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The Shining Part 2?

ShiningDanny2

A sequel to The Shining sounds like a terrible and contrived idea to me. I don't really care what Danny Torrance is up to as a fortysomething, or how his psychic powers have developed over the years. One of the great things about the book is that Danny's clairvoyance turns out to be a kind of MacGuffin - an excuse, really, for the ghosts that haunt the Overlook Hotel to cut loose and seriously mess with the minds of the poor Torrance family.

Stephen King is a radically different writer today than he was back in 1977. Even though I enjoyed his latest novel, his books no longer have the snap and pace that made reading The Shining such a compulsive experience (I don't know anybody who didn't devour that novel when they read it). Besides, let's face it: The Shining doesn't really belong to King anymore anyway. It hasn't, for decades.

Now and forever, The Shining belongs to Stanley Kubrick, whose film adaptation left such a seminal footprint, the movie has grown to eclipse the book that spawned it. Everybody knows Danny's encounter with a rotting corpse happens in room 237 (like in the movie) and not room 217 (like in the book). Everybody knows the Overlook's garden contains a giant maze (like in the movie) and not topiary animals (like in the book).

Shiningcredits

Even a passing mention of The Shining makes me think immediately of Wendy Carlos' sinister score - music laden with all sorts of ominous things to come - and the film's opening credits, which manage to make helicopter vistas of a scenic mountain range seem scary. And I haven't even mentioned Jack Nicholson's performance as Jack Torrance, one of the most iconic pieces of acting ever committed to film.

I don't see how anything King could come up with anything striking enough to overcome our memories of Kubrick's Shining, which made some fairly radical departures from the book and has become the de facto version of the story. Even King's proposed title for the sequel, Doctor Sleep, already feels like a let-down.

During the book reading in Toronto where he discussed the sequel, King said he wasn't completely committed to the new novel. "Maybe if I keep talking about it I won’t have to write it." Keep talking, Stephen. And leave The Shining alone.



  

Comments

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Erwin

If anyone's been watching horror movies over the past decade they'll notice a steep decline in quality due, I think, to an impatient director thinking he must "serve the audience" by putting all the best scares in the beginning of the movie. It's like they forget about that whole last hour. Classic horror films like The Shining, Alien, even Jaws, save all the good stuff for the end, using the first hour to build up to the horror (Sure the girl dies in the beginning of Jaws, but you don't see anything really - no blood, no shark, just a lot of screaming).

The first hour of The Shining contains practically nothing other than atmosphere and creepy music and Shelley Duvall's teeth. When the craziness happens you're more attached to the events because enough story and character has developed that the viewer's mind goes crazy with questions and possibilites as the action proceeds. What do you think?

SJY

Shining belongs to kubrick? sorry for you man. Seems you haven't read The Shining at all. If the book is 100, then the movie (Kubrick's) is not even 0. Kubrick damaged the story. He damaged himeself by dircting The Shining in this way. If he was not the drector of this mivie, he would be much more greater than he is now.

PB

SJY: please be more dramatic.

Surely the movie isn't the real issue, anyway, but whether a sequel could work compared to possibly King's greatest novel.

As a note of optimism, remember that SK has managed to pull off a lot of stuff in the past a lesser writer couldn't have. Think of the plot for 'Insomnia' - pretty silly, huh? But it was still a good book (in my opinion). And Gerald's Game doesn't sound too bad on paper but was the literary equivalent of garlic treacle.

So let's just wait and see what happens.

Tandile

I think that people who are by nature cynical do not derserve to be heard. Here is someone who before the book enough comes out is already bashing it.Just take a chill pill man and let's wait for the book to first come out, only then can you praise it or bash it.

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