The shinning is a novel features a wide variety of creepy things: ghosts, slow descent into madness, wasps, extreme isolation, murder, blood, psychic ability, hedge animals coming to life. There is something in there that is bound to give you a thrill. It is about a family of three—Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic; Wendy, his wife; and Danny, his clairvoyant gifted five-year-old son.

The Torrance spends the winter alone in the Overlook Hotel high in the mountains of Colorado. Although it is shut down in the winter, Jack is hired to be the Overlook’s caretaker. Soon the Torrances are snowed wholly and in isolated, and it becomes apparent that the hotel is trying to destroy them—or helping them to destroy one another.

As usual for King, the characterization here is excellent. You can’t help but root for Danny and Wendy, and you want to scream for them to get out of the hotel. Jack’s descent into madness is slow, yet at the same time somehow frighteningly fast. As a reader, you get to see how his father affected him. You also get to see how he tries to fight the hotel; part of his psyche is aware of what is going on. What makes this novel stellar is that King makes the Overlook Hotel a living, breathing entity.

It’s a bit of a hefty read, as many of King’s novels are, but it’s worth it.