shining

The Shining
The Shining
Author: Stephen King
ISBN-13: 9780451139764
ISBN-10: 0451139763
Publication Date: 10/1/1978
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 19

4.4 stars, based on 19 ratings
Publisher: Signet
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

67 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

waterbearer avatar reviewed The Shining on + 62 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
One of the greatest horror stories of all time, in my opinion. A family in seclusion during the entire Colorado winter, living with the ghosts of the behemoth hotel, The Overlook,,,,you know someone is going to go off the deep end. But, is it "cabin fever" or something else? LOVE this book.
nightbloomer avatar reviewed The Shining on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
'It's not your daddy talking, remember. It's the hotel.'

I just finished this book. All I have to say is 'wow.' This book has completely blown my mind. It probably sounds totally ridiculous, but I feel like this book has change my life! Hahahah!!! Seriously though... I felt like I was reading The Neverending Story, like I was a part of the story and the characters were talking to me. I know that's dumb, but no book has ever made me feel that way before. (Or maybe I was just scared out of my wits).

This was my first Stephen King book. I always thought he was probably overrated, but no way. The thing I want to warn everyone about is: you cannot compare the Stanley Kubrick movie to the book. They're two totally different stories in my opinion.
reviewed The Shining on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Way better than the movie and one of King's best.
CocoCee avatar reviewed The Shining on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a mass market sized book. Tough to read because of the size of the volume. Great story!!!
reviewed The Shining on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I couldn't go to the bathroom with the shower curtain closed for MONTHS! This book terrified me.
reviewed The Shining on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of Stephen King's finest novels. Perfect exploration of the mind of a madmen. This book is a terrific psychological thriller, very well written, and scary as all get-out.
reviewed The Shining on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A man takes a job as a caretaker of an old hotel in Colorado. He takes his family with him and weird things start to happen to them all during the long winter. Is the hotel haunted or is the caretaker just going insane? A great read. An oldie but goodie.
reviewed The Shining on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
the book was soo much better than the movie!! highly recommend it if you love to be scared! :)
reviewed The Shining on + 228 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A fantastic saga of three characters who face the annihilation of their city. You will be again amazed at the scenery, characters and images Meiville creates. He is the master of urban fantasy unique words unique situations only his characters could be faced with. I loved the main character a bumbling scientist who doesnt want to be the hero. A world i want to read about but would not want to live in. Thank goodness its fiction!!
reviewed The Shining on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Super scary -- not for the faint of heart! Keep the lights on & lock all the doors! When you're done, rent the movie by the same name, but you'll probably like the book better with all its rich Stephen King detail!
lipslady avatar reviewed The Shining on + 101 more book reviews
This is the scariest book I've ever read!
reviewed The Shining on + 4 more book reviews
A great scary read.
reviewed The Shining on + 33 more book reviews
Better than the movie!
reviewed The Shining on + 69 more book reviews
Great book. Even though I had seen the movie, I wanted to keep reading and reading this book. Very scary.


First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrance family.
reviewed The Shining on + 115 more book reviews
"YOU'RE THE CARETAKER, SIR. YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE CARETAKER. I SHOULD KNOW, SIR. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE...."
-- DELBERT GRADY OF THE OVERLOOK HOTEL

THE SHINING
First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to laim the very souls of the Torrence family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary Stanley Kubrick -- featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson --The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.
reviewed The Shining on + 25 more book reviews
This is one of my collection of Stephen King books. All are up for trade. Check out the rest.
reviewed The Shining on + 3 more book reviews
A great classic horror.
reviewed The Shining on
This book gives a much deeper and satisfying understanding of the madness at the Overlook Hotel. Having watched the movie first, I was left with questions. The book had a few slow parts in it but they we're still very informative and fascinating.
soaringspirit avatar reviewed The Shining on + 181 more book reviews
I thought the book much better than the movie. Stephen always excellent at showing the slow process of going insane. I saw it happen to a good friend of mine. Very scary in itself much less what he does after he becomes insane. Excellent book.
tlmetz avatar reviewed The Shining on + 14 more book reviews
Where's Johnny?? A real page turner One of his best books ever!
Ariadnae avatar reviewed The Shining on + 356 more book reviews
This is by far one of the best audio books I've ever been fortunate enough to enjoy. Campbell Scott does not so much read this book, he acts it and he does a brillant job. He goes from character to character so smoothly, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience!!
athompson362 avatar reviewed The Shining on + 45 more book reviews
The greatest haunting story of all time. If you saw the movie, you will love the book. A different ending and more background on all the characters - I loved it. The reader was pleasant to listen to. A real joy.
reviewed The Shining on + 47 more book reviews
Actually this is the first stephen king Ive ever read. I throughly enjoyed it too. Very good.
reviewed The Shining on + 2 more book reviews
Just reread The Shining in anticipation of reading Dr. Sleep. Just as good as I remember. This time, though, I was most creeped out by Jack's compulsion to pop Excedrins and chew them. I could picture him popping those tablets in his mouth, the white gunk collecting in the corner of his lips, the sound of the crunching against his teeth, the grit and bitter taste. Totally creeped me out! Definitely worth the reread.
reviewed The Shining on + 636 more book reviews
Well, I enjoyed this book quite a bit - much more than the movie, that's for sure! I mean, this was actually pretty creepy, whereas the movie...well, I guess I like Jack Nicholson too much to be scared of him. Oh, well. I liked this much more than _Cujo_! All in all, it was a good story, with tense pacing and an interesting premise.
Char avatar reviewed The Shining on + 135 more book reviews
Dead people, ghosts and a raving maniac in an old hotel. Scarier than the movie!
romeo avatar reviewed The Shining on + 334 more book reviews
The Overlook Hotel claimed the most beautiful physical setting of any resort in the world;but Jack Torrance, the new winter caretaker, with his wife Wendy and their five-year old son Danny, saw much more than its splendor. Jack saw the Overlook as an oppurtunity, a desperate way back from failure and despair;Wendy saw this lonely sanctuary as a frail chance to preserve their family;and Danny?...Danny, who was blessed or cursed with a shining, precognitive gift, saw vivions hideously beyond the comprehension of a small boy. He sensed the evil coiled within the Overlook's 110 empty rooms;an evil that was waiting just for them.
Piper avatar reviewed The Shining on
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: 1978-January
Book Type: Paperback
Book Description:
"YOU'RE THE CARETAKER, SIR. YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE CARETAKER. I SHOULD KNOW, SIR. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE...."
-- DELBERT GRADY OF THE OVERLOOK HOTEL

THE SHINING

First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to laim the very souls of the Torrence family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendaryStanley Kubrick -- featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson --The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.
Chocoholic avatar reviewed The Shining on + 291 more book reviews
The last time I read this book, Goodreads didn't exist. For that matter, the internet didn't exist (probably). I've seen the travesty that is the Stanley Kubrick film so many times that it really distorted my memory of what happened in the book. If you've only seen the Kubrick film, then you really owe it to yourself to read this book, as that film is so very different from the novel. In case you've been living in a cave or something, this is a horror novel about the Torrance family, Jack, Wendy, and son Danny who take up residence in the Overlook hotel in Colorado for the winter. Jack Torrance gets a job as caretaker of the hotel. Unfortunately, both Jack Torrance and the hotel itself have their own demons and when the two meet, things get very scary. Stephen King has recently written a sequel to The Shining which is titled Doctor Sleep, which is next on my to be read list.
There are many similarities between The Shining and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, and at one point Mr. King even compares the two in the former. This is a good psychological thriller and is not to be missed!
reviewed The Shining on + 88 more book reviews
One of King's best ever! Is the house haunted? Is it possessing the caretaker? Or is he just losing his mind?
reviewed The Shining on + 335 more book reviews
From the back of the book:
What of the penetrating cold terror of an old hotel, a haunted place of seductive evil with a malevolent will of its own - and a five-year-old boy of innocent beauty whose mind mirrors the nightmarish secrets of its past?
Behind every door of the Overlook's 110 empty rooms there is a chamber of horror. Little Danny knows of these things because he has the terrible power - The Shining.
sixteendays avatar reviewed The Shining on + 97 more book reviews
I am so happy.

I was never a fan of the film version of The Shining. I had given it a go, but it it always felt like something was lacking. I know it's supposed to be some classic cult horror masterpiece, but I was never able to see it that way.

About a year ago I watched Room 217, the documentary about the film version of The Shining that discusses not only the making of but also tons of theories about the story in the film. I really loved that documentary, even though I didn't like the original film. And it got me to thinking that clearly there was something that wasn't being told in the film that was important.

And here I am in 2015, and I've finally gone back to the start. And not only does everything make so much more sense now, but I have found I f**king love this story of the Torrance family and the Overlook Hotel. I love Danny Torrance and Dick Halloran and I love how all of these things are connected through family and through time and space.

It would be impossible to know if I would feel differently about the film had I read the book first. Maybe I'd like it even less because of the way things were omitted or changed (I think that's likely), or maybe I would have appreciated the way it focuses more on the mythology of the Overlook instead of the inherited alcoholism. I'll watch it again soon and see what happens now that I'm armed with the knowledge I have from the book.

Bottom line: This is considered one of King's best novels for a clear reason.
irishlass avatar reviewed The Shining on + 12 more book reviews
My favorite King book. A masterpiece of horror.
reviewed The Shining on + 8 more book reviews
One of my favorites by Stephen King.
reviewed The Shining on + 116 more book reviews
This is the firt Stephen King book that I have read. I really enjoyed it. It was suspenseful, exciting, and scary all in one. Now I am ready for the movie..
Bibliocrates avatar reviewed The Shining on + 252 more book reviews
I really liked this book, not my favorite, but a good Stephen King classic!
dragoneyes avatar reviewed The Shining on + 596 more book reviews
**This review is a comparison of the book and the movie (with Nicholson and Duvall). The reason is for ones like me that saw the movie and wasn't sure why they would need to read the book.** I love reading Stephen King though I admit I have a lot more books of his to read. I tend to pass over his books that were turned to movies since I initially know what they are about. Same with this book. My decision to read it was because he came out with Doctor Sleep which is a follow up to The Shining. I was told by a few who read the book and seen the movie that they are not quite the same. So I jumped into this one so I could read Doctor Sleep (all the time thinking it might be a waste of time though). I was wrong! Though I do love Stanley Kubrick's movie, I could also see why King was disappointed with it. There is so much more depth in the book (which there almost always is). But this was to a point you could almost understand the madness that Jack went through (unlike the movie where he pretty much seemed like a jerk from the beginning). The book shows his love for his family and his family's love for him. His son idolizes him to the point it almost makes Wendy jealous. This is not something that is shown in the movie. I believe it is a big factor. It shows how strong these "ghosts" were to tear Jack down like that. There are also differences like Wendy's description is nothing like Shelley Duvall, the relationship between Danny and Dick Halloran is more intense in the book, and the ending was totally different. Even with all of that, I still love the movie but now I can say I love the book as well for the same and different reasons.
Tony500 avatar reviewed The Shining on
A great read on a dark night!
reviewed The Shining on + 20 more book reviews
unlike the movie, this book goes into great detail.If you watched the movie, this book version will answer many questions that the movie didnt go into. I read this book solely in work..at home, i kept hearing the things that go bump in the dark. It will send shivers up your spine! Its a Stephen king classic! Worth the read!
reviewed The Shining on + 118 more book reviews
this is my favorite stephen king novel. i love pace and the story, and reading it on a dark snowy night always scares the bejesus outta me.
reviewed The Shining on + 26 more book reviews
Honestly, I liked the film better.
reviewed The Shining on + 6 more book reviews
A classic....very good story....
shuffdog avatar reviewed The Shining on + 31 more book reviews
You bet it's better than the movie.
lildrafire avatar reviewed The Shining on + 117 more book reviews
One of my favorite King books...a real page turner. King knows how to develop his characters and plot line to drag you in and keep you there..
reviewed The Shining on + 8 more book reviews
Scary. Good writing, but way too scary.
KrayolaKidd avatar reviewed The Shining on + 48 more book reviews
The best Stephen King book I have ever read. Yes, I know the Stand was excellent and the Dark Tower saga was as well. Still, the Shining stands, for me, as King's best book.
reviewed The Shining on + 28 more book reviews
The movie may have been great, but the book is FANTASTIC!
reviewed The Shining on + 10 more book reviews
Much better than the movie!
argeneve avatar reviewed The Shining on
I am an avid fan of Stephen king and have a copy of almost all of his books as my disposal. The shining in general most definitely makes an impression. It sticks with you on a psychological level, not so much due to the horror content, as to how much we can relate to the characters.
I found that this book stayed with me long after I finished its last page. I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
cowgirlark avatar reviewed The Shining on + 11 more book reviews
Love, Love, Love this book! I picked it up after our trip to Colorado, and a wedding at the Stanley hotel where King allegedly wrote the novel. I think having been in the hotel and taking a tour intensified the feeling of the book and I was able to picture the places described. I read it then passed it on to everyone in the family that took the tour, and re read it several times! It's a classic, I think some of Kings best work.
reviewed The Shining on + 29 more book reviews
Extremely scary!!!
Issa-345 avatar reviewed The Shining on + 98 more book reviews
Oh my heavens this was scary. I could not read it at night. However, I loved it. Very involved and fascinating. There is a scene where dad is outside and bushes creep up on him. Scared me to death, but I had to keep reading. Great work by Mr. King.
reviewed The Shining on + 17 more book reviews
I am not a huge King fan (I've read a few things) but I've always been curious about this book. Excellent, but disturbing. Just glad I didn't have weird dreams...there were nights I was reading right before bed.
reviewed The Shining on + 16 more book reviews
THE CLASSIC, and if you have only seen the movie, this book is 10x better. Wonderful, will keep you awake at night.
reviewed The Shining on + 57 more book reviews
Scariest book I ever read.
terez93 avatar reviewed The Shining on + 140 more book reviews
I guess this is more commentary than review, since, how does one review it, really (seems people either love it or hate it)? I agree with many of the other reviewers that this is one of the best horror novels ever: is it actually a ghost story, or just an exploration of the mental state of the characters, each of which is deeply damaged, in their own way? It essentially depicts a perfect storm of factors and the randomness of circumstance which ultimately lead to tragedy.

It's also difficult not to compare it to the iconic Kubrick film, which I would say is more "inspired" by the book than it is a faithful adaptation, as it's almost an independent work in and of itself. I'll try to avoid spoilers, but I find that the novel version makes the characters much more three-dimensional, including the hotel itself. In the film, it's just more of a setting, albeit a very disturbing one, where events unfold. It serves as a backdrop rather than an actual intelligent and voracious entity, which it certainly is in the novel.

Perhaps King's most profound talent, which is shared by some other notable horror writers as well, is to make the mundane and familiar sinister and deadly, which, in this case, with a will all its own, seeks to consume those within, especially guests with special "talents" that it can take unto itself to grow even stronger. This being comes alive throughout the novel, becoming more a force of evil, as the story progresses and as the other characters unravel and become more unhinged. I can also see how some reviewers have stated that it's a bit slow at times, and excessively drawn out, but it's still a masterful work of suspense that's hard to put down.
reviewed The Shining on + 257 more book reviews
Terrible events occur at the isolated Overlook Hotel. It's a place where the guests are deceased but not necessarily departed, high in the wintry Rocky Mountains in the off season. A family checks in so the father can write, and terror lurks behind every door. Their son, who has psychic powers but does not know he has them and does not know how to use them, struggles to hold his own against the forces of evil that are driving his father insane.
KoontzJunkie avatar reviewed The Shining on + 43 more book reviews
Slow start and mid-point, but so worth the read!!
reviewed The Shining on + 24 more book reviews
Terrible events occur at the isolated Overlook Hotel. It's a place where the guests are deceased but not necessarily departed, high in the wintry Rocky Mountains in the off season. A family checks in so the father can write, and terror lurks behind every door. Their son, who has psychic powers but does not know he has them and does not know how to use them, struggles to hold his own against the forces of evil that are driving his father insane.
Kerowyn avatar reviewed The Shining on + 21 more book reviews
Very scary. Have to read with the lights on.
eadieburke avatar reviewed The Shining on + 1332 more book reviews
Book Description
Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

My Review
Stephen King is the master of suspense and this book proves that he is at the top of this genre. You don't want to read this book alone at night as it is truly very scary. The characters are well-drawn for this psychological drama as 6 year-old Danny Torrence has psychic powers. The ghostly hotel is full of spirits and death is in the air for this family's horrific stay. I highly recommend this book to fans of horror as it is one story you will never forget!
reviewed The Shining on + 32 more book reviews
The Overlook Hotel is more than just a home-away-from-home for the Torrance family. For Jack, Wendy, and their young son Danny, it is a place wher past horrors come to life. And where those gifted with the shining do battle with the darkest evils.
reviewed The Shining on
This book is staying on my shelf to be re-read. King's writing at its best, in my opinion. Kubrick's film version pales in comparison.
reviewed The Shining on + 11 more book reviews
better then the movie
barras31063 avatar reviewed The Shining on + 69 more book reviews
Slow start but great book
reviewed The Shining on + 3 more book reviews
1978 Signet copy
dolllady avatar reviewed The Shining on
different cover
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