Book review: ‘The Shining’ stands the test of time with classic horror

The Shining, written by Stephen King, is a horror novel published in 1977. It is Kings third published novel and was adapted into a film in 1980.

“The Shining,” written by Stephen King, is a horror novel published in 1977. It is King’s third published novel and was adapted into a film in 1980.

Sierra Hoeger

I’m not sure when it all started or how I got into the genre of horror/thriller, but I’ve always been the one out of my friends who is obsessed with scary movies, never says no to wanting to go to a haunted house and is talking about the latest murder podcast or docuseries on Netflix. 

To both my grandmas’ surprises, I had never read a Stephen King novel. They were excited when I told them I was reading “The Shining” before my family trip to Colorado, where I was also wanting to visit The Stanley Hotel, which is where King gained inspiration for the novel. 

“The Shining” is a well-written novel. The book includes a lot of little hints and details that come together at the end of the book. Jack Torrance, one of three main characters in the book, gets a job as the off-season caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. 

His wife Wendy and his son Danny travel with him to the Colorado resort, miles away from civilization. While the manager of the hotel is giving the Torrance family a tour, highlighting where they’ll be staying and outlining Jack’s responsibilities, head chef Dick Halloran whisks Danny away, explaining he knows he has “the shine.” 

They have a conversation with little to no words mouthed. “The shine” allows Danny and Dick to see things others can’t, including dangerous and terrifying events, people and things. When the employees leave, leaving the Torrance family on their own in the massive hotel, Danny does some exploring on his own. 

Throughout the course of the book, Danny is taunted with supernatural beings and is lured to different places throughout the hotel, where he sees abnormal events. 

Danny’s father, a recovering alcoholic, is struggling with abstaining from alcohol now that he’s in isolation. He has vivid hallucinations, where he travels in time to a party hosted at the hotel and is ordering drink after drink, having a blast. 

The abnormal activities paired with Jack’s inability to separate reality from fantasy sets up an equation for disaster. Toward the end of the book, Jack’s irresponsibility leaves The Overlook Hotel a burning wreck. 

I couldn’t finish this book fast enough. I had wanted to reach the end to figure out what else Danny could discover, what else Jack could ruin and how Wendy would patch it all up, only for it to be ruined once again. 

The depth of the characters King creates and the way he sees their story through to the conclusion isn’t often seen in books. Normally, the conclusions feel rushed, as though the author forgot to seal all the holes of the storyline. 

“The Shining” is now one of my new favorites I’ve read recently. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it for anyone looking for a classic thriller novel.