You’ll never look at a hotel the same way again. Or a five-year-old. Or even a bathtub.
Written in 1977, Stephen King hit a home run with his third published novel, “The Shining.”
The story opens with author and father Jack Torrance being interviewed for the caretaker position at the Overlook Hotel.
Nestled in the Colorado Rockies, the hotel closes its doors for the harsh winters — but can’t be left completely unattended.
Torrance and his wife, Wendy, and five-year-old son Danny will be locked in the hotel for the extent of the winter.
Torrance, a writer and recovering alcoholic, also has a temper. His wife worries about him and his mental well-being while cut off from the outside world for the winter. As she should — the hotel had a past caretaker that went off the handle in an angry rage that ended with the murder of his family.
Early in the book, Danny exudes “the shining,” a sense of telepathy, a second sight and precognition that both Jack and Wendy lack.
It gets spookier. With bodies in undesirable places, spirits of Mafia victims in the hotel’s presidential suite and shape-shifting bushes in the topiary and a large dose of REDRUM, it’s hard to discern who’s lost their mind — Jack, Danny or the audience reading the book.
King’s writing style is pared down and clear, while his descriptions of the frightening and demonic happenings inside the hotel are downright dramatic, but in a crisp and near-perfect way.
Those with claustrophobia, beware. King’s prose has the ability to suck you in until the walls around you seem to tighten and constrict.
If you’re in need of a well-written, adequately thrilling and definitely spooky read, try “The Shining.”
But you may not want to read it right before bed time — some advice from me to you.