[Book Talk] The Shining by Stephen King

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: September 2017

Synopsis:

Terrible events occur at an isolated hotel in the off season, when a small boy with psychic powers struggles to hold his own against the forces of evil that are driving his father insane.

My Thoughts

I had this book on my shelf for quiet a long time and actually started to read it maybe 3 years ago. I remember liking what I read, but for some reason I put it down and never picked it back up and THEN the darn thing got donated. My history with The Shining has only been with the movie and whenever I’d see it was on TV I’d want to watch it and then I’d watch it for maybe two minutes and turn it off because I was terrified! Since I had just gotten into Stephen King’s books I had to pick up another copy of this to read because I wanted to watch the movie in time for Halloween.

Suffice to say, I LOVED this book. It was perfectly creepy and I loved the vibe of the hotel just taking over the main character and turning him into a completely different person. I also didn’t know that the other main character, Danny, the son, could read what people were thinking and could actually project his thoughts into other peoples’ heads, those people who had the same powers as he did. I loved Danny and I loved his mom, how strong she was. This book was also super creepy and I was reminded about why I would hate to hear about bad things happening at hotels I might stay in – and you can bet your life I’d never willingly stay in a hotel like this where there were big tragedies!

This was the third book, I believe, that Stephen King published and it’s the third full length novel I’ve read and I’m so impressed. I just love his writing, his characters, his descriptions, and I think that he can write such a solid horror story.

In regards to the movie, it’s funny because I had seen the Friends episode where Joey puts The Shining in the freezer and they rattle off some parts of the book on the show and I didn’t realize that those lines (Heeeere’s Johnny!) were only in the movie and not the book! I was waiting for those lines to appear and they never did. lol. And really, this movie that I was initially SO terrified over turned out to be quite boring when I watched it after reading the book. I thought it was so slow and not really scary and I feel like the producer didn’t get the point of the book across well at all.

I’m glad I watched the movie but so far I’m finding that Stephen King’s books are way better than the movies!

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[Book Talk] Misery by Stephen King

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: September 2017

Synopsis:

Return to the gripping, suspenseful classic #1 New York Times bestseller by master storyteller Stephen King!

Bestselling novelist Paul Sheldon thinks he’s finally free of Misery Chastain. In a controversial career move, he’s just killed off the popular protagonist of his beloved romance series in favor of expanding his creative horizons. But such change doesn’t come without consequences. After a near-fatal car accident in rural Colorado leaves his body broken, Paul finds himself at the mercy of the terrifying rescuer who’s nursing him back to health—his self-proclaimed number one fan, Annie Wilkes. Annie is very upset over what Paul did to Misery, and demands that he find a way to bring her back by writing a new novel—his best yet, and one that’s all for her. After all, Paul has all the time in the world to do so as a prisoner in her isolated house…and Annie has some very persuasive and violent methods to get exactly what she wants….

My Thoughts

This is now my second Stephen King novel and I am hooked! I can’t believe that I used to find his books boring and I’m so glad that I decided to give them another go. I adored this book. Annie Wilkes is such a great character and really drives this psychological thriller. I had just read You by Caroline Kepnes which features a character who can go from happy to insanely pissed off in a matter of seconds and that was Annie Wilkes as well. This book is such a page turner in that you never knew what was going to set her off and I just had to know what was going to happen to Paul!

This book is also a movie and I was happy that it was on the TV the week I was planning to finish reading. I knew Kathy Bates was the character of Annie and so I had her in my head the whole time I was reading, but always pictured Stephen King as the writer. It was fun to see how the movie writers pictured the book versus what I had in my head and I thought the book was definitely better. The movie was amazing and Kathy Bates was freaking awesome, but Stephen King just adds so much description and almost paints the story as a movie in your head as you read. I just love his writing!

So, this was my second Stephen King novel and I’m so excited to dive into another! You can say that he has a new fan now – thank goodness he has so many books to read!

[Book Talk] It by Stephen King (& Movie Thoughts!)

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: September 2017

Synopsis:

Derry, Maine is just an ordinary town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part, a good place to live.

It is a group of children who see – and feel – what makes Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurks, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT appears as an evil clown named Pennywise and sometimes IT reaches up, seizing, tearing, killing…

Time passes and the children grow up, move away and forget. Until they are called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirs and coils in the sullen depths of their memories, emerging again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

My Thoughts

 

So I have never actually read a full Stephen King novel. Earlier in my reading life, back in my late teens or early 20s, I would start reading his books and I’d make it about halfway through and get bored and now that I think about it, I don’t think I was ready to read his books. I was still fully entrenched in chick lit books and lighter reads and now in my mid-30s, I am finally diving into his works! I had only read a book of novellas, Full Dark, No Stars, and his non-fiction book, On Writing, and I loved both of them so it was definitely time I read a novel!

Naturally, that meant to start with a nearly 1,200 page book, but when I saw it at Costco and the movie was just coming out in a few weeks, I couldn’t resist! I bought it one morning and dove in that afternoon and was hooked. It was definitely a long book and probably could’ve done with 300 or so less pages, but it was still really good. I loved the detail put into all of the characters, the town of Derry, the mystery surrounding “It” … it honestly felt so good to get nearly 300 pages into a story and to feel like I knew these characters. King gives lots of detail but still makes the story entirely readable. I looked forward to reading this whenever I got to pick it up and I only wished I could read faster!

This is a horror story and I didn’t necessarily feel scared while I was reading it, but in between the spaces of reading, I was definitely spooked. There’s a scene right at the beginning of the book where Georgie has to go into the basement to get something and there’s that childhood fear of the basement and reaching out to turn on the light, wondering if something is going to grab his hand, and that had me terrified! I’ll admit, I was turning on more lights after that so this book definitely had an effect on me.

Initially I had reservations about reading this because it sounded like it was just about scary clowns, but I loved that it wasn’t about scary clowns as much as it seemed made out to be. The “fear” of the story is the fear of the person who comes into contact with “It” … so, whatever your fear is, that’s what “It” will show you. There were so many fun scenarios (can I call something fun in a horror book?) that the book never felt boring or things never felt overly repeated. In fact, since the book is so long, I appreciated the way that King worked in things that happened earlier in the book, like a reminder to the reader just in case they forgot. It was done so well and didn’t seem like he was reminding you, instead it just worked into the story and dialogue.

In the end I loved this book. It was so much fun and the only reason it’s not a 5-star read for me is because it was so long and I didn’t quite like the ending, but other than that it opened me up to the world of Stephen King and I can’t wait to read more of his books!

Movie Thoughts: 

I saw the movie two days after finishing the book and I’m not sure if that was a good thing. I still had the book very fresh in my mind so it was really easy to nitpick the movie. Ultimately, the book was way better and gave so much more detail. I read some reviews of the movie where people said things happened and weren’t quite explained – one thing being some of the adult characters and how evil they seemed. I got what was happening and these loose ends in the movie were explained to me since they were in the book – perhaps they’ll be tied up in the next movie? I didn’t find the movie overly scary – there definitely were some scary images and at one point I jumped, but for someone who genuinely gets freaked out watching horror movies and shows, this wasn’t that scary to me. I am interested in seeing the mini-series to see if that’s any more scary to me, but maybe it’s because I don’t find clowns scary and the movie is very clown-heavy whereas the book, like I mentioned, feeds on the fears of each character – so if you don’t find clowns scary, you’re not going to see a clown. I’m glad I saw the movie and it was definitely fun to see it in the theatre!