The Shining is a 1977 horror novel by American author Stephen King. The title was inspired by the John Lennon song “Instant Karma!”, which contained the line “We all shine on…” It was King’s third published novel, and first hardback bestseller.
A film based upon the book, The Shining directed by Stanley Kubrick, was released in 1980.
King was displeased with The Shining directed by Stanley Kubrick, because it did not follow the novel as closely as King would have liked, which aided in prompting The Shining later being adapted into a television mini-series in 1997. King made sure the mini-series followed the book more closely.
The book is dedicated to King’s son, Joseph: “This is for Joe Hill King, who shines on.”
“I wanted to spend a year away from Maine so that my next novel would have a different sort of background.”
King opened an atlas of the US on the kitchen table and randomly pointed to a location, which turned out to be Boulder, Colorado. So in early 1974, King and his wife, Tabitha, and their two children, Naomi and Joe, moved across the country to Colorado.
- Danny Torrance – 5-year-old son of Jack and Wendy.
- Jack Torrance – Wendy’s recovering alcoholic husband and Danny’s father.
- Wendy Torrance – Jack’s wife and Danny’s mother.
- Dick Hallorann – The chef of the Overlook Hotel who shares the “shining” ability with Danny.
- Stuart Ullman – The manager of the Overlook Hotel
The Shining | The Plot
Jack Torrance is an aspiring writer who is attempting to rebuild his marriage and career, both of which have been nearly ruined by two traits inherited from his late father: alcoholism and an explosive temper.
Jack, a recovering alcoholic and writer, accepts the position as winter caretaker of the isolated Overlook Hotel, which sits in the Colorado Rockies. He moves into the hotel for closing season with his wife Wendy and five year old son Danny, who has psychic abilities which enable him to see aspects of the hotel’s horrific past. Cut off from the outside world by a blizzard, an evil force in the hotel springs to life and influences Jack’s sanity, writing, and alcoholism, leaving the family in incredible danger.
Although Danny is close to his parents, he does not tell either of them about his visions because he senses that the care-taking job is important to his father and the family’s future.
The Overlook has difficulty possessing Danny, so it moves on to possess Jack, frustrating his need and desire to work. Jack starts to develop a sort of cabin fever, and the sinister ghosts of the hotel gradually begin to overtake him, making him increasingly unstable.
After a fight with Wendy, Jack finds the hotel’s bar fully stocked with alcohol despite being previously empty, and witnesses a party, where he meets the ghost of a bartender named Lloyd.
As Jack pursues Danny through the Overlook, he briefly gains control of himself just long enough to tell Danny to run away.
So as not to ruin The Shining for those who have not read it, I have left out details in discussing the novel including the ending of the story. If you have not read the novel it is vastly different from The Shining directed by Stanley Kubrick starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd.
For those who saw the Stanley Kubrick movie version of “The Shining” Check out this Youtube video for some added insight into the movie.
Please Leave a comment. Do you agree or think the video is over analyzing the movie?
Iconic Scenes From The Movie ” The Shining “