Official "The Shining" book club reading week one

A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
Read and discuss part I: Ch 1-7 (pgs 1-83) by next Friday! I'll start a new thread on 3/25/16. Please confine comments on this tread to this section only if you choose to read ahead.

Comments

  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    Ah cool, I will have to fire up my kindle paperwhite and read along. It's been a long time since I have read any Steven King.
  • I will fervently try and avoid being an officious little prick.
  •   I started reading Stephen King in 9th grade
    in a Gothic Lit class, we started with his short stories. I enjoyed them all and
    quickly tried to read everything of his that I could get my hands on, with the
    exception of The Shining & Salem's Lot which I still haven't read. {Insert
    reference to influence from crazy ex-JW cult rationale here} I did see The
    Shining movie first before I ever read the book so that's my history with it.

     

     Not a whole lot to say about the first 7
    chapters as it is just pretty much setting the plot up but I think he does a
    good job of allowing us into the heads of Jack, Wendy and Danny.

     I find it interesting that even this early in
    the book Wendy seems to suspect Danny's abilities {ESP, precognition} but
    doesn't seem to put much stock into it. Also I had forgotten that Danny has a
    flash about what happens in the hotel so soon in the story, as Jack is driving
    home.

  • Ack!  How did I not know about this??  Now I need to find my copy of it.
  • Not spoilers, but interesting King tidbit.

    Every Stephen King book - including the Dark Tower series - ties into all the others.  There are webs that show how everything binds together in one universe.  Even Shawshank Redemption has little mentions, and is mentioned in other books.  

    The first time I noticed it was in Tommyknockers, there is a character who has to make a trip to Derry (a popular setting in King books) and is hallucinating.  He sees a clown holding a bunch of balloons standing over a sewer grate.  It was IT!  After that I read all the King books at my school library (pre-internet access, back in 1999!) and started finding all the connections.  

    That's one of my favorite things about King's writing, he's amazing at characters and settings, and the fact he made an entire universe is astounding to me!
    TaraC73MichaelG
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Holy shit, this book is bumming me out, ya'll.  I'm on chapter seven for tonight, but the feels of being inside Danny's head are just too real. It's fucking up my bedtime, haha.
  • Kim_EKim_E Atlanta
    I didn't see the thread before now but I can probably get through this tonight. Great idea.

    Are any of you guys familiar with this Guardian series where the guy's re-reading all King's books in chronological order?

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/series/rereading-stephen-king

    The reviews include a "connections' section at the bottom that includes some of those ties @gjulleen mentions above.


    TaraC73kojiattwoodgjulleenMichaelG
  • Yes, small wonder, eh?
  • Kim_E Atlanta I'm going to have to check that out!
  • I have yet to start my re-read, but one of the things that really stands out in my memory is Danny waiting for Jack at the curb and what's going through Wendy's head as she sees just how much Danny loves his dad and can't wait for him to get home. It's really heart-breaking when you know where it's all headed.
    SheIsGeekyMichaelG
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Well. I'm not sure how I'm going to do with this one because so far I'm really disliking Jack. My memory was that it was the hotel that made him a monster, but apparently he was already halfway there. :-/
  • "Love came out of them the way love had come out of the boy and girl walking up the street and holding hands."
    Nice line.
    MichaelG
  • MichaelGMichaelG Seattle
    edited March 2016
    One question for everyone: how do you typically imagine the characters when reading source material from movies?  Do you picture the actual actors, or do you replace them with your own? Or a mixture of both?  For me, it's a mixture.  My subconscious always seems to settle on a hybrid of unique traits, as it's hard to shake strong performances of various actors, especially in The Shining.  

    The difficult character for me in this regard is Wendy, as she is quite different in the book compared to Kubrick/Duvall's Wendy. In fact, I've read this was actually one of King's biggest problems with the film.
  • Which makes many of King's gripes about the movie a bit hard to take for me, considering Rebecca de Mornay being cast as Wendy in the mini-series. 
    MichaelG
  • Chapters 6 (Phonebooth) and 7 (Night Thoughts) are particularly strong, in my opinion. By the end of 6, I had a solid grasp of Jack's demons, and even had developed some sympathy for him. It sparked my curiosity for Wendy's perspective, provided in chapter 7, which promptly eviscerated 99% of my compassion for Jack. Jesus, you drunk-dropped the baby a year before you drunk-dragged him across the floor and broke his arm? The fuck...

    But, chapter 7 does a great job of establishing Wendy's dilemma. From the outside, I see no world where she shouldn't pick up and R-U-N-O-F-T from Jack. However, in addition to whatever stubborn/hopeful love remains for Jack, she is also compelled by her desire for Danny to have a unified home. Perhaps even more significant is her troubled relationship with her mother. By leaving Jack, she would admit defeat, align herself with her mother, and submit herself to her control and condescension. 

    Kind of a throwaway reference, but still really interesting, is the caul over Danny's head at birth. Some superficial googling reveal that a baby born with a caul is an omen of good luck across various cultures. Probably some significance there for Shining Lore enthusiasts. 

  • Which makes many of King's gripes about the movie a bit hard to take for me, considering Rebecca de Mornay being cast as Wendy in the mini-series. 

    I never saw this, just heard it was god-awful. Pretty clear to me that Kubrick wanted to portray Wendy primarily as a battered victim of domestic abuse within an embattled marriage, building on his theme of individuals/institutions at war with themselves and their pasts (also see US Overlooking genocide of Native Americans). 
  • The miniseries is actually worth watching, if you've read the book, imo.  Otherwise, skip it.
  • WonderedObjectWonderedObject SAN Francisco, CA
    MichaelG said:

    One question for everyone: how do you typically imagine the characters when reading source material from movies?  Do you picture the actual actors, or do you replace them with your own? Or a mixture of both?  For me, it's a mixture.  My subconscious always seems to settle on a hybrid of unique traits, as it's hard to shake strong performances of various actors, especially in The Shining.  


    The difficult character for me in this regard is Wendy, as she is quite different in the book compared to Kubrick/Duvall's Wendy. In fact, I've read this was actually one of King's biggest problems with the film.
    Unfortunetely I can't help but picture the actors the entire time. I would like to go in with a clean slate but just can't. But so far it seems to be ok. Picturing Nicholson right now isn't that bad. At least the Nicholson from the movie. 

    Great read so far. I'm loving the ghost stories were getting already. 
  • I haven't read this book in almost 20 years... I was young when I read it last and am afraid some of it went over my head.

    Maybe the answers lie further ahead in the book, but after re-reading today I have three questions about the last chapter:

    1.  Was Wendy's dad molesting her?  I hope that's not dark, but that's where my mind goes when I read her mom saying that Wendy broke up the family.  I've heard of mothers and stepmothers in families where teen girls were abused blaming the girls for marriages ending... please tell me that's not the case here.  If it is Wendy is showing a really shocking pattern of putting her son in very damaging psychological situations.  Is she one of those people who maintains a status quo even when its utterly toxic? I wanted to use the evidence that she was on the cusp of leaving Jack to prove that she would leave a bad situation if it got bad *enough,* but that does not seem the case at all.  Is the fact that her dad was at her wedding proof that nothing happened, or proof that she's just really expert at turning blind eyes?

    2.  Is Danny using whatever gift he has to influence his mother's decision to stay?  Not just influence it in the way that people influence each other, but is he literally over-riding her will?

    3.  Does Jack have a small part of the gift Danny has?  I don't remember why I thought about it while I was writing, I think it was his conversation with Watson - I believe he had "something walk over his grave" when he was checking out the boiler.  Is he using alcohol to self-medicate?  Is that why he constantly craves it?  With his interactions with Ullman, was he just lashing out in his thoughts because of his situation and the man's attitude, or was he sensing the negative stuff that Watson imparts to Jack later in the chapter.

    Also, and I really thought there would only be three things :-) :
    Is Al a good friend and influence at this point?
    MichaelG
  • I just re-read the first message.  Was I supposed to wait to post this until A.Ron posts another thread?  Should I move it?  Will he be posting it today?
  • In the movie it's implied (at least to me) that Jack also shines, but to a lesser degree than Danny.
  • MichaelGMichaelG Seattle
    edited March 2016
    Brief responses to your questions, @gjulleen

    First, I'm pretty sure you're in the right place! I believe @A_Ron_Hubbard intended this thread for Part 1 (week 1) discussion. I think he'll post a week 2/part 2 thread today. 


    #1: I didn't get that her father molested her, but maybe someone can point to something I'm missing. I think Wendy's big hangup is with her mother's negative and critical influence, maybe like Betty from Mad Men on Sally.

    #2: Interesting idea, and nothing says you're wrong, but I don't see much evidence either way, in Part 1 at least. Also, I'm not sure Shining has much to do with controlling someone's will, more like a different wave-length of communication.

    #3 @kojiattwood Yea I got the same impression from the movie too, I can't remember the exact details, though.  It's hinted at in the book as well. A reference is made that Jack drinks to quiet the voices in his head. Possibly a double meaning here: self-critical voices, or literal voices from a shining-like ability, or both.
    kojiattwood
  • MichaelG said:

    Unfortunetely I can't help but picture the actors the entire time. I would like to go in with a clean slate but just can't. But so far it seems to be ok. Picturing Nicholson right now isn't that bad. At least the Nicholson from the movie. 


    Great read so far. I'm loving the ghost stories were getting already.

     Hard to improve on Jack, for sure. I forgot how literal the Tony stuff was, in comparison to the film. The writing style is practical and uses some unique techniques to convey a lot of this imagery and inner monologue.
  • flybox256flybox256 The Deep DIrty South
    MichaelG said:

    how do you typically imagine the characters when reading source material from movies?

    I'm not as visual when I read, I tend to subvocalize. I hear the narrative play out more like a radio drama, anything visual is usually pretty vague. But, I do hear, Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall and Danny Lloyd when I read.
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