Wednesday, June 2, 2010

maybe size does matter

which is the only reason i can think of to make The Shining 683 pages. that's like-harry potter long. and, no offense stephen king, i do not have a love affair with your work as i do with ms. rowling's so 683 pages is a little much. reading this novel took committment, and patience, and many, many, many rice dinners (this would make more sense if you knew that i frequently spent my time waiting for my rice to simmer and cook reading The Shining...and now you do...you may continue reading). and again, there is no plot device, character development, suspense factor that i know of (used in this novel) for it to be okay that i read 683 pages only to read what I KNEW WAS GOING TO HAPPEN in the end (and, i've never seen the movie)! so why stephen king? why was this necessary? to torture me? to keep me guessing (well maybe the overlook hotel will end up making cupcakes for everyone and spit out sprinkles and rainbows in the end and it won't completely MESS WITH EVERYONE UNTIL THEY'VE GONE COMPLETELY NUTS!)? 

and i know this may offend some diehard stephen king readers, but honestly (can i be honest with you now?), i do not get it. at all. granted, this was my first stephen king novel, well, that i finished...and therefore i am not qualified to make judgments about all of his novels. but this is precisely why i chose a novel that is supposed to be one of his best. i did not find it scary, i was not up all night trying to finish it. in fact, the only reason i did was so i could say i've read a stephen king novel. 

it was way too much psychological and not enough thriller. more blood, more murder, more scary encounters with dead people who lived in the hotel, i found myself chanting (now that i think about it maybe the book did what it intended to do...i am now the insane one). i learned so much about jack's dad and how he was feeling and every guilt, fear, and desire he had in his damn head. but i just wanted to get out of his head! and when i did i was forced to spend time with his crazy wife who thought it would be okay to be cooped up in a hotel with no way out for the winter with her husband who totally beat the crap out of one of his students. genius woman, really. the only cool part of this novel was the fact that the little boy danny was a telepath. but was it used for anything cool (except to save his family-but notably in a horror novel is uncool!)? no! so what he could see dead people? it happened, like, twice. bo-ring. 

the novel is described as a look into consciousness. and i totally get what stephen king is trying to do with the novel-it really digs deep into humanity and our thoughts and all that psycho babble fun stuff. but it's marketed as a horror novel; it's popular fiction. and this is where i think he messes up-why it's SO friggen long. he's trying to tie in two novels together-the one where the guy goes crazy because he's messed up over a sick childhood and has all these mental problems and the novel about the guy who goes crazy because the hotel is possessed. maybe a lot of readers out there soak this stuff up. but i found myself bored and annoyed.

but perhaps there are better stephen king novels out there? maybe i'll give another one a try. what do you all think about stephen king? like, dislike?

5 comments:

Melissa said...

I enjoy most of Stephen King's books (underline most). The Shining is one of my favorites of his, and it did scare me. I guess it was the subtley of it. For me I don't need the gore for it to be scary, and that goes for movies too. I dont get scared with Jason, Michael Myers, Freddy, etc, but the movie The Strangers scared me to no end.

My favorite book by Stephen King is The Stand and that one is a really big book, it puts the Shining to shame.

ladystorm said...

You should try The Stand..um I love Steven King, but I do believe that you have to be a certian kind of person to love SK, it takes patience to be able to get through one of his books..I love most of his book and I will admit that it takes me half a book before I am hooked, but I am use to it and just chalk it up to well, "Thats just Steven King"

Now what is intimidating and I haven't even attempted yet is his newest book that is over a Thousand pages..ummm yeah not ready for that yet..LOL

Its good that you put out your honest opinion, not everyone is made to be a SK fan. Just like I am not a huge Stephanie Meyer fan or a J.K. Rowling fan. We all have our favs. :) At least you attempted it and finished it, that is more than some..LOL

Lost in a Book said...

a thousand pages!? whoa. good luck and tell me how it goes!

thanks guys-i will definitely check out The Stand!

Mardel said...

HAH! another not quite fan of S.K. You know, I was never really impressed with his books. I find the dialogue in them kind of lame or teenagerish. I know a lot of people like him, but I think his books read more like suspense.

However, with the Shining, and some of his earlier works, they were written way back in the 1970's when horror wasn't quite as graphic or in-your-face horrific. Most people at that time were easily scared. (I have to admit I was kind of nervous when I read it at the age of 17) It's like Psycho- when it was made it was terrifying. Now we would probably think it was kind of funny. Society is not as easily scared now as we were back then. It's all about what we've been exposed to, and with all the movies that are truly graphic and terrifying (the Descent, Saw, etc) now, movies and books from the 1970's, 1960's or even a few from the early 1980's just aren't that scary. Not even the original Night of the Living Dead, or the one that came out when I was a teen, Dawn of the Dead.

But I truly think that Stephen King is over-rated as a horror writer. I think (just my opinion) that a lot of people are more impressed with his reputation as a writer that his actual writing - which really isn't that great.

My son would totally disagree with me. He's a true fan of Stephen King. Has all of his books. He likes the later books more though, something about towers.

Lost in a Book said...

haha! something about towers-i think he wrote a dark towers series (six books or something like that). I would agree with you, Mardel. we are not easily scared anymore as a society. but i also think his writing had something to do with me not being scared. it wasn't great, and with his reputation i was expecting great and even more. oh, well. i guess this is good because if i did love him i'd have 20 more books on my tbr pile!

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