The Shining Book Club Wrap Up
Okay, I'm sorry I missed last week's thread. I was sick and I had a bunch of stuff going on, but I wanted to finish the Club out because I finished the book in a marathon session that lasted until Wednesday at 3am and resulted in the worst night of sleep in my life (especially since I had to get up at 6am to pack the kid off to school. Bad life decisions all around).
I don't think this book was good for my mental health, but I consider the book excellent to the extent that it's diminished (I think) my enjoyment of Kubrick's movie version. Now, some things in the movie that are excellent are not in the book at all (such as the waves of blood and "all work and no play..."), and some things that are excellent in the book didn't make it into the movie and I understand why (the topiary and playground scenes, mostly), and some things that are super important in the book are nailed in the movie (such as the ballroom scenes, and Jack being locked in the cupboard), but ye gods, did they not due any kind of Justice to the characters of Jack and Wendy, which ultimately really neutered the family dynamic and what a tragedy it all was.
The POV of five year old Danny was heart breaking, everyone, without exception, and in particular towards the end his child-heroism got my lip quivering many a time.
I though the conception and execution of Danny's psychic powers in the novel felt really good, and I'm kind of glad Jim decided not to do the audio book, because I don't know how in the hell they'd nail that kind of super-stream of conscious stuff when read aloud. King uses fonts and italics and brackets and all kinds of things to tell us what is going on without really handholding.
I was surprised at how creepy reading this book in a dark room is I foolishly did 90% of my reading just before bed, with only a single LED bulb for light. At many points, especially with Danny's experience in room 217, and Jack's revisit, and the aforementioned playground scene, it wasn't easy getting to sleep those nights.
I was blown away by how sympathetic King made a child abusing recovering alcoholic. The fact that a lot of the things were auto-biographic probably helped a lot, and once again I am so thankful that for all my myriad flaws and problems, I so far have managed to steer clear from substance abuse,
Questions I still have. Did Jack and Al actually kill someone that night they were drunk driving? Crazy theory; is it possible the Overlook actually engineered the accident from afar to bring Danny and his family there for the winter? I wouldn't think so, but when I found out Al was on the board and spent time there and the hotel seems telepathic to an extent I wonder...
Is Doctor Sleep as bad as people say? My kindle copy had 3-ish sample chapters that I found very creepy and almost pulled the "buy now" trigger on the spot.
I really want to hear a commentary or read something from someone that has read and watched the movie and is a fan of both, preferably with inside knowledge, explain why some of the cuts and omissions in the film are there. I read some things that indicated the person that helped Kubric on the screen play (Diane Johnson) found many of them painful, and I wonder why Kubric went ahead and did them, seeing as he had nearly a 3 hour film to work with. Does anyone have a book or commentary or something they'd recommend.
What did everybody else think?