By Stephen King; Read by Campbell Scott
14 CD’s – 16 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Themes: / Horror / Ghosts / Alcoholism /
The Shining was first published in 1977, and is one of my three favorite Stephen King novels, the other two being ‘Salem’s Lot and The Stand. Incidentally, Simon and Schuster Audio recently published a fine unabridged version of ‘Salem’s Lot, but no The Stand in sight!
The Shining‘s main characters are Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy, his psychically gifted son Daniel, and the majestic (and haunted) Overlook Hotel. The story begins when Jack Torrance accepts a job as winter caretaker of the hotel, which closes 6 months out of the year because of its remote location in Colorado. Jack and his family are to stay at the Overlook during the winter, taking care of the building while snow flies around them. The family looks forward to a healing time alone, but the hotel and its ghosts have different plans.
King creates a rich array of characters here. From Jack Torrance and his alcoholism to Wendy, a kind but damaged person in her own way, and Daniel, whose power inadvertently gives the spirit inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel a gateway to become more than just frightening apparitions.
Campbell Scott gives a superior performance here. I couldn’t imagine this novel being done any better. It was very difficult for me to keep Jack Nicholson’s performance of Jack Torrance from Stanley Kubrick’s film version of The Shining out of my head. Campbell Scott seemed to embrace this, though, because Nicholson is perfect for that part. Campbell Scott apparently is, too, because every character in this novel, including Torrance, was engaging and believable.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson