Wow. Just wow.
This book was quintessential Stephen King. As if you weren’t expecting that going in – but seriously, creep factor: 10.
Now, this was another case of having seen the movie before reading the book, which I think might be the case for many people. Now, the movie is a horror classic. And, I will agree, that Jack Nicholson was a spot on casting call! He was perfect. (Wendy though, honestly, what were they thinking casting that woman?)
Now the basic plot line, if you’ve seen the movie, you know. Nothing shocking on the basic plot. However, what I was most surprised about is that some of the most iconic moments of the movie were not in the book. That’s just the other way around! Usually, the best parts of the book are left out – but they are not replaced with something else awesome. Yet, as momentous as the movie is – the book is still better. Much better. In fact, there were a lot of small things that seemed changed for no good reason. In the book, the creepy, super haunted room is 217, in the movie 237. Why change it? In the book, there’s so much more development of the characters, the setting, the plot over all. There’s so much more to know about Danny and Wendy, and so so so much more to know about Jack. And the Overlook? Don’t even get me started.
I’ll tell you, when Jack sat in the basement, going through the scrapbook of the Overlook’s history (before things got super creepy) and became fascinated with the research and writing about it – man, did I get goosebumps. I do miss that, and it did spark something in me for sure. I just love the research – I love the hunt. I mean, not to the “all work and no play” extent – drinking imaginary martinis and such.
Anyway, if you haven’t read this book yet, and you liked the movie, I would strongly recommend a reading. An insanely awesome twist on a story you were previously familiar with. If you haven’t seen the movie, then you should definitely read the book. With Halloween approaching soon, this is a timely recommendation, if I do say so myself.
Additionally, prior to finishing the book I had been loathe to consider the idea of supporting a re-make of the movie. I mean Nicholson is awesome. But now that I’ve completed the book, I would totally support a remake, a really good remake, that incorporated some of the crazy creep that King originally put into the story. Who would the get to play Jack though? Nicholson is too old – it would need to be stellar casting, for sure.
I’m looking forward the The Shining’s long awaited sequel coming out this month: Doctor Sleep!