Wednesday Words: Still Reading The Shining


Happy Hump Day!

It is the second Wednesday in June, which means I share what I'm reading with you all. Sometimes I'm still reading a book from the month before, and because I'm in a book club with my busy sisters, this time is the case. We're still reading The Shining.


Usually, I won't return to the blog with the same book, but we're at the point now where the snow has come, so Jack, Wendy, and Danny are now stuck in the Overlook. Things are getting dark, and they're getting dark fast. I'm loving every bit of it.

While reading it, I'm also thinking back on the changes Kubrick made that really ruined the story, and Stephen King said it best himself in this article: Why Does Stephen King Hate The Original Movie of 'The Shining' but Love 'Doctor Sleep'? He said Kubrick took out the story, and reading the book for the first time, it's clear that that's true. Watching the movie, I wasn't even really sure why the Torrences were even at the hotel! Because you never see Jack working, except on his novel. He's actually there to keep the hotel up and running on low power and maintenance during the blizzard season.

In Kubrick's movie, Jack and Wendy are one-dimensional to a fault. Jack already comes in clearly messed up, and while Jack in the book is messed up, it doesn't become apparent how messed up he is in the book right out the gate. It takes time. You see all his darkness gradually, which is good, especially because you get to see his connection with Danny. They have a close bond in the book that is erased in the movie, a bond that book Wendy is actually jealous of. Speaking of, if you read the article, you will know Stephen King called Kubrick's characterization of Wendy “one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film.” Yikes. And not wrong. All she does is scream and look as weak as possible. Book Wendy is a mama bear, and there are many instances in the book that show it. But having only watched "A Clockwork Orange" before this, seeing the gratuitous images of naked women placed into both movies, and knowing how he tortured Shelly Duvall, I feel like Kubrick had a misogyny problem anyway. There is a scene often cut from the tv rerun of the film that I'm waiting to show up or not happen in the book to see if I can add racist to that list as well.

Anyhow, I'm loving the book. We're reading Doctor Sleep after. The movie is great. It feels like a dark superhero movie to me. Stephen King said Mike Flanagan did a great job of tying the book to Kubrick's movie, so kudos to him.

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