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16 October 2011

'The Shining' by Stephen King

No shit, this is a great book.  I know millions have read it and most probably agree.  What you have to understand is that I am a horror coward, both films and books.  I saw 'Poltergeist' a  little young and never got over it.

So, I had to watch 'The Shining' for a film course in college. Got scared. Bought it and gave it to my mother as a gift.  It was a proper scare, because while evil monsters that talk to children and live in a closet over a graveyard are quite scary; there is no monster like the monster residing in your family or yourself.  But, it has taken me nearly 20 years to read the book of a film I consider a classic and enjoy every time.

It is a rare book indeed that is so satisfying when I close it.  It was two in the morning and I had been scared, but once it was over I felt I had been assaulted by excellent story telling.  Even writers have ambition and too often it overwhelms what should be their most important ambition: to tell a story well.  I don't care if you make me laugh or scare me enough to make me turn the lights on in the bedroom all night.  I want to be told a story well and there is a fundamental difference between having clever gimmicks and creating a consistent believable world.  Some writers can create effects or engaging characters, or the best one liners, but a good writer makes you feel in safe hands and eager for the telling.  It is like people who are described as excellent raconteurs.  Lots of people can be entertaining or funny at the table, but how many do you know whom you would describe as a true raconteur?

Stephen King made me feel safe, cared for and entertained.  I did not have to "suspend my disbelief".  He discreetly suspended it for me and I enjoyed myself.

ISBN: 9780340951392


  1. hi miriam,
    trying again lol

  2. hi miriam,
    glad you liked the shining. have you read any other stephen king? for horror cowards, i have a few suggestions. the stand is my favorite and first read king novel. i would also suggest the green mile, the shawshank redemption, and firestarter.
    keep up your joy,