I seem to be reading a lot of books lately that I haven't picked up for decades. The Shining
is one of them, and I'm very glad I revisited it. And not just because it's a gripping read that grabs you and refuses to let go from page 1.
I was a very literal-minded reader when I was a teen (I still tend toward that). I saw The Shining
simply as a novel about a bad place that does mean things to nice people. Now I can see how much more subtle and complex the story is. I can appreciate things like the symbolism behind those constant references to wasps' nests. I can also understand how indebted King was to Shirley Jackson in general and The Haunting of Hill House
in particular. I love the choices he made when he decided to play with her basic premise.
I read this while waiting for my copy of the sequel to come in at the library. I'm currently 23rd in line, but there are 10 copies in circulation and people seem to be reading quickly.
I'll be honest -- I don't expect Doctor Sleep
to be as satisfying as The Shining.
The e-book edition of The Shining
I borrowed offered a couple of sample chapters from the next book. I'm intrigued and definitely looking forward to it, but I don't know how it could possibly be as magical as the original.
But that's okay. The whole reason I'm going to read it is because The Shining
is so strong, it makes the reader really want to know how Danny and Wendy and Mr. Hallorann are doing. Now that every novel published is measured in terms of its series potential, it's a rare and wonderful thing to see a writer decide decades after he finished a book and moved on that, hey, he'd like to go check in on those guys. So would I.