September 23 marked the end of the #ShineAlong, hosted by Charleen of Cheap Thrills and Tif from Tif Talks Books. I didn’t manage to get the second check-in post done because I was devouring the rest of the book (and afraid of giving away spoilers). So here goes my thoughts on the rest of the book:
Warning: SPOILERS for The Shining below this point:
I was even more impressed with the book this time around. If you recall, The Shining is one of my favorite books of all time. I didn’t think it could get any better, but it did. There was tons of foreshadowing and nuances that I missed the first time around that I’m glad to have seen this time. Plus, rereading it was like coming back to visit an old friend, especially since a few years had passed since I’d read it.
Danny is hands-down my favorite character. His strength and perseverance, but yet childlike fears and ways of coping with what’s happening just make him seem so real to me. When he finally realizes what his father forgot at the end, and screams it at the manifestation of the Overlook, in that childish, almost “I told you so” way, was just incredible to me. I had forgotten exactly how he had escaped the Overlook in the end, and was pleasantly surprised at reading it again. I’ve watched the movie more recently than reading the book, and I was painfully aware of how anticlimactic the ending to the movie is in comparison to the book.
For another movie-to-book comparison, there’s Wendy. Wendy in the book is so much of a rounder, fuller, more sympathetic and understandable character in the book than she is in the movie. I liked Wendy in the book more this time around, because I could have more empathy with how she felt about her marriage, her son, and the situation they found themselves in. I also admired her strength despite being beaten down and nearly killed in the process of getting away from the Overlook after it had completely possessed Jack.
Jack’s character was also a lot more sympathetic for me on this read. The breakdown of his thoughts, and how he slowly descends into insanity (and possession) by the hotel makes sense, it isn’t like a switch that gets turned on and suddenly he’s insane. When he begins mulling over his memory of his father caning his mother at the dinner table, and beginning to rationalize how that was right, even when earlier in the book, he’d been cringing in horror over it, you start to understand that the Overlook has completely taken hold of him.
The part that scared me the most (and that I also completely forgot about) is when Hallorann goes to get blankets for Wendy and Danny in the equipment shed, and the hotel tries one last time to get Danny by making him contemplate murdering them before he comes to his senses and realizes what’s happening. I was so happy when the equipment shed catches fire too, taking the rest of the Overlook’s evil presence away.
I loved rereading this book, so much. Since I have a little less than a week before the #SleepAlong starts, I will probably try to squeeze in watching the movie between now and then, read the second book in the Collector series (which is fantastic, and you should probably also read it), and ignore Doctor Sleep sitting on my Kindle.
If you’d like to join in on the #SleepAlong, head over to Tif Talks Books to link up and follow the hashtag on Twitter. #ShineAlong has been great and I’m glad I participated in reading a book I love with other people to discuss it with.