Writer Jack Torrence takes his wife, Wendy, and young son, Danny, to the Overlook Hotel during the winter season to be the caretaker and to write his novel. However, Danny has a strange ‘gift’, seeing and hearing things which are not there, and being able to see into the minds of those around him. Jack is haunted by his past behaviour, his alcoholism and violence and failures. Alone, with unreliable transport plus roads cut off by poor weather, the hotel starts to take over their lives.
I went through a brief period of obsession with reading Stephen King novels in my teen years, but hadn’t read The Shining. I saw the Kubrick film, but barely remember it. I was surprised at how much of the book is set prior to arriving at the hotel, setting up the characters in a troubled family situation with huge issues. For Jack, this opportunity may be his last. King raises the stakes in such clever ways that the reader can almost agree with Jack’s decision to stay at the hotel despite the horrors that they are all experiencing. So good. So very, very good.