And We All Shine On

By: Gina Brandolino

Since we’ll be studying The Shining this semester in horror class, I thought I’d pass along this recent NPR interview with Stephen King about his sequel to The Shining, which, among other horrifying things, I am sure, explores the character of Danny as an adult.

The Shining is a movie students always mention as one of their favorite horror stories; it was one of the first student-recommended texts I added to the course.  Though I know King wasn’t happy with the film adaptation of his book, it’s incredibly fun to teach, because there is just so much to analyze, and also, it’s one of the few ghost stories that stays a ghost story–does not slide into a story of demonic possession like so many others.

While I’m talking about The Shining, let me pass along one of my favorite blogthings, this site, which collects, for lack of a better way of putting it, memorabilia of The Shining.

By the way, my title for this post references the song that inspired King’s title for this excellent horror story.


4 thoughts on “And We All Shine On

  1. Random interesting fact: King actually uses the Overlook Hotel and the town of Sidewinder in (at least) one other book of his. In the book “Misery” the story takes place a few miles down the road from the Overlook Hotel. Here is the quote in which Annie Wilkes (the psycho lady that kidnaps and traps the protagonist in “Misery”) references The Overlook and Jack Torrence himself: “He was going to go up to the old hotel and sketch the ruins. His pictures were going to be with an article they were doing. It was a famous old hotel called the Overlook. It burned down ten years ago. The caretaker burned it down. He was crazy. Everybody in town said so. But never mind; he’s dead.” (King)

  2. I’ve actually never read or seen the Shining, but I think it’s pretty awesome that the Overlook is based on a real hotel in Colorado, the Stanley Hotel that was built as a retreat for people suffering from tuberculosis, and actually became quite famous for the celebrities that stayed there. The Stanley Hotel itself is reported to be extremely haunted.

  3. I think it is interesting to see how King is developing a character that is nearly four decades old. I think this provides and intriguing premise in that usually with horror stories or horror films, you don’t get to see what happens after it’s over. There is no insight into the recuperation, the post traumatic issues that will undoubtedly surround a character like Danny. King also makes a point to address this curiosity, discussing how we want to be able to connect with the adult version as well, which in many senses, grew at the same rates as the initial audience of “The Shining.” Oddly enough, the actor who played Danny in the film did not realize he was in a horror movie until he was thirteen, and never saw the movie in its entirety until he was seventeen. (Link Here: Finally, I think the way King connects Danny’s problems with alcoholism and his own is a strong connection of realistic characters in a work of fiction. Danny almost seems to be a part of King’s reflection on his rehabilitation and embodies the idea of overcoming the traumas of youth.

  4. I’ve never seen The Shining, either, so while I like a lot of why King wants to continue the story (rising above parents and just wanting to return to an old character), it’s hard for me to grasp it fully since I don’t know how the story goes. However, I like that he waited a long time to write another story with the character. Often times people need time to grow and this growth helps them to develop an understanding about life, themselves, and as a creator, the characters that they’re making (I know this for my own as I have two characters that I created when I was 13 and they’ve changed a great deal over the last nine years). King once being a heavy drinker and now being sober has taken his experience to add to the character and the story.

    On another note, I think the quote “Being scared is like sex. There’s nothing like your first time,” is quite funny to me, mostly because a lot of people don’t actually enjoy their first time (at least a lot of women don’t, it might be different for men). If we’re referring to the new experience, the new feelings and the intensity of first sex, then yeah, horror may be like that. Being scared too is intense and you don’t know what to expect when you’re scared because you don’t see it coming and you’ve never experienced it. But since I’m not a huge fan of being scared, I think it’s funny to compare first time sex to being scared for the first time because the first time can be horrible and life altering or awkward and change your view on things entirely.

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