Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The Shining by Stephen King: Readalong Wrap Up
This is the final instalment of my thoughts on The Shining for the readalong. Since I'll be discussing the final chapters, there will be numerous spoilers. Everything between the lines contains spoilers.
If you like to read my thoughts on the previous milestones, you can read the first, second, and third posts.
Let's get down to business.
Jack. Jack is completely owned by the hotel. There's no hope for him, not until the very end when he gives Danny a little time to escape. Tif asks if he was easily manipulated and, yes, I do think it was easy. Jack is a weak character, only his love for his son is strong. He was pretty determined to beat Wendy to death. I never felt anything but disgust and pity for the guy.
Wendy. Wendy kicks ass! Yay, Wendy! She's scared, of course, and thinks if they can just get away from the hotel, Jack will be fine. (Yeah, right.) Jack's her weak spot, but that doesn't stop her from putting a knife in his back. Too bad it doesn't work. She does what she has to do to save her and Danny.
Hallorann. What a guy! He gets himself from Florida to the Overlook in a snowstorm. Not bad for an old dude. I loved how he met up with some other Shines along the way. That was sweet. I'm so glad he lived! I always thought……MOVIE SPOILER (highlight)…killing him off as soon as he gets to the Overlook was a dick move on Kubrick's part. This was better.
Danny. He'd already figured out who the hotel wanted, himself, but he felt helpless. He remarks that he's only five. He's already seen more than any five year old should. He called out to Dick for help and luckily that works. He also finds out the Tony is really just a part of himself.
The Overlook. Who knows why that place is so evilly. It just is, I guess. Though the site it was built on is supposed to play a part in Doctor Sleep. Maybe we'll learn more. It was strange how The Overlook became so powerful that even Wendy could hear and see the 'ghosts,' if that's what they were. So who was the manager? The devil? An evil spirit? I don't know.
I'm surprised by how much I had forgotten about the story. I couldn't remember the ending at all (though I could guess by all the foreshadowing). It's very different from the original film. Stephen King himself was not a fan. He says the film, "was cold" the characters "little insects" and Duvall's portrayal of Wendy as "misogynistic." I have to agree. Beyond the setting and the idea of the family it could be a different story altogether.
I'm really glad to have read The Shining again. It's smart, compelling, and scary. It definitely deserves to be a freezer book. I can't wait to read Doctor Sleep now! I'll be getting a copy for myself soon. I'm also going to participate in the readalong for this book too.