Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, and Evan Lampe talk about The Shining by Stephen King.
Talked about on today’s show:
1977, horror novel, fourth most popular fantasy novel, third novel, the novel that made him a household name, Carrie (1976), the same year, the book was 1975, his breakout, Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson, Salem’s Lot, Stephen King, “shut-up you shitlib, stick to producing movies!”, his primary job was film producer, which has more production credits, hilarious, Michael Crichton effect, director and producer and writer, looming large from beyond the grave, Westworld, cartoons, Stephen King TV shows, new Stephen King shows streaming somewhere, Lisey’s Story, The Stand, George R.R. Martin, video game writer, comfortable with TV, how easy it is to produce TV shows money wise, he likes writing a lot, worldbuilding, things that will get him canceled, the magical negro, The Legend Of Bagger Vance, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, an American cultural phenomenon, if he wrote this today, that 70s jive talk, at the end, Doc is on the dock, he’s getting brown, very brown, the surrogate father figure, the kiss, the big shining talk, who is Stephen King in this book, he’s clearly Jack, kills himself off, why this book is super popular, how he put it all together, lifting ideas from literary sources, a big long very readable book, kinda early, Revival, relationships with ants and wasps, kids are literally closer to the ground than adults so they think about insects more, playing with their trucks, Marissa hiking by herself, major toddlerhood, we’re so proud we’re erect, his kids are always really terrific, so easy to read his books, identifying with the kids, we’re meant to identify with Doc, he’s our surrogate, Jack is more interesting to follow, a better adventure, failing at everything, they seduce him, the ghosts, money laundering, how they get him, repair his family, redeemed, the negative things in ourselves, super-flawed fucked up dude, we can relate to that, the scenes of domestic abuse, not so happy marriage, Jack Torrence has that too, the sin of the father, really uncomfortable for Paul, an imperfect family and childhood, why this book is and how it works, Danny’s power was the problem, a nexus, a big battery, it happened the year before, the previous caretaker and family, unnamed shining characters, every character shines, The Dead Zone has an unacknowledged shining character, you shine, your mom shines too (all mothers do, a little), throughout his writing, some sort of psychic spectrum, a Stephen King super-power roll playing game, The Dark Tower, breakers, telepathy, what good writing is: telepathy, a person far away in time and space, write really good, what just happened?, how is this happening, what is happening, a superpower Stephen King literally has, holy shit!, the way he does this, without a single bump, a human being like me, we think we can understand other people, doing it in fiction, his meta, the nagging wife, my mom is worse, she’s terrific, his grandmother’s house, somehow we’ve vacuumed out the psychic stuff, a weird cook who wants to abduct their son, he wants to rescue the kid, call it The Overlook Hotel, mental illness and alcoholism, where it is at his weirdest, find a stash, conjured out of the ether, capable of creating real physical damage to Danny, Doctor Sleep, his solution to everything, why this book is so Stephen Kingy, the plot, references, Guy De Maupassant’s The Inn, Switzerland, there’s dogs, have somebody there over the winter (as a caretaker), cabin fever, the same basic plot, how Stephen King fill those pages, all the family history, and the history of the Overlook, I’m so far ahead, flowed so easily, he makes long writing feel like easy writing, backwards and forwards in time, the car accident with the bike, jumping out of the main narrative, building the whole world, fleshed out, his pacing, perfect pacing, so engrossing, the set piece scenes, such a big piece of the story is just two pages, very impressive, table setting, a crucial scene, Jack versus the hedge animals, the way it sneaks up on you, slowly going insane, King or Torrence or the hotel, intrusive thoughts, a jingle, a phrase, intrusive negative thoughts, somebody from outside is putting words into his head, horribleness tempered, a big apology to his wife, “I know I shouldn’t have hit Joe that way. I’ve got to stop drinking”, Campbell Scott, a David Mamet actor with dry affect, no ill effect on the writing, straight reading vs. performance, other influences, The Mask Of The Read Death: A Fantasy by Edgar Allan Poe, masques vs. mask, what the hell is it about, the coloured rooms, at the beginning of the pandemic, cloistered in an abbey, out comes the red death, why there’s a whole bunch of rooms that are different colours, the movie filmed at the actual place King is basing it on, the ballroom has bat doors, The Colorado Lounge, the deal he made, its about class, the elite cant keep out the trauma of the working class, you can’t wall it away, that Phil Ochs song Ringing Of Revolution, when climate change happens, bunkers in New Zealand, The Sphinx, dominated by the reveal, the unmasking, in Robert W. Chambers, I wear no mask, The Yellow Sign, hints of Lovecraft, Jack as an opener, ultra-terrestrial horror, it’s Danny’s fault, Paul sees himself as Danny, a consequence of him being there, he can’t control it, “please abduct me, Dick”, he’s lying to him, 217, you’ll see really bad things there, thinking at him, Dick buys the vowel, he’s the one who knows the most, fainting spells in Germany, the clock almost striking midnight, forward in time, ghosts, not a contamination story, the hotel is destroyed at the end, teachers think is very important, some online webstudy course, arranged in a row from east to west, Blue (Birth), Purple (Growth), Green (Spring and youth), Orange (Summer and autumn), White (Old age), Violet (Impending death), Scarlet/Black (Death), a sergeant in the army, the summertime caretaker, fallen from his higher class, make sure you look out for The Rats In The Walls, a once high estate that needs to be maintained lest it fall, this is what I am reduced to, constant swearing, Wendy, when her husband swears to much, “prick”, hitting the student, I didn’t play with the timer, yeah I did, unreliable narrator, distrust the entire book, Stephen King being highly manipulative of us (and himself), I drink because you’re a bitch, Stephen King is doing self-analysis, so real, quitting smoking, an excuse to have a cigarette, what the fuck am I doing?, addiction brain, what the effect of physical isolation is, cut-off from other human beings for months on end, who’s to blame?, Jesse wants to imagine how this book would work without woowoo, a pure horror novel, a fantasy novel, Stephen King imitators, Nick Cutter’s The Troop, pure body horror, two things going on, his peanut butter in his zebra sauce, magic spell: Stephen King’s a good writer, college kids on a camping weekend, marriage breakdown and addiction, Philip K. Dick’s Puttering About In A Small Land, Out In The Garden, the wife’s been cheating on him with the Sun, I need to sell fantasy and I want to work out my stress about my wife cheating on me, The Dark Tower, literally met a werewolf, Hunger Games style, successfully spun up, the fear of your anger at your kids, such a cool scary thing to write about, such a change in your life, blaming the kid, obligation, responsibility, anxiety, Wendy’s mom, imagine if instead of Jack dying he lives, the relationship that Wendy has with her mom, psychologically abusive, you can’t lover her you have to love her, REDRUM is MURDER backwards, blood thirstiness, the wash of blood, symbolic, an alcoholic, she has a bad marriage, once she had the kid…, she chose a broken person to have a kid with, forever joined by the kid, how could she go back to him?, if I don’t stop drinking I’m going to have to kill myself, self-analysis, Jack is about him and the path he was on, the other drunk, Al: “stay dry”, class, drawn from life, bonding over drink, John Barleycorn by Jack London, drinking is a social custom, binding and destructive, on the same team, a judge, the board of directors, bonding through alcohol, the favours are running out, Evan’s theory, he’s trying to be fired, self-sabotage, ironically this time…, imagine there is no shining, a whole other thread, the imaginary friend who is real, an old trope, Harvey (1950), Ted (2012), Drop Dead Fred (1991), Mr. Lupescu by Anthony Boucher, Thus I Refute Beelzy by John Collier, the insanity children are allowed to have, a book about mental illness, Lovecraftian, classic mental illness, you didn’t tell me this hotel was used by criminals, Richard Nixon stayed in the hotel, an unreasonable phonecall, he’s quasi-blackmailing, not modern Stephen King shitlibbery, we bury the truth, we destroy the truth, we make it not real, Dick lies to his boss, as honest as he can be without getting fired, suicide, murder, sex-trafficking, we never find out how she paid, being a cursed place, Evan thinks that characters are shiners and breakers, a guy gives Dick a sweater and a can of gasoline, another shiner, they’re all shiners, haunted, “it’s the same criticism that Stephen King always has: there’s a fundamental flaw in American society, it’s class, and we can’t talk about it”, Red Room, it could have gone a whole bunch of different ways, no dangling threads, Hill House, the Marsten house in Salem’s Lot, it’s not the hotel that is making him make that call, trying to free himself and save his family, it’s hard to read it, drunken phonecall, late night phone call, go sleep it off, acting out with a really good reason for it, The Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft, Tony is the future Danny, consciously bringing that in, winding up a clock vs. opening a door, a father figure, abusive father, reiterating that with his kid, aping the words of his father, spectacles into the mashed potatoes with blood on them, a coping mechanism, Jack gets what he wants, on the roof, distracted by the wasps, they bug him, the bug bomb, another case of I didn’t adjust the timer (but actually did), he wanted to have his son stung, we’re going to sue, focus on the kid, shifting the blame, it’s not me it’s your stutter!, the play is the book within the book, The King In Yellow, all work and no play, a good reading of what’s happening in here, understanding himself, a play about him and his abuse of a kid, his play sucks, he knows the play sucks, this is all you need to make this excellent book, what does Stephen King do instead of exposing American corruption and American kleptocracy and American sin? he makes it personal, he doesn’t expose the history of the Overlook Hotel, instead he exposes a family, we can all muddle through somehow, everything will be okay, exposes it to the readers, making it fuzzy, better at history, revealing the history, let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out, the attempt to repress, when teenage Marissa first read it: this is a critique of American capitalism, he goes the opposite direction, literally hiding the message in favour of a psychic family, the boiler is his temper, Fondly Fahrenheit by Alfred Bester, which of us I am anymore, that duality within Jack Torrence, keep the temperature from blowing, everything he does could be automated, going down there twice a day, even days and odd days, it’s not a real job, a warm body, very symbolic, he gets stuck down there, the Jesse voices are back, don’t look at these very important papers!, grinding Excedrins all day, they taste bitter, very well put together book, too well put together?, a famous hit, The Stand, his short stories, kaboom, 1408, the room is evil on its own, John Cusack, doesn’t need any priming, a lot of love to be had in the little stories, The Night Flier, a vampire who has an airplane, very personal, they’re all personal, Revival is almost philosophical and mature, dealing/dealt, digging real deep in this one, Danny’s gonna be six, way to bright for a six year old, because he shines, oh, he’s a delayed reader, so urgent to read, his adaptors usually pick the wrong ages, Joe Hill’s [Locke & Key] Welcome To Lovecraft, replaced him with August Derleth [or Richard Matheson?], the essence of shitlibbery, a racist, a liar, a thief, all can see the magic, lifting that from his father, bring a key near somebody’s head, a really cool premise, kids can have magic, starmetal/evil shoggoths, a fundamentally interesting thing, they won’t follow through, you know what the problem is but then choose to go the other way, a good book, maybe why he is a genre, not treated like a gutter guy, not treated like a literary genius, Upton Sinclair style guys, they frown on Stephen King, jealousy, so successful, people like Stephen King, no cachet with King as with other writers, some people are prejudiced, literary snobs, not the American classic, a weird Stephen King thing, blood elevator, guy with an axe, the sitting in the car and talking to the old black man, knows what’s up with Danny, Dr. Sleep, Danny’s 35, Dick Halorhan had died, the Overlook ghosts had followed him, he’s an alcoholic, a job at a hospice, Kevorkian style, a good service, being preyed on by psychic vampires, get back his mojo and save the day, people trying to live off of boomers, resistant to sequels, able to stay alive for centuries, a multiverse, that’s not publisher demand, writer you want to read, Greg Bear, not well constructed, he falls into the trap, I need to write Halo novels, a trilogy, following the market, Stephen King has the market, The Dark Tower along with Dune got Marissa into science fiction, the one with the train, 3 ends on a cliffhanger, it’s all done, 1,350,000 words, after the accident, why would he write them all in one year, George R.R. Martin, I can’t do that to my legacy, 224 pages vs. 845 pages, 4,316 pages for The Dark Tower, have Eric retire or die, take a couple of weeks off to read the book about Allen Dulles, I can’t read an 800 page book, we have split up a book, Dune, The Lord Of The Rings, The Odyssey, Evan’s podcast’s premise, once you start something you’re stuck with it, I have to only wear short socks, 300 years ahead, take a holiday, sleep and go to the gym, everyone who is capable should do what they’re good at, the Zizek book, it has happened, you shouldn’t do that, a vacation implies your ideal life is not being lived, a different temporary life, there are wrong things to do, The Sea Wolf by Jack London, the Star Trek Sex Book, recover, Jesse likes computer games, Project Zomboid, zombie survival isometric, get ready for the zombie apocalypse, sounds great, very dangerous, Fallout 4 til 5am, be moderate in your behavior, taking a vacation from the things that are good, Jesse is not sure series are a good idea at all, a satisfying book in and of itself, Don Mark Lemon, recharge your batteries, Jesse’s just being real, Jesse’s mom, people die and you should plan for it.