The Shining


Not very original but today I’m going to talk about one of the classic book :

The Shining

Shining is a horror novel written by Stephen King and published in 1977.

Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic, a failed writer and a former teacher decided to get his life back and to find a job. The Overlook Hotel is a mysterious place located in the mountains. It is closed in winter. Only a janitor leaves there during this time, totally isolated from the rest of the world because of the climate condition. Jack is wired as the guardian and brings with him his wife, Winifred (Wendy) and their son Daniel (Danny) who is five. Danny is an exceptional child and very grown up for his age. He has supernatural power called The Shining. As soon as he arrives in the Overlook, he sees frightening things especially when Tony, his imaginary friend visits him when he faints. Who are these persons in his visions ? The body of this murdered woman ? What are these strange noise and party’s music ?

In 1980, Stephen King sees his novel made into a movie, directed by Stanley Kubrick with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd. It is considered as a classic horror film.

To avoid any spoilers if you haven’t read or seen The Shining, I advise you to stop your reading because I’m going to compare the two works.

I loved reading that book : it was thrilling and suspensful, and I also adored the characters and the way that King showed their relationships.

We can see through Jack’s eyes that he loves his son, he is accomplice with him. This aspect is not really developed in the film whereas in the book there is an important passage showing it: he gives a hornet’s nest to Danny after learning that Jack had one in his room when he was a child.

Love and hate between Jack and Wendy is more exploited : Even if she loved her husband, she is still mistrustful since the accident when Jack broke Danny’s arm. This tragic episode is indeed often reminded through Wendy’s thoughts.

An another important difference between the two works : there is no maze in the book but only booxwood animals which come to life when Danny and Jack see them.

Moreover, when Tony comes to talk and shows terrifying things, he does it through Danny’s fainting, even though in the film, Danny talks to Tony with his index finger.

When the madness of Jack is maximized, he uses a croquet mallet to frighten his family. In the film adaptation, he uses an axe. Besides, Dick Halloran is not murdered but only knocked out by the mallet, and he succeed in leaving with Wendy and Danny.

Afficher l'image d'origineThese are the « most important » differences, just some details, but when you read the book first, you expect a lot of things from the film version. That’s the case with the final scene : the movie was thrilling every step of the way, except the end : I was a bit disappointed… I was really expecting the explosion of the Overlook, but finally, it didn’t happen. The end is not so lame, but I was truly attached to this idea.

Although I knew the story, the movie still surprised me, because Kubrick has appropriated King’s novel and made something amazing, with the talented Jack Nicholson. There were magnificient shots, and one of my favourite sequence in my view is when Jack came face to face with the woman in the bathroom of the room 217. I loved the symmetry of the shot, the green color which highlighted the two characters, and the set of miroir.

Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win.”

4 thoughts on “The Shining

  1. You know I am a huuuge fan of this book (and of course the film) and I read everything about it. Your article is amazing ! I love how to describe it and I appreciate the pictures you brought, it make it very pleasant to read.

  2. I saw this movie a long time ago, before reading the book and I heard that Stephen King didn’t really like what Kubrick did of his writing…I think both of them have their their own, very personal worlds and it must be hard to adapt someone else’s work that is so different and still make both artists pleased with the result…I can’t choose between both of these wonderful works! 🙂

  3. Mrs Charlette : I have not read the sequel. If i’m not mistaken, it’s Doctor Sleep ? I’ve already read the summary, I think I will read it later!

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