The Hodderscape Review Project: The Shining

By Anne Perry

Posted on August 30, 2013 in Books with tags Hodderscape Review Project, Stephen King

And so August comes to a close, and with it our month spent featuring Jasper Fforde’s inimitable The Eyre Affair. As the first of September falls on a weekend, we’re delighted to have the opportunity to reveal September’s Review Project title two days early.

With no further ado, then, we’re proud to present the September Hodderscape Review Project: Stephen King’s extraordinary novel The Shining. Here to introduce it properly is Mr King’s editor, Philippa Pride:

“I was delighted to be invited to send copies of The Shining to the talented members of the Hodderscape Review Project.  Having just read The Shining again in the build-up to publication of Doctor Sleep, I’m buzzing with excitement about it and delighted to introduce it here too!

Steve was inspired to write this novel when he spent a night at the grand old Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. As the hotel was about to close for the winter, the Kings were the only guests, rattling around the deserted rooms. That night King had a nightmare: his three-year-old son was running down the hotel’s empty corridors, being chased by a fire hose. And The Shining was born.

In his novel, the Torrance family spend one winter in the Overlook Hotel, cut off by blizzards. Five-year-old Danny ‘shines’ with an exceptional psychic talent. His father Jack, a writer, wrestles his inner demons (alcohol, the legacy of an abusive father) as well as the ghostly forces of the Overlook Hotel.


If you are already a fan, why not treat yourself to reading it again? Do you remember the wasps, the animal-shaped hedges which seem to prowl the hotel’s grounds, the image of the woman in room 217 and the sound of the elevator? Every time I read it, I find that the relationship between father and son grows more poignant as my empathy for Jack increases.

If you have never read this novel (but may have seen the film) you are in for a treat.  As Steve explains in his foreword: ‘in every writer’s career there comes a crossroads novel…For me, the crossroads novel was The Shining’. It was also one of his most emotionally charged novels, in part because he funneled so many of his own early fears into the central character. As King says: ‘the truth is that monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win. That our better angels sometimes – often! – win instead, in spite of all odds, is another truth of The Shining.  And thank God it is.’

Just as I was asked to revisit the Overlook Hotel for this introduction so I invite you to read or re-read The Shining.”

As you no doubt know, Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining publishes on the 24th of September. So secret has this manuscript been kept that I haven’t even read it myself! (But you can check out a video of Mr King himself reading from it here.)

To celebrate this month’s Review Project title, we’re giving away a special copy of The Shining, which includes extracts from Doctor Sleep. We’ll also drop a couple bonus goodies into the envelope. To enter, simply leave us a comment telling us about a nightmare you once had and have never forgotten. We’ll announce the winner on Friday, September 6th.

doc sleep web

Vespula germanica by Richard Bartz: / CC-BY-SA -2.5


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