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Write-On-Review-a-ThonOops, totally forgot to report back on how I did with the review-a-thon. Can be summed up in one word = POORLY

By the end of this weekend I had aimed to write and publish reviews of the following; progress is noted alongside.

Over on Bride of the Screen God:

  • The Guest – DONE
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – umm…..
  • Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith – sorry, did you say something?
  • Senna – la la la can’t hear you

Here on Bride of the Book God

  • The Shining by Stephen King – DONE

I also intend to have written a post for this week’s Sunday Salon – sort of done in that I didn’t write on my own blog but posted a message on the Facebook page. Shameful 🙂

11588About The Shining

(which I originally typed as The Shinning which isn’t at all frightening unless you played hockey at school, that is)

Anyway, about The SHINING:

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

When did I first read this? 1977, as soon as it came out in NEL paperback, having loved both Carrie and (still my absolute favourite) ‘Salem’s Lot.

What age was I? 15

How many times since then? Apparently this is the third time I’ve read this and the first time since 1983.

Thoughts about the book:

By the time I read The Shining I was a committed Stephen King fan, and the idea of a small boy trapped in an old hotel with his parents for a whole winter troubled by things that go bump in the night (but also in the day, let’s not forget those hedge animals) was intriguing to me. I think I expected a classic ghost story and that’s partly the case, but as always with King there is so much more there – the sensitive child with the troubled father and the mother who is not sure about the security of her family, the spectre of alcoholism and writer’s block all brewing in a building with a long and frightening history. It was bound not to end well.

I think The Shining is a good example of a child protagonist who manages to be convincing, not understanding what’s going on in the adult world but able to pick up on the complex and contradictory emotions of his parents, knowing how important the job is to his father and so not wanting to talk about the stuff he is experiencing until it’s all too late. I had forgotten how evenly spread the story is between Jack and Danny, and with big chunks being devoted to Wendy and Halloran as well. A properly haunting story with limited amounts of gore and some really frightening and dread-inducing imagery.

It’s very interesting to go back to a book after a film version has been released. I have lots of issues with the Kubrick film (and most of my friends disagree, at which point it becomes clear that they have never read the novel, so what do they know?). First off it’s worth saying that in many respects it’s a great Kubrick film, but not a great King adaptation. I find it just too unbalanced, focusing so much on Jack (Nicholson) Torrance that you forget this is largely Danny’s story. I had forgotten for example that one of Jack’s irritations at the Overlook is that it is using him to get to Danny and doesn’t really want him at all, and I don’t remember that coming across in the movie. The biggest problem I have of course is with Wendy, who has so much more agency in the book than she does in the film, and I just hate the ending of the movie.

So although it took me longer than intended to re-read (I was doing so for The Horror Book Club but realised I couldn’t make the meeting and so slowed down) I really enjoyed it, especially the last 25% when the tension really builds up.

And of course there is a sequel, Doctor Sleep, which I read and reviewed here.

Write-On-Review-a-ThonThe Write On Review-a-Thon is a challenge hosted by Book Bumblings. From Friday through Sunday, we all band together and write as many reviews as possible. It’s a weekend for you to either catch up on reviews or get ahead on upcoming ones. It doesn’t matter if you write one review or 10 – if you write a review, you’re in 🙂

Join this month’s challenge here.

By the end of this weekend I aim to have reviewed the following:

Over on Bride of the Screen God:

  • The Guest
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith
  • Senna

Here on Bride of the Book God

  • The Shining by Stephen King

I also intend to have written a post for this week’s Sunday Salon.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 4.47.12 PMWhat did I say I was going to do?

As I said in my sign up post, I am aiming to be a Brave Reader, which means reading 6-10 books during the course of the year. My first quarterly update can be found here, the second one is here.

How am I doing?

I hit a real reading slump in early August and I’m not out of the woods yet. That means I only managed to read one horror novel, but it was a classic being Stephen King’s The Shining (which I haven’t written the review for yet but will soon).

I started but just couldn’t get on with I Am Legend this time around; like The Shining it was a re-read.

But it’s nearly October and I’m on holiday for 3 weeks and expecting/hoping to get lots more reading done, which means more scary books!

sunday-salon-2

Drum roll please.

I have finished a whole book. Really. *Fanfare*

OK, so it was a re-read of The Shining for a book club I never made it too, but I have broken a month-long slump and hope that it’s the start of getting back to normal.

I also abandoned a book, again one I was reading for The Horror Book Club, and again I didn’t make it to the meeting (this time because I was a bit unwell). This was also a re-read, of I Am Legend which I had read before and liked but this time round found just far too bleak for the mood I have been in recently. Sticking to my guns over not going on with things I’m not enjoying because there are so many books and life is already too short to get to them all.

Still buying of course 😀

Those were all Kindle books so I can pretend they’re not real. I also pre-ordered a couple of books but I’ll talk about them when they finally appear on my device.

But hurrah! I’ve read a book!!

sunday-salon-2

Still buying. Still reading. Still ahead of annual target.

Still not finishing anything 😦

Since my last post I’ve started reading a fifth book,  a non-fiction piece that I’m not sure I’ll review (or even mention at the moment because Complex Feelings), and I have added the following to Mount TBR:

Both bought as a result of readings at the SRFC at the end of August. Love that group, not sure my credit card agrees 😀

Then on Tuesday I found myself stuck in Birmingham with quite a lot of time to kill before my train back to London, and the splendid New Street branch of Waterstones beckoned and I couldn’t walk out without buying something, so this happened:

The first two were on my wish-list already but the Mitchell was a lovely surprise; she is one of my absolute favourite crime writers and I have never come across this one before so this was exciting.

And finally, just because I could:

Really must do better 🙂

Bride of the Book God

Follow brideofthebook on Twitter

Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

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