The Shining – novel or film, film or novel ??

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…I recently finished reading Stephen King’s The Shining.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it opened up new corridors of The Overlook Hotel that I had previously not been down. Therefore, the answer to the above to my mind is ‘both’.

Might seem like a cop out and if under severe pressure (ie, a Grady or Jack type after me with an axe p’haps) I would have to say that Kubrick’s vision is ultimately more successful, removing any underlying sympathies for Torrace snr by having him not specifically possessed by an external demon force with a dying ember of humanity somewhere (which manages to instruct his son to get the hell out of there and leave him). On the other hand Kubrick  turned Wendy into a simpering wreck (allegedly traumatising Shelley Duvall into the bargain)  and mercilessly killed off old Dick Halloran. Take a bit here take a bit there…I s’pose.

Some people can get pretty weird about The Shining – see the alternately transfixing/vaguely repellent documentary Room 237 for evidence of this fact – but to my mind, it’s not a simple case of one versus the other. They both have something of ‘the shine’.

ps Can’t say I’ve seen the 1997 miniseries based on King’s novel. Judging by this trailer I doubt I’m missing out on much…

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