So I have a habit of just flying through a book and then pick up another, and then another, then I take a break and go back for more. A few weeks ago I was in the midst of this cycle and glanced at my calendar: October 14th. According to my simple and sophisticated math skills, it means there’s 17 more days until Halloween and this book, which I had bought the previous year (wanting to read for Halloween but chickened out), was just waiting to be read on my Kindle and was plenty of time. But really, was there? In fact there was…it took me a week but I powered thru this baby.
I have dipped myself in various genres while taking on my love of reading and have only truly stuck with Young Adult as my go-to. While I do experiment other sub-genres within Young Adult, besides my favorite which is contemporary, I step outside of these boxes and explore. My most recent exploration has been The Shining by Stephen King. I’ve never read Stephen King and as big of a film connoisseur that I am, I also have not seen the film. So already I’ve got my work cut out for me.
I’m thinking back and don’t think I’ve done a book vs. film post, I did on another blog I started for eight seconds but not on Sinister Kid’s blog. I attempted to put it on my TBR list earlier this year during Oscar season, but totally failed; and now having read the book and how long it took me I wouldn’t have made it anyway.
So going into this I had never read a lick of passages from the book and of the film I only knew bits and pieces.
There’s a kid who rides a tricycle down a hallway and sees a set of twins—this is courtesy of just moments before the fourth tornado hits a drive-in movie in the movie Twister.
Then I know a pretty famous line delivered by Jack Nicholson where he has an axe (I think) and says “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” and then smashes it into a door and the woman behind the door screams hysterical.
I know one last other snippet that I think I saw flipping channels one rainy weekend but I won’t give that away because it’s semi-vital.
So again I went into this pretty unknown of what the movie plot was, the book, and any artistic differences that had happened while it all came together.
And now, for your enjoyment, my thoughts on book to film adaptation for Stephen King’s The Shining:
DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED! I MEAN IT! I’LL SIC CRAZY JACK TORRANCE ON YOU!
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s discuss . . . . . . . . and dear God I really hope you didn’t love the movie…so here goes
This film blew. Like big chunks of “ego-I’m-going-to-do-it-my-way” kind of chunks. Stanley Kubrick, just what were you thinking?
The premise of Stephen King’s novel is that a recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance, writer and former teacher needs a new position because he’s just been fired from his old one in New Hampshire, moves to Colorado with his wife, Wendy, and five year old son, Danny. Danny is smart, bright, and pretty friendly. Wendy is super timid, very loving, but can be very strong when it comes to her boy. The family moves to Colorado and Jack is given the position of caretaker for the Winter/Off-Season months to keep it going until doors open up in May. Just before they move in Danny’s imaginary friend, Tony, starts to let Danny see things dealing with the hotel and Jack learns stories from an employee, Watson, on the Overlook Hotel’s somewhat-shady past. After a month or so after moving in things are better with the Torrance’s but just when things go well, the hotel starts revealing it’s true self, plays tricks, and shows what an ugly thing it really is to the point of the destruction of certain characters.
Book vs. Film…why do I feel so strongly?
Because you’ve been given a piece of art that’s not really supposed to be interpreted as YOUR own but the AUTHOR’S own. You’ve read their vision, their story, now it’s time to do readers justice and record it live for all to watch. Make the words dance and come alive on the big screen.
So why does Jack in the movie mention Wendy loves horror movies? She doesn’t.
Why is Stuart Ullman, proud runner of the Overlook Hotel in it’s busy season, all peppy and thinking Jack is great for the job? He doesn’t. In fact, book version Ullman pretty much despises Jack and aires out poor Jack’s dirty laundry in the interview before Jack and his family move in.
Why is Wendy checking the boiler room when it’s Jack’s responsibility at the hotel? JACK IS CARETAKER BUT IN THE FILM JACK ACTUALLY DOES NOTHING BUT SLEEP, HALLUCINATE, YELL AT WENDY, AND PRETENDS TO WRITE A PLAY…WHICH HE ACTUALLY STARTS TO DO IN THE BOOK!
Why does Danny say Tony lives in his mouth? Ummmm idk, and Danny moving his finger up and down, impersonating E.T. is the weirdest thing ever. Tony is just this figment of Danny’s imagination, but Kubrick was apparently on crack and instead of hiring a stand in person for Tony that only Danny can see was clearly just TOO MUCH for them to do.
How does Dick know how to go and search for Danny? Oh because he just randomly has this feeling after watching a weather report IN FLORIDA while naked women’s posters are all over his room….which totally has zero purpose
I can keep this list going but some pretty obvious characteristics of Jack/Danny/Wendy are completely missing in the film:
– Jack doesn’t act like he’s staying sober. He doesn’t wipe his mouth constantly, something he did habitually while drinking, and he also doesn’t chew on his Excedrin like they’re candy three at a time
– They refer to Danny by ‘doc’. Danny’s already had decent screen time and probably 30 mins into the movie when you meet Dick Hallorann do you ever hear Danny called ‘doc’. Never once does Wendy or Jack call him ‘doc’ but it’s like every other line in the novel.
-You don’t even know that Wendy and Jack are married. There’s no real love besides one peck on the cheek and that Jack refers to Wendy as ‘Babe’ right in the beginning. I felt zero chemistry and interest in these two.
….now i’m just going to randomly list things that are completely off from film to book:
– No mentioning of ANY Native American burial grounds
– No wasps….Jack doesn’t do any real maintanence
– No hedge animals
– No roque mentioned…no roque mallets
– Grady’s name is changed to be two different people….he’s definitely sporting the same name throughout the novel
– Jack never discovers the scrapbook and the Overlook’s history
– Dick never discusses Shining in-depth with Danny…Danny like hardly says ANYTHING in the film and he’s so talkative and cheery in the book. He eventually talks about his shine to Dick/Jack/Wendy….but Dick never tells Danny that he wants him to get in contact in case something goes wrong. CB radio doesn’t work.
– Jack never feels like he ever had any contact with the hotel in a previous life
– There’s no hedge maze
– Grady had two girls that weren’t twins (i’m like 99% positive but too lazy to look back in my book)….soooo WHO ARE THESE TWIN GIRLS POPPING UP?
– WHAT THE EFF IS ALL THIS RANDOM RED BLOOD GUSHING EVERYWHERE???
– Wendy doesn’t even fight, she’s constantly running away and book Wendy was a fighter at the end
– Jack doesn’t even get to talk with Danny before everything goes down…Jack just changes and he’s gone
– JACK NEVER MAKES OUT WITH THE WOMAN IN 217 I MEAN WTF!
– Jack actually was writing a novel…he wrote more than “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” …this is true.
– The room is number 217…not 237, which irks me.
OKAYYYYYY that’s all the spoilers I’ll give you…my list is ridiculously epic butttt I’ve shared my piece. Poor Stephen King, you deserved better. Not because I didn’t fall in love with the book, it was creepy and an enjoyable read, but Kubrick’s “masterpiece” is pretty much utter shit. I don’t get the hype. And I’m a movie girl…like for reals.
No I mean like what is wrong with me? He’s a dirty old man now. I don’t know why I’m thinking I need to stalk his IMDb and now watch everything he’s ever been in. It’s weird. I’m not okay with this last part. I think it’s actually SK’s fault because Wendy and Jack do it a few times in the book and this one scene…well I mean, it could’ve gone to a better place if Wendy didn’t say something that Jack ultimately hated and cockblocked the whole thing. It’s somewhere around the 57% area in Kindle/e-book versions hahhahahahahahah!
ANDDDDDD that’s my review…long. Probably not many will read but it needed to be posted. I put in the time to read and watch so my thoughts had to be jotted down. ** Also, all of the GIFs used within this post can be found here ….they were most helpful and none of these images are my own **
Until next time… Linz aka The Kid xx