Category Archives: Horror
I don’t read many books in the horror/supernatural genre. The reason for that is I simply do not believe in supernatural occurrences, ghosts etc. I am a skeptic (in the best sense of that word). I have to believe that something is at least plausible before I can enjoy it. Or, the world constructed has to be so divorced from the world we live in that I can construct a whole new reality in my mind that allows me to “turn off” my skepticism. This is why I can enjoy the Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter series. Those works don’t even pretend to take place in a world we are familiar with.
It did take a while but I was finally able to disassociate my normal skepticism from the story I was reading – to the point I could really enjoy this book. And, as I was deep into it I realized that everything that happened in the book could potentially be explained without resorting to the supernatural.
Without revealing too much for those that have not read it, The Shining deals with a family (father, mother, son), who move to an isolated Colorado resort where the father will act as the winter caretaker. The premise is the characters and the hotel itself have back stories that begin to manifest themselves in some very horrible ways. Eventually the hotel takes over the mind of the father who it convinces must kill his family in order to complete his reintegration with the hotel. The son has a special ability called “the shine” that allows him to see into the minds of others, and to experience past events. In many ways he is the central character of the book, it is he who sees that horrible things will happen before anyone else is aware something is wrong, it is he who realizes the hotel itself is attempting to control them, and it is he who is ultimately responsible for saving he and his mother’s lives.
I began to realize though, as I got deeper into the book, that everything described is from the perspective of one of these three characters. Everything that happened to them was experienced by them alone (with one exception…the in season cook who also has “the shine”). It is entirely plausible that everything described could be the result of a psychosis that affected them as they became more isolated in the hotel. One of the lingering mysteries for me is whether the supernatural was “real” (within the parameters of this world), or were simply created in the minds of three people sinking deeper into mental illness..
I won’t go further so as not to ruin it for those that have not read it…but I found it to be a very deeply layered book, with complex and interlocking story lines that really made it a pleasure to read!!!
Bucket Source (Amazon.com list of 100 books to read before you die)
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