Tag Archives: Thriller

Review: The Shining (audio)

The Shining

The Shining (audio)
By Stephen King, Read by Campbell Scott
Random House Audio, 15 hours, 49 min (unabridged)

The Short of It:

A decent audio production but the pace was slow, the kid wasn’t as weird as in the movie and it seemed mild in comparison to King’s other books.

The Rest of It:

I don’t want to come off as being a King know-it-all because there are lots of other fans that eat and breath King, but I have read a fair number of his books and this is one case where the movie was much better. If you are not familiar with the story, here is a brief description.

Jack Torrance has a drinking problem and although he has given up the drink, he still struggles daily with being dry. He is married to Wendy and they have a six-year-old son, Danny. Danny is a special boy. He possesses the ability to see into the future but when his father accepts a position as a caretaker of an isolated Colorado hotel in the dead of winter, Danny’s visions become more sinister in nature and the idea of them living there all winter and all by themselves is almost too much for Danny and Wendy to imagine. However, Jack is working on a play, and the quiet isolation is what he needs to finish it, so they pack up and head out. What they don’t know, is that something terrible happened there years ago. Something that will come back to haunt them.

The Overlook - Danny Torrance

Scared yet?

The premise itself is scary as hell. Taking care of a gigantic hotel in the middle of winter without anyone around you is a bit intimidating. The audio version of the book doesn’t play up this aspect too well. The narration is good but the content itself is not all that dramatic and there are long periods of nothing in between the somethings. That’s hard enough in print but on audio, I found myself having to go back because I cruised through several chapters without really knowing what was going on. This was a bit frustrating. I listened to it as part of the #shineon read-along and it seemed as if I was always behind the others since I had to go back and forth so much.

ShineOn Read Along

For the audio book version to have worked for me, I would have needed the following:

  • A creepier Danny. 
  • A meaner, nastier Jack Torrance.
  • A Wendy with a bit more oomph. She reminded me of white bread. Boring.
  • More isolation. There were too many visits to the store and too many phone calls.
  • Less hedge action, which is different than the hedge action seen in the movie.
  • More of the freakin’ hotel! It lives and breathes in the movie.
  • More cold. More music to set the tone.

Look what Jill sent me when I signed up for the read-along. My own special #shineon glasses. The Otter Pup jumped in for the photo. She wants her own glasses.

My ShineOn Glasses

I thought at first that my love of the movie, tainted my opinion of the book but I don’t think so. Others that have not seen the movie have said the same thing. It’s a snoozefest. That said, I now appreciate the movie version even more and can’t wait to see it again.

Doctor Sleep, King’s sequel to The Shining comes out this September 20th. Will I read it? You bet.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Gone Girl
By Gillian Flynn
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307588364, June 2012, 432pp.)

*No Spoilers*

The Short of It:

Shameless in the telling. Flynn leaves no stone unturned and the end result is an insane game of cat and mouse.

The Rest of It:

If you haven’t heard of this book, then you’re ignoring it on purpose because it’s everywhere and lots and lots of people are talking about it including Reese Witherspoon who hopes to produce the movie.

So, what’s it about? Why the hype?

Technically, it’s about Nick and Amy Dunne and how their marriage goes very, very wrong. It’s about control and the loss of control and the ability for two people to go from happily married, to anything but. It’s manipulation turned up as high as it will go and it’s riveting.


Absolutely riveting.

However, it was also one of the most ridiculous plots I have ever read. I mean, when you hear that this book is “all kinds of crazy” they aren’t kidding. I think everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong and then even cycled back around to repeat some stuff that wasn’t fully played out the first time around. This book is crazy on a stick!

I was happy with it halfway through, because every time I picked it up, my eyes were glued to the page and nothing else mattered. But after the halfway point, I found myself thinking that Ms. Flynn was just fooling with me. She dropped red herrings everywhere and threw in some really incredible things for shock value but none of it, NONE OF IT surprised me and most of the time I could even see it coming.

I think this book is doing well for many reasons. One, Flynn can write. Two, when everyone says it’s crazy, you’ve gotta to know why. Three, it’s fun to be on the other side of crazy, where you can watch this train wreck unfold from the comfort of your home and not have to know these people in real life. Four, it’s a page-turner and for its entertainment alone, it’s worth the price you pay for it.

So, I have mixed feelings about it. I liked it for its entertainment value and I liked being able to discuss it with others who have already read it. There is a lot to discuss with this one. However, it didn’t surprise me or wow me or even shock me. It was predictable and parts of it were so ridiculous that I sprained my eyeballs rolling them.

I got to thinking though, there’s nothing wrong with an entertaining read. This is a book that will keep your mind off of the smelly person sitting next to you on the train and when the movie comes out, I’m sure I’ll see it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.