Jack is a former alcoholic. After he was fired from his last job as a coach for a schools debate team, he’s now living in a little apartment with his wife, Wendy, and their son, Danny, in Colorado. It’s a big change for them. Jack has no job, and no one wants to hire him. He’s lucky when one of his former friends from Vermont, with good contacts, gets Jack a job as a caretaker on the Overlook hotel for the winter. That means that Jack and his little family will stay up in the mountains, where the hotel is located, for the whole winter when most of the winter will be without contact with the world outside.
Jack and his son, Danny, have a special gift. They shine. That means that they can read other peoples thoughts, see things that are going to happen in the future, see lost souls and communicate with other people who shine only using their minds. It is Danny who shines strongest, Jack can only see lost souls and communicate with them. When Jack, Wendy and Danny arrives on the closing day for the hotel, one of the staff who also shine warns Danny, that he must never enter the room numbered with 217. Dick who’s going to Florida tells Danny that if he gets into trouble, he had to call him; using the shining.
In the beginning of their time at the hotel, they can drive to the nearest small town to shop or just to talk to other people. But as the time goes by, the snow comes and the roads are closed, so they get stucked at the hotel.
The hotel has an invisible force. Every night the elevator starts and Jack and his family hear voices and music. At the ground floor there’s a fancy-dress ball. Danny and his father see people in smoking and beautiful gowns, all of them is wearing masks. The hedges outside shaped as animals come to life and Danny sees a dead woman in the bathtub in room nr. 217. The hotel wants Danny because he’s a shiner. Danny’s shining is a great force, and since the hotel can’t take Danny directly, it has to go through his father. Jack is easier to get since he has a weak side; his alcohol-problem.
The ghostly forces at the hotel manipulate Jack to try to kill his wife and son. Luckily, Danny contacts Dick Hallorann, so he can come to their rescue. When Jack tries to kill his Danny, Danny reminds him of the boiler in the basement wich Jack has completely forgot all about. If he doesn’t turn the switch on the boiler, the whole hotel will explode. Fortunately, Jack is too late and fortunately, Danny together with Wendy and Dick manage to escape before the hotel explodes.
The main character is Jack Torrance, other important characters is his son, Danny and his wife, Wendy.
Jack is a former alcoholic. His marriage with Wendy has not been of the best sort. After he accidentally broke Danny’s arm when he was drunk and lost his temper, Wendy has been planning to get a divorce. But recently things have been better. Jack got abused by his father when he was little. Like his son, Jack is also a shiner, but not as strongly as Danny. Jack is a play writer. When he decides to take the job as a caretaker, it is so he can have the peace and privacy he needs to finish the play he’s working on. I’m not sure how Jack Torrance looks like, through the whole book I’ve thought of him as Jack Nicholson. Since I saw the movie before I read the book, and since there’s nothing in the book that tells me different, I think Jack Torrance looks exactly like Jack Nicholson.
Wendy, as she is called, is Jack Torrance’s wife. She is very worried and a bit scared of Jack. She is afraid that Jack will hurt Danny again. Every time something happens with Danny, she blames Jack. The episode with Danny’s arm has never gotten off her mind. But she really wants things to work out, so she thinks that the stay at the Overlook hotel will be good for the whole family. Winnifred’s hair is blond and she’s very tall.
His real name is Daniel Anthony Torrance, and he’s is Jack and Wendy’s son. He is a shiner, like I mentioned earlier he can read people’s minds, find lost things and look into the future. He is about five years old when his father gets the job as a caretaker at the Overlook hotel; Danny gets frightening visions about the future. And at the hotel, his visions just grow out of control. Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony. Just the name Tony tells us that Tony, from the name Anthony, is a part of Danny. Maybe even his future. It is Tony that shows him his frightening visions.
The most important place is the Overlook hotel up in the mountains in Colorado where Jack and his family are going to stay the whole winter. It is at the hotel that everything happens, but another important place is Vermont where Jack, Wendy and Danny used to live before Jack got fired from his last job. Vermont is an important place because from time to time in the book, Wendy and Jack get flashbacks and remember things that happened back in Vermont.
I think the story takes place in the 70’s. I think that because in the beginning Jack Torrance is at a job interview with the manager for the Overlook hotel, and the manager tells him that a man who worked as a caretaker in 1970-71 killed his family and the committed suicide. And since this happens a few years later, I guess it’s in between 1975-79.
It is a few months from the beginning of the story until the end, maybe from August to January, and then there’s an epilogue wich takes place in the summer after the story.
The story is told chronologically, but from time to time Wendy or Jack get flashbacks from their time in Vermont and Jack’s time as an alcoholic.
The story starts with Jack Torrance being at a job interview for the job as a caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. So it starts at the beginning.
The main problem is all the ghostly forces at the hotel that take over Jack, and manipulate him to try to kill his family. I think it’s an happy ending; the hotel explodes, Jack dies and Dick Hallorann saves Danny and Wendy. The evil force at the hotel dies and the innocent ones survives. And just because the evil forces dies under the explosion I will say that it is a closed ending.
The title, The Shining, is what Jack and Danny’s special ability is called by Dick Hallorann.
I think the book was a bit boring. Stephen King uses to much time explaining what has happened in the past and too little time on the horror. There was only one really exciting chapter in the book, of together fifty-eight chapters, and that was the chapter where Danny goes into room nr. 217. The book was actually a bit disappointing, too much explanation and too little action. I’ve read more exciting books of Stephen King than this, among them is Gerald’s Game, Needful Things and The Dark Half.