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 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.
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.
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.
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