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Stephen King's Shining - No More Haunted Hotel Hunting for Me

Updated on February 20, 2014

Stephen King is the writer we all love to wonder about: What happened to you in your childhood that made you write such creepy and horrific stories? Well, Mr. King has been heard to reply - absolutely nothing. Motivation aside, Mr. King is the author of hundreds of novels and short stories, as well as books written under the pen name Richard Bachman.

One of King's classic horror stories that almost everyone has at least heard of is The Shining, also a 1980 film directed by Stanley Kubrick. If you're a reader anticipating in-your-face blood, gore and violence, The Shining may not be exactly what you're looking for. The fear factor of this particular King novel transcends mere scare tactics. King weaves a path of building terror until the blood and violence become mere aspects of the essence of this story.

Nestled in the beautiful Colorado mountains, The Overlook is a very old hotel with an unsavory secret. In The Shining King provides flawed characters in the form of Jack and Wendy Torrance. Jack is an alcoholic who is trying to put his life back together by accepting the position as caretaker of the hotel while it is closed for the season. In addition, Jack uses the opportunity to re-establish trust with his family. Meanwhile, Danny, Wendy and Jack's gifted young son, possesses some powers of his own that develop throughout the novel which allow Danny to fight the evil at The Outlook, along with an unlikely ally, the old cook. Though the cook is not in residence, he does play a crucial role in the survival of the Torrance family. Danny's nemesis turns out to be his alcoholic father whose mental capacities continually deteriorate as he is subsumed within the evil persona of the hotel. Danny must find a way to save he and his mother from a father who, in one scene, chases them with an ax. This story is not for the faint of heart.

Boasting a refined sense of horror, King utilizes superb character development to raise the hairs on the backs of readers' necks. From the dysfunctional parents, to the lonely child, and finally, the discerning old cook, King develops a character-driven tale that allows readers to relate to the characters. Readers may love or hate the characters, but most importantly, they will recognize them.

The best part of this King story... it continues in Dr. Sleep. Sleep well, fellow readers.

Enjoy other Stephen King stories that will keep you up well into the night.

Bag of Bones
Bag of Bones

Bag of Bones was the first book that frightened me so badly I tried to put the book down so I couldn't see what came next.


In Dreamcatcher, King takes the alien invasion story to a horrific level.

Stephen King
Stephen King

Which is the scariest Stephen King book you've read?

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    • Sensuintell profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      I found found Stephen King to be scary, but in a way different from your fun-of-the-mill horror stories. Stephen King has a way of making horror terribly frightening, not just gory. It's the suspense, the gut punches you don't expect that scare you.

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      4 years ago from France

      Stephen King, you can be sure it will always be scary.


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