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**Warning: Spoilers for both book and movie!**
The Shining by Stephen King (1977)
The Shining directed by Stanley Kubrick (1980)
The reason I am covering this book is because I posted a poll on Youtube, and this is the book my subscribers voted for! So you should definitley subscribe to my channel, that way you can participate in the next poll and choose what I cover!
Thoughts on the Book
If you watched my video on the best book I read in 2021, you will remember that this book made it on the list and already know, I loved this book! It is over 600 pages long (depending on what edition you have) but I read it in two days! That is something I love about King’s writing (based on the few books I’ve read of his), they are so gripping and even though they can be soo descriptive, they keep you so interested. If you are in a reading slump, King is basically guaranteed to get you out of it.
The three main characters, as well as the main side character Dick Halloran, are so fleshed out and you know them so well. In the book, Jack is not seen as the villain of this story, rather the Overlook is the villain. King takes his time setting things up, but I loved all the detail and didn’t mind at all. Things don’t really start to get scary till the halfway point.
The title also makes so much sense! Danny is such a big part of the book; the whole Torrance family each play an important role, but Danny and Jack have more to do with what happens than Wendy. Though she is of course an important character to the story.
King is great and creating characters and just making them feel so real and relatable at times. He also is, of course, great at writing scary, thrilling scenes. One scene that stands out is when Danny is scared of a fire hose. It seems like a silly thing to be scared of, but it is written so well that I was holding my breath as I read!
As far as how scary this book is, it certainly has quite a bit of scary and creepy scenes. Some of the scariest though, don’t involve ghosts really. The scariest parts are more psychological I would say. Seeing Jack’s slow descent as he gives in to what the hotel wants. As well as a flashback we see from his childhood, which I found so chilling.
This is so much more than a book about a haunted hotel, so many layers here about the people and the hotel itself. Addiction also plays a huge role in this and King, being someone who struggled with alcoholism himself, what he writes about the addiction rings true. Not just from Jack’s perspective (the one who struggles with alcohol), but also from his wife’s perspective. In the book, we hear a lot about a drinking buddy of Jack’s, Al Shokley, back when they lived on the east coast when Jack was a teacher. One line from the book reads, “After his classes he went over to Al Shockley’s—she hated Al Shockley worse than she had ever hated anyone.” It’s a small detail, but I found it so relatable. My husband has struggled with alcohol, and I had a very special dislike for his main drinking buddy. I honestly still struggle with trying to see his side of things and have a better attitude towards him.
There is flashback when Jack sold a story. He and some friends were at home celebrating with Wendy, but then Jack and his friends leave and go out. Wendy thinks about this, “…was she not holding her husband right? Why else would he take his joy out of the house? A helpless kind of terror had risen up in her and it never occurred to her that he had gone out for reasons that had nothing to do with her.” When you have a relationship with an addict, you can initially think you are to blame in some way for their addiction. When you realize, as Wendy does here, that it may have nothing to do with you, this is terrifying yet also freeing. It’s terrifying, because if it has nothing to do with you, that means you can’t “control” it by changing what you are or aren’t doing. But it is freeing because you realize this is their addiction, and you need to just live your life the way you want and not feel like it their addiction is your responsibility to bear.
And I just want to say, if you have a loved one, be it a family member, a friend, a roommate, whatever, I highly suggest googling where the closest Al-anon meeting is. Being able to talk openly about the struggle of having someone in your life who is an alcoholic, with people who know exactly the situation you are in, is so incredibly helpful! It has made a big difference in my life.
We’ll be talking about addiction again later in this episode, but when it comes up again it will be about Jack specifically. I just wanted to have a quick blip about Wendy and her situation in particular.
Stephen King famously does not like this adaptation of his novel. He wrote a script for it, but Kubrick purposefully did not even read it. It’s said he called King’s writing sloppy and felt he could improve on it. Pretty cocky thing to say about someone whose book your adapting!
I don’t plan on talking in detail on the differences from book to movie, because so many people have done that already! When I watched the movie this time around, I did take a lot of notes, many of which are commenting on the changes. There are just too many to talk about!
I will just share my opinions and talk about different themes in both, while also touching on the changes made.
Also, if you want to hear people talk more in depth about this book and movie, the podcast Ink to Film has four episodes, each over an hour long, dedicated to The Shining! I listened to two of their Shining episodes so far and enjoy their commentary. And because they spend so much more time covering it than I will here, you can get more details from them.
To start, as far as the book is concerned, none of these actors looks or even act the way I pictured in the book. I mean Danny looks the part, but his character is very different. So as far as that goes, Nicholson and Duvall are terribly cast. I will therefore be putting the book aside and focusing on their roles as far as the movie script is concerned. Because the movie takes some elements from the novel, and turns it into its own creation which makes them hard to compare sometimes. There are just so many changes with the characters and they are so different, in looks and how they act.
Jack Nicholson is of course iconic in this role. His adlibbed line of, “Here’s Johnny!” is one of the most well-known movie quotes of all time! He plays the villain so well and is truly frightening. There are some lines that are almost funny, but because of the seriousness of the movie, those slightly comedic lines are just more off putting.
Shelley Duvall is also great as Wendy, a character who tries so hard to be positive while being married to a guy who seems so negative and gets progressively threatening. She also seems genuinely terrified. Kubrick is infamous for doing a ridiculous amount of takes, and this, as well as his general treatment of her, made this a very stressful film to work on for her. Some of those scenes, I’m sure were just her being so on edge and stressed. On IMDb there is a quote saying,
“During the making of this film, Kubrick psychologically tormented Duvall, causing her immense stress and affecting her mental state. He would often ignore her entirely during filming or would put in her situations which caused her immense fear and distress. The most obvious example is when Kubrick shot the famous “baseball bat scene” with Duvall and Nicholson 127 times, which is the world record for most number of takes in any film set.”
Danny Lloyd is fine as Danny. I wouldn’t say he’s the best child actor out there, and he isn’t as central of a character in the movie so he doesn’t have quite as much anyway. But overall, he does an impressive job for how young he is. Kubrick may have been a jerk to Duvall, but he was very protective of Lloyd and made sure he wasn’t part of any of the scary scenes. When he is making scared faces, he didn’t even know what the character was even seeing. As they were filming, he thought it was a family drama and it wasn’t till years later he realized it was a horror movie. He was in one movie after this, but continued life outside of acting and is currently a science teacher in Missouri. Though I did see he has a cameo in Doctor Sleep, which is a sequel to The Shining which focuses on the grown-up Danny Torrance.
Scatman Crothers plays the Overlook chef, Dick Halloran, who also has “the shining”. He is a likeable guy and Crothers shows that. He unfortunately is murdered, which didn’t happen in the book and wasn’t even in Kubrick’s original screenplay. But Kubrick changed it, because it is a horror movie after all and someone’s gotta be killed, right?
Meaning of the title
In the book and movie, Halloran refers to Danny’s “talent”, as shining. He tells Danny that he (Danny) shines harder than anyone Halloran has ever met before. Someone who shines, can read minds, and get premonitions. When around someone else who shines, they can also have telepathic conversations. Danny shining is so strong, he can even send a message to Halloran when Danny is in Colorado and Halloran is in Miami; whereas Halloran isn’t able to talk back because his shining isn’t as strong.
In the movie, we have the scene where Halloran talks to Danny about the shining, but we don’t really get the full extent of Danny’s powers. Since his shining is a bit underplayed in the movie, I never understood why that was the title. I assumed it was done simply because it sounded cool.
However, in the book we see how powerful Danny can be. He is so young, yet at the same time he is mature for his age due to this ability to read minds and see the future.
The Overlook had ghosts and Halloran had different scary experiences, but nothing serious had happened since Grady. Danny’s presence and the strength of his shining, is why the Overlook pulls all the stops, getting control of Jack as well as letting loose the spirits. If Danny can be killed there, the Overlook will own his spirit and will gain Danny’s power. If Jack had spent the winter there alone, he may have gotten stir crazy of course, but the hotel wouldn’t have acted up they way it did with Danny being there.
A line from the book, showing how Danny’s power brings the hotel to life, reads, “In the Overlook all things had a sort of life. It was as if the whole place had been wound up with a silver key. The clock was running… He was that key, Danny thought sadly.”
“It might even be that in some unknown fashion it was Danny’s shine that was powering it, the way a battery powers the electrical equipment in a car … the way a battery gets a car to start.”
When you learn this, the title makes perfect sense and is very fitting.
I really liked the aspect of Danny being able to read his parents’ mind. If a thought is strong enough, with anyone not just his parents, Danny can’t help but hear it. When it’s just casual thoughts, Danny has to focus and make a point to listen in. He can also preceive the emotions around him. When his parents are feeling love for each other, he feels that. Just as he can feel when they have negative feelings and knew the word divorce crossed their minds, even though neither ever said it aloud.
The movie shows this at times, where we see him freaking out in bed, when Jack is in room 237 as well as when Grady is telling Jack he needs to “correct” Danny. But it is definitely underplayed.
We have Tony in the movie, Danny saying it’s his friend that “lives in his mouth”. It seems Tony is someone that can share what Danny is actually feeling and he can speak as Tony whenever he wants. Though other times it does seem that Tony is taking control. Danny can be off-putting at times in the movie, due to this “Tony” and the way he speaks when it’s Tony speaking. Danny was also just had more personality in the book. When he is talking to Halloran in the movie, he is shy and hesitant. Whereas in the book, he was very open. He can read minds, and can tell when someone is being genuine. He therefore is a great judge of character, and knows he can trust Halloran. We don’t really get that vibe and the instant trust between them in the movie.
Anyway, in the book Tony never “speaks” to Wendy or Jack through Danny. Tony is a vague figure Danny sees in visions. Tony will appear and will proceed to show Danny a future event. Initially these were random things and not scary. However, as the trip to the Overlook approaches, Tony starts to only show him scary things. Sometimes the images are so scary, that when Danny comes to, he can’t really remember what he had even been shown.
They do take Danny to see a doctor (this is in the movie as well, though a doctor comes to their house when Jack isn’t home before they go to the overlook). The doctor asks Danny to bring Tony here, and Danny starts by focusing on reading Wendy’s mind, then puts himself into a kind of self-hypnosis which brings Tony. Like I said, Tony never speaks to people around Danny though, just shows him visions.
Near the end of the book, for the first time, Tony comes close enough that Danny can clearly see him and we see that he is an older version of Danny himself. Anthony is Danny’s middle name; hence the reason Tony used that name when first “introducing” himself to Danny. So it’s his future self visiting his past self and warning him about dangers he is about to face.
Similar to Misery (which is also written by King and is also about addiction) I highlighted so many passages where King describes the torment that is alcoholism.
The first two are about the self-loathing one feels about what they’ve done when they were drinking. Even though alcohol was the cause of those actions, the shame makes them wants to drink to forget the shame and guilt, and it becomes a vicious cycle. “He would look at them and the self-loathing would back up his throat in a bitter wave, even stronger than the taste of beer and cigarettes and martinis…”
“How many times, over how many years, had he—a grown man—asked for the mercy of another chance? He was suddenly so sick of himself, so revolted, that he could have groaned aloud.”
Another line I thought rang true, is talking about what causes one to be an addict of some kind. Reading, “He was still an alcoholic, always would be, perhaps had been since Sophomore Class Night in high school when he had taken his first drink. It had nothing to do with willpower, or the morality of drinking, or the weakness or strength of his own character. There was a broken switch somewhere inside, or a circuit breaker that didn’t work, and he had been propelled down the chute willy-nilly, slowly at first, then accelerating as Stovington applied its pressures on him.” There might be some people out there who disagree for whatever reason. But I agree with this, people who struggle with substance abuse oftentimes are just genetically predispositioned for it. Addiction is a mental disease, or handicap. Thinking of it in those terms, as something that just isn’t right in their brain that they struggle with, is the only way to make sense as to why an addict would drink when by doing so, will only make life worse for them and those around them.
Addiction is also a self-sabotaging act. Another passage reading, “Wendy had accused him of desiring his own destruction but not possessing the necessary moral fiber to support a full-blown deathwish. So he manufactured ways in which other people could do it, lopping a piece at a time off himself and their family.”
One final general addiction quote is how is causes you to become someone who doesn’t keep their word.
“‘I always thought I could keep my promises.’… and at that moment, at least, he meant it. The same way he had always meant it on those mornings after, looking at his pale and haggard face in the bathroom mirror. I’m going to stop, going to cut it off flat. But morning gave way to afternoon, and in the afternoons he felt a little better. And afternoon gave way to night. As some great twentieth-century thinker had said, night must fall.”
Just a side note, in the book Jack was sober about a year and half before working for the Overlook, whereas in the movie he only has 5 months of sobriety. This is a discrepency in the movie though, because Wendy tells the doctor that Jack stopped drinking after he dislocated Danny’s shoulder. But then Jack says that that event happened three years ago. So was Wendy lying, saying he quit right after that as a way to make Jack look good in front of others? I’m assuming this couldn’t be something Kubrick just missed. The only thing that makes sense is Wendy covering for him.
In the book, he didn’t stop after breaking Danny’s arm. Rather it was after he and Al are drunk driving and hit a bicycle. There was no one on the bike thankfully, but the thought that they could have killed someone is enough of a scare that they both quit cold turkey.
Overlook using his addiction
The Overlook uses Jack as a pawn to get what they ultimately want-Danny. They get him through his pride, but primarily through his addiction.
He begins to have an obsession, an addiction, to reading about the Overlooks history. He is in the basement reading a scrapbook about the hotel and Wendy calls down to him. He suddenly feels ashamed and doesn’t want her to know what he has been doing-just as he felt when she would almost catch him drinking. His drinking habits also return, the book reading, “The most frightening thing, vaporous and unmentioned, perhaps unmentionable, was that all of Jack’s drinking symptoms had come back, one by one … all but the drink itself.”
Eventually the Overlook provides Jack with alcohol. His mind was already being altered by the hotel itself, but in order to get him to do the unthinkable, it had to get him drunk because he was too much himself and wouldn’t do it otherwise. This was a key part to the book, because Jack truly loved Wendy and Danny. Before he starts drinking, his drinking symptoms start creeping back due to his new addiction to the Overlook, however there is still part of him that wants to save them from what he feels coming on.
In the book, before the heavy snow, he calls up Ullman in a threatening way. Ullman than calls Al Shockley, the one in charge who hired Jack. He reprimands Jack but doesn’t fire him. Jack realizes the reason he made the call in the first place was in hopes to get fired, to give them a reason to leave the hotel before it was too late.
By the way, in the movie, Ullman is a perfectly pleasant man and likes Jack. In the book, he wasn’t liked by the employees, and he and Jack did not like each other.
Also, before things get out of hand, the boiler almost blows and Jack contemplates letting the whole place blow up. But then at the last minute he lets the boiler out and saves the hotel. Afterwards, he goes upstairs thinking how the Overlook will be grateful to him for that, and will reward him with real alcohol, which it does.
As said, they also manipulate Jack using his pride, making him think he is the important one. When Lloyd brings up Danny, Jack thinks, “What could they want with his son? What could they want with Danny? Wendy and Danny weren’t in it. He tried to see into Lloyd’s shadowed eyes, but it was too dark, too dark; it was like trying to read emotion into the empty orbs of a skull. (It’s me they must want … isn’t it? I am the one. Not Danny, not Wendy. I’m the one who loves it here. They wanted to leave. I’m the one who took care of the snowmobile … went through the old records … dumped the press on the boiler … lied … practically sold my soul … What can they want with him?)”
Honestly, this is such a great example of evil. It will use someone to do their bidding, stroking the persons ego, but really the person is just a pawn who is being manipulated so the evil things can get what they want. And once they have it, the person they had convinced was important, is cast aside.
Then one final line in regard to drinking, in the end Wendy thinks, “A distant part of her thought that the worst thing was that it had all come back to this, she and her drunken husband.”
The movie of course showcases his drinking as well, though it seems stronger in the book. We also don’t see Jack’s inner conflict in regard to doing the hotel’s bidding while also loving his family.
Another layer to Jack which isn’t in the movie, is that he was raised by an alcoholic, abusive dad. By the way, I don’t know if this applies to people who would be interested in this book/movie in the first place, but if you were raised by an abusive alcoholic parent, or if you have an abusive spouse, this is not a book or movie I would recommend! Especially the book. I would imagine it would be very triggering.
The first time we hear “from” Jack’s dad (the Overlook is using his dad to get to him) it is such a chilling scene. We later get a flashback to an event at the dinner table growing up and this too is so terrifying in its reality. It is so vivid and these sections about his father and his home life, and how the Overlook uses the memory of his father against him, is again, just so chilling and truly scary.
The book also talks about the conflict Jack felt growing up. Well, maybe not conflict, because he loved and feared his father. Yet he was too young to realize those are two emotions that shouldn’t go together; at least not until he was older.
When he is haunted by his father, it reads, “’You’re dead, you’re in your grave, you’re not in me at all!’ Because he had cut all the father out of him and it was not right that he should come back, creeping through this hotel two thousand miles from the New England town where his father had lived and died.”
By the way, Stephen King was raised by his mom and I don’t believe he ever knew his dad.
Jack in the movie
In the movie, Jack just seems off from the beginning. Starting with the drive up to the Overlook, he just seems like a moody guy who is annoyed by his wife and child. In the book, there were a lot of scenes that showed Jack as a very likeable guy and a great dad. It talks often of the bond he and Danny share and he and Wendy seem to have gotten their relationship to a good place. It shows them being silly and happy with each other, even with the early months in the Overlook.
But yeah, in the movie, Jack is never likable and he and Danny don’t seem to have a close relationship at all. We have the scene where Jack is in a bit of a stupor and has Danny on his lap, telling him how much he (Jack) loves the Overlook. He also tells Danny that he would never hurt him. This isn’t a reassuring scene at all though.
The book has you hoping the dad will be able to pull through and not be overtaken by the Overlook. Whereas in the movie, the Overlook itself doesn’t come across as the villain, rather Jack seems to be the only villain. You are never hoping he will change back to his good, true self; because as far as we can see, he doesn’t seem to have a good side! Seeing as he has been this edgy, angry guy basically from the start. You never really feel the tragedy of Wendy and Danny losing someone they love, or having to hurt someone they love like when they lock him in the pantry. Duvall is great in that scene and you can see of course not only how distressed and terrified she is, but you get a feel for how horrible it is that she is this terrified of her own husband.
I also loved this pantry scene when Jack tells her she should go check the snowcat, in his taunting way. Such a great scene, his smugness and her terror at realizing they are stranded.
In the movie, the beginning puts a big emphasis on cabin fever and how people can go stir crazy when they are isolated. This isn’t something that is really played up in the book. As said, the Overlook is an entity unto itself and Danny causes it to come even more alive. If the hotel wasn’t haunted, I think the Torrance family would have been fine. Though obviously cabin fever is a thing and can make some people do crazy things. The movie also says the Overlook was built on an ancient Native American burial ground, which seems to have been a popular thing to include in horror movies in the 80’s. In the book this isn’t said.
I loved how the Overlook had a mind of its own and as time goes on, it takes over and is in charge. It no longer tries to be subtle and hide what is going on. In the movie, Wendy doesn’t even realize the hotel is haunted until the very end. In the book, things kept happening which allowed all three to realize what the Overlook was doing.
A passage about the Overlook I really loved, compares it to a monster, reading, “The Overlook faced it as it had for nearly three-quarters of a century, its darkened windows now bearded with snow, indifferent to the fact that it was now cut off from the world. Or possibly it was pleased with the prospect. Inside its shell the three of them went about their early evening routine, like microbes trapped in the intestine of a monster.”
Another passage talks about the hotel as its own entity reading, “…Overlook really didn’t want them out of here. Not at all. The Overlook was having one hell of a good time. There was a little boy to terrorize, a man and his woman to set one against the other, and if it played its cards right they could end up flitting through the Overlook’s halls like insubstantial shades in a Shirley Jackson novel, whatever walked in Hill House walked alone, but you wouldn’t be alone in the Overlook, oh no, there would be plenty of company here.”
Jack’s relationship with the Overlook
In the movie, Wendy confides that the Overlook scared her at first. Jack tells her that he loved it right away. I don’t know if he liked it right away in the book, but he does form a bond with the hotel. When going to check on room 217 (in the book the room is 217, the movie changed the room number to 237 because the hotel it was partly filmed at, had a room 217 and they didn’t want people avoiding the room because of the movie) anyway, while going to check and see if a woman is there, he thinks to himself,” Nothing in the Overlook frightened him. He felt that he and it were simpático.” Although once he is in the room, he is frightened. He doesn’t see the woman, but strange things happen, and he hears her. He shuts and locks the door and while in the hallway he can hear the knob rattling. However, when he sees Wendy he lies and says nothing was there. This is similar to the movie, except in the movie he does actually see the woman. Yet he lies to Wendy and says there was nothing.
In the book, even when it is obvious there are ghosts, Jack continues to deny it and try and convince Danny and Wendy that they are crazy for thinking they hear or see things.
Something I loved in the book, is that Wendy makes sure Danny knows it isn’t really Jack they are dealing with. It isn’t like the movie, where, as I said, you don’t feel any sympathy for Jack. In the book, his wife and child are worried about him and realize the hotel has possessed him. Wendy says to Danny, “I know you love your daddy. I do too. We have to remember that the hotel is trying to hurt him as much as it is us.”
In the book, Jack has the roque mallet and beats Wendy pretty bad. She locks herself in the bathroom and he partially beats the door down, but like in the movie, he stops when he hears the snowmobile coming up and leaves. He ends up hitting Halloran pretty good, however he doesn’t kill him. He leaves Halloran to chase Danny. Wendy gets to Halloran and Danny joins them soon after and they are able to escape.
Danny goes head-to-head with the Overlook when “Jack” confronts him. This is such a great scene. Danny says to him, “You’re it, not my daddy. You’re the hotel. And when you get what you want, you won’t give my daddy anything because you’re selfish. And my daddy knows that. You had to make him drink the Bad Stuff. That’s the only way you could get him, you lying false face.” I love this because he is taking his power back and not allowing himself to give into thinking the hotel is this all powerful thing. It wouldn’t have even been able to fully possess Jack without the help of alcohol. Which by the way, he drinks at the bar, then when Grady frees him from the pantry, a cocktail is waiting on the counter for him. Making sure he stays intoxicated and doesn’t get a clear head.
While in front of Danny, for a moment his father’s soul is able to show through. “But suddenly his daddy was there, looking at him in mortal agony, and a sorrow so great that Danny’s heart flamed within his chest. The mouth drew down in a quivering bow. “Doc,” Jack Torrance said. “Run away. Quick. And remember how much I love you.” “No,” Danny said. “Oh Danny, for God’s sake—” “No,” Danny said. He took one of his father’s bloody hands and kissed it. “It’s almost over.””
Soon after this, the possessed Jack runs to the basement to take care of the boiler, which it had forgotten about. Because it stopped tending to the boiler, the whole Overlook ends up catching fire and burning down, but it doesn’t happen till Danny, Wendy and Halloran have escaped.
One difference in the movie, is the death of Halloran. Which is unfortunate, but he still plays a key role in saving them in the movie because without him as a distraction Jack would have killed Wendy. He also brought a snowmobile up which Wendy and Danny were able to drive down.
Jack dies in both, though he isn’t directly killed by anyone in either case. In the movie, he famously freezes in the maze he chased Danny in to.
The movie also has the man in the dog suit at the end, which I used to think was just a random scene put there to be unsettling. In the book though, there was a man dressed as a dog at the party in the 1940’s which they hear, the same party Jack meets Grady. Anyway, there was a guy who was degrading himself by wearing a dog costume to try and appeal to the man who owned the Overlook back then.
The very end of the movie shows a photo from the old party (in the book the old party is in the 40’s but the movie changed it to the 20’s) anyway, we see Jack there in the photo. This may have been inspired from the book, a line which reads, “But it wasn’t really empty. Because here in the Overlook things just went on and on. Here in the Overlook all times were one.”
Book or movie?
I loved this movie back when I saw it before reading the book, and even after reading the source novel, I still love it. Kubrick seems like a horrible director to work with, but he did create some masterpieces in his time and this is one of them. It has also just gained power as the years go by. It is still so famous and still so chilling. The scene where Wendy finds what he has been writing, the famous, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, rather than having the suspense build, and then have Jack surprise us over Wendy’s should, therefore releasing our built up suspense. Kubrick instead, shows Wendy, then switches angles to show Jack approaching her. Not using the cheap jump scare. Here, there is not jump scare, just building tension since there was no jump for us to release that tension. It just builds and builds.
The acting is also stellar. Poor Duvall though, who was truly going through such a tough time. Nicholson too though was going through a lot. I read that when he came home from work, he went straight to sleep. Then woke up and went to work the next morning. He’s incredible in this and has become well known for playing crazy, unhinged men in one way or another. But this role may be his most iconic.
Despite having said all that, overall, I would say I like the book better. There is more to the characters and I loved how layered Jack was. Rather than just having him be a villain we don’t really care for.
Even though the movie makes so many changes, I still think it’s a great adaptation. I like that some big elements are changed from book to movie, and it may have helped the movie be more interesting, and also helps the movie be its own thing. When a movie follows the book very close, the movie has to be so excellently done, otherwise there is a risk in it being boring because it follows the book so close. (Shutter Island and Goodfellas, are an example of one where book and movie are so similar, yet each are so well done I enjoy both despite knowing the story).
So I think The Shining is a great adaptation, even if it leaves out some key elements. It makes up for it in other ways.
But still, as I said, I think I love the book even more than the movie due to its amazing character development. I also loved what a big role Danny had in the book, whereas he doesn’t do quite as much in the movie.
I highly recommend both, but especially the book if you have not yet read it! There are some other big events from the book I didn’t even mention here-the wasps, the events with George Hattfield that caused Jack to be fired from being a teacher, the topiary, the hotel’s history and more.