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Publisher's Summary

Danny is only five years old, but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny's visions grow out of control. As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217, and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel - and that, too, is beginning to shine….

©1977 Stephen King (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Obviously a masterpiece, probably the best supernatural novel in a hundred years.'' (Peter Straub)

What listeners say about The Shining

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Not my cup of tea

If you like lengthy elaborate descriptions with a little action interspersed, you may enjoy this. For me it was far too long a book. One third of the length would have made it more palatable.

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Great Narrator

Such an amazing narration. Very lively and animated. It goes without saying that Stephen King's The Shinning is a great novel.

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Wow!

This book blew me away. I am a lifelong King fanatic and I thought I was ready for this book but instead this book was ready for me. The Shining is so scary I almost rolled my car on several occasions while listening to it while driving. Everything from the story to the plot to the narration and the characters are absolutely amazing. If you are looking for now just a good horror read but a great read full stop, then The Shinning needs to be the next book you listen to/open. The 1980 Stanley Kubrick film and the really bad mini-series from 1997 just don't do this masterpiece of a book justice. Just read it and you will see what I mean. Every character is brought to life with such raw emotion that often you will forget that you are reading fiction. Such a good book! Adding it to my all-time favorites!

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Awesome performance by the narrator

Campbell Scott is really good at his job. Different accents, different tones, pacing… it really feels like the radio play with several different actors. Bravo!

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A great listen

This book is rightly considered one of Stephen Kings masterpieces. I especially enjoyed the parts where Doc, a five year old, tries to understand the complicated feelings of adults.

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Sleepy narration damages great story

Having only seen the movie previously, but read other Stephen King novels, and actively listening to It. I loved the story. But the narrator was just bored it felt like except when voicing Mr Hallorann and a few other characters.

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Captivating.

Definitely going down as my one of my favourite books ever. Enjoyed every minute.
Brilliant narrator 👌👌

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High Expectations

Isn't it funny? The things we most anticipate or which we have been most hyped-up for, are usually the most disappointing. It's not that there is anything 'wrong' or 'bad' about the film, the book or the person (in the case of meeting an influencer or celebrity); its just that they were built up to such extraordinary heights, the reality had no chance against the fantasy created by our expectations.

The foregoing paragraph is just my convoluted way of saying that I couldn't find anything really special about The Shining. Having enjoyed a few Stephen King novels in the past (as well as films based on Stephen King novels - if you care to include those as a relevant reflection on King's creations), I was often told I should read The Shining. Since I had passed over it on countless occasions, I eventually decided to use a credit and have a listen.

Maybe it was a combination of the narrator's performance or the story itself, but I struggled to get through the almost 16 hours of playtime it takes to finish this book. Mr. Scott wasn't bad, but I never really felt immersed in the story... Except for parts where a character is supposedly shouting, then the narrator's grating raspiness would be difficult to endure, at least for my ears.

That being said, the unpleasant whisper-shouts of the narrator on occasion were the only really scary bits of the Audible version of this 'program'. I expect a certain level of eerie horror from King (even in 11.22.63, which wasn't supposed to be 'scary', in my mind, had a creepiness about it that left me looking over my shoulder from time-to-time).

Whether it was due to the performance, the story, my expectations or a perfect storm of all these factors, I cannot in good-conscience recommend The Shining - well, at least not the audio version.

Anyway, I hear the film's quite good...

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thrilling story

I love to listen to this classic horror story. I loved the flash forwards because it made me curious how the story would lead up to this ending

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Great narration

Story much better than film as usual. Great narration makes the book compelling to listen to.

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  • Steve
  • 10-03-13

A classic horror novel

Would you listen to The Shining again? Why?

This is probably Stephen King's best known work. Not necessarily his best book but with the release of the movie by Stanley Kubrick (loosely based on the book), its popularity increased massively. It's tightly constructed and well realised with a smooth flow which keeps you going from start to end. It's a story I like to read every so often and now I can listen to it every so often too.

What did you like best about this story?

The creepiness of the 'visions' brought by the hotel and the debauchery that is played out certainly adds to the atmosphere of the story.

What does Campbell Scott bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Campbell Scott isn't a bad reader. He does seem a little stilted at the start which could put you off the audio book but he seems to warm into the story as time goes on and as he gets into the characters, the change in tone and style starts to show through and makes listening to the text much more enjoyable.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Some guests never check out.

24 people found this helpful

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  • jasmine
  • 01-27-20

So

wasn't expecting to hear the n word every single time the only Black character was there

14 people found this helpful

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  • Roselyn
  • 11-12-12

Spot on - scary novel

This is a classic in every sense of the word. Sinister and suspenseful - the sort of scary that you keep thinking about long after you've switched it off!

11 people found this helpful

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  • Sue Jackson
  • 04-04-16

Addictive but scary as shell!!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Shining to be better than the print version?

Yes.

What did you like best about this story?

Danny's strength as a kid through the ordeal he went through, I would have ended up a basket case after all that, OMG!!

What about Campbell Scott’s performance did you like?

Very good and a great accompaniment to the movie, as good as Jack Nicolson played the lead as an actor!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Jack turns back to his normal self for a moment and tells Danny to run and get out of The Overlook! The last moment of lucid sanity .

Any additional comments?

Great book and story

9 people found this helpful

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  • Peter
  • 09-02-13

Stephen King at his best

Where does The Shining rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have been a latecomer to Stephen King but he is surely one of the best writers on Audible. A fantastic story well written and well read.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lottie
  • 04-13-13

WOW

The book is always better than the film and this book is a prime example. In the book, Jack Torrence seems more frightening and disturbed that will have you thinking about it after you've finished it! King has a way with words, and is the true master of Horror. If you want a book that will stay part of your soul and make you scared again, like when you were young, this is perfect.

12 people found this helpful

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  • jennifer
  • 12-26-13

The Shining

I listened to this book many years ago and forgot how creepy it actually was, the thought of being stranded in a snow storm in the middle of nowhere in a haunted hotel dont bare thinking about I wanted to refresh on this brilliant book to do Doctor Sleep after I am so glad I did.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 02-05-13

I loved this book!

I have been a fan of the movie since before I was legally old enough to watch it! As with most novels the book is better than the film (Although the imagery of Jack Nicholson works very well!). Campbell Scott narrates the book with feeling.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Sally
  • 09-07-13

A hotel possessed - the real story of the Overlook

If you have seen either of the films or the TV series of this title, you may think this book holds no further surprises. You would be wrong. The director's cut is the story of a family's fight for survival against pure evil in an isolated, snow-bound hotel. On a more human level, it is the story of how families survive.

Danny, the five year old son of Jack and Wendy, sees visions. He can find things that are lost and can read his parents thoughts. When Jack takes a winter caretaker's job at the isolated Overlook Hotel, high in the mountains, Danny's "shining" awakens an evil that hunts him. What follows is a terrifying escalation of horror and suspense. Forget the films; the pictures in your own head are far more vivid and horrifying !

From a human perspective, Jack is a recovering alcoholic, whose addiction has brought his family to the brink. This job is his last chance to keep his family together, but the spirits in the hotel tempt him and taunt him to bring his son to them. In this, only his third published book, Stephen King' s own battle with alcohol adds an interesting backdrop. Addiction fills you with demons. The reason that King's narrative works so well is that normal human reactions and emotions lie at its base.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Marie
  • 12-08-13

Horror at its best!!

The Shining is horror at its absolute best. I saw the movie and really loved it, so I felt like I had to read the book. I'm sorry to say, but I really don't like the movie that much anymore.

King is extremely good building characters, and this book is no exception. In addition to the many breathless moments you get with chills running down your back, you really get to know the characters as well. That doesn't just make it a good story, but also a very very good book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Cords Mortimer
  • 09-19-16

Best listen yet

While the story itself is great, Campbell Scott's performance was the best I've yet heard. The distinction between voices was amazing and I actually felt the fear as Jack Torrence was yelling, and I don't often get freaked out by books.

The story itself is also fantastically written. Perfect build, and I love how King makes his stories that much richer with sort of side wanderings that are loosely relevant to the main story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-02-21

Amazing

So much better than the movie, the narrator is perfect for the story too. Absolutely love it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-24-19

Good but the yelling

Great all round mostly but I think the volume could have been evened out. It was whisper quiet then suddenly switch to ear splitting screaming. I get that the narrator needed to be expressive but maybe fix the volume a little?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-25-18

Stunning

Read this as a teenager. Stephen king has been such a prolific writer, you forget how talented he is. The suspense builds subtly, it was like listening to a much loved record album where I was reminded of how influential this book was at a formative stage of my life.
The narrator was also excellent.

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  • Bhavik
  • 12-28-16

Scary all right!

Awesome book.. The part where the dead woman walks out of the tub was by far the scariest moments in any book I have read in this genre..

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-31-22

I loved the storyline, suspense & intrigue

A brilliant distraction. Highly recommended. Full of intrigue, suspense & kept me hooked into the story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-27-22

Stunning story, well read.

Would have preferred a British narrator, but it was a great story,well done.Evoked the eerie desolate mood and the meanderings of an unhinged mind.

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  • Larissa
  • 02-21-22

Compelling and Uncompromising.

I haven't personally felt the horrific fear described in The Shining, but King captured the emotion in such a way that a portion was passed on, however briefly.
King doesn't hold back in any aspect of his storytelling which gives the characters a fullness I have not encountered before.
The narration is the cherry on top.

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  • Dan Brake
  • 01-23-22

made sense of the movie

I'm a huge fan of Kubrick's interpretation of this story, but the original makes sense of some of its plot holes.. like why Jack and Danny have visions of different events of the hotel's history. I won't spoil it, but the book is well worth the read/listen, especially if you think you already know how it goes. This is the first of King's I've read and the first book that made me cry. Amazing.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-21

A master storyteller

Can't contribute much to what has already been said about this book but novels like this will always remain highly praised. If your into physiological horror, or simply working your way through a recommended read list this title, I'd make a priority.