36 years ago, one of Colorado’s great resort hotels, The Overlook, burned to the ground. Jack Torrance could not escape the hotel’s grasp, but his wife and son, Wendy and Danny, survived everything that The Overlook tried to throw at them, and emerged from the wreckage. The only other survivor was the hotel’s chef, Dick Hallorann, who’d come up from Florida when he got a ‘hunch’, and a mental call from Danny.
Wendy and Dick received multiple injuries from what happened to them inside The Overlook, but Danny came out physically unharmed. Wendy received a small settlement from the hotel, enough to help her and Danny get by while she recuperated. They ended up moving to Florida, not too far from where Dick Hallorann lived. The bond that was formed between Dick and Danny was strong, and they all kept in touch throughout the years.
Although Danny was physically OK, the poor kid was a mess mentally. He was too young to control his gift, or his curse. There’s no reason to pretend here, we all know what it is! Danny could not control the shining at this young age, so he couldn’t stop the ghosts from The Overlook from coming to him. In March of 1981, when Danny was eight years old, and in the third grade, he had a visitor from The Overlook. He woke his mom up, told her not to go in the bathroom, and after that he refused to speak. Wendy called Dick and asked him to come. He didn’t hesitate, and was there the next day. This is when Dick sat down with Danny and explained as much as he could about The Shining, as much as an eight year old would understand anyway. Dick also told Danny about his childhood, his shine at that age, and what his grandmother had done to help him.
He taught Danny how to lock these ghosts away, in a sealed box, on a high shelf in the far back his mind. This is a trick you can do IRL (in real life), too. Psychologists would call it repressing, but I say – “Whatever it takes to get by!!”
We flash forward in time, to a present day Danny. The child who had been abused by an alcoholic father, and who swore would never take a drink, is waking up in Hangover Hell and trying to recall the previous nights events. We learn about what kind of man Dan Torrance has grown into, and where he is at this point in his life.
Meanwhile, we are getting to know Andrea Steiner. Andrea is a 32 year old ‘wanderer’, doing what she needs to do to get by. She’s been ‘Dating for Dinner’, and while other girls are happy being picked-up with a quick drink and trip to the closest motel, that’s not her gig. Not a huge fan of men anyway, due to a father who spent eight years treating her like anything BUT his daughter, she preferred being taken to a movie instead of straight to the sheets.
Andrea doesn’t have to earn her money the way the others do. She has a unique talent. While watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with her date, his hand starts to creep into her lap and he’s not wanting any of the popcorn she has there. She whispers in his ear, and he falls into a deep sleep. So deep, in fact, that he doesn’t mind when she reaches into his pants, for his wallet instead of his willie, and liberates him from his cash.
This isn’t the first man who has fallen asleep in the theater with Andrea, and there is someone in the back row that has seen them all.
Rose O’Hare, known simply as Rose The Hat, is the leader of a tribe of people called the True Knot who travel across the country in search of sustenance. They are ‘family’ – what is tied can never be untied. They have been without a member who has a true ‘sleeper’ talent for quite some time, and Andrea is perfect.
The sustenance that the True Knot seeks comes from the ‘steam’ that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death. The more pain these children endure, the more potent their steam becomes, so…they do not die a quick death.
Elsewhere, there is Abra Stone. Abra Is a very special and unique twelve year old girl who has unknowingly predicted numerous tragedies ever since she was an infant.
Born with a caul, and blessed with second-sight, she knows that her abilities scare her parents – so she hides them, pretending that they no longer exist. Her ‘Momo’, Concetta, has always known she is two-minded, and is supportive. The True Knot is aware of Abra’s existence, and her power. Abra has seen visions of Rose The Hat, and is aware of the danger.
When Abra really needs someone to confide in…there’s always been Tony. Lately though, Tony hasn’t been around.
When Abra recalls a vision, a forgotten memory so strong she cannot handle it alone, she reaches out with everything she has and asks Tony’ s dad for help.
It looks like I’ve said a lot, but I’ve only scratched the surface. I wasn’t super excited to read this, thinking a sequel to The Shining couldn’t possibly be done. But, knowing that the rest of the world was reading it, I couldn’t possibly put it off. My friends were super excited to read it, so I wanted to be able to discuss it when they were ready.
I went in with mediocre expectations, and have to admit that I was drawn back in to the Overlook from the very beginning. By the time I finished, I knew it wasn’t just the hotel that held such an evil power, but the land itself.
The first part of the story, with a young Danny, was great. I loved being back with Dick Halloran and reading about his childhood with the shining. Wendy tried, but Danny wouldn’t have made it without Dick. I’ve always been grateful that he made it out of the hotel alive.
I barely touched on the adult Dan Torrance. During his travels, and short stays from town to town, when he does end up finding work – he’s always been drawn to working in a hospice (hot-spice), being hired anywhere from janitorial staff to an orderly. His shining helps comfort the dying patients in their final moments.:
His battle with drinking was a big part of the story, and at first, I wasn’t really keen on all the meetings and slogans. But, after I thought about it, I realize that it’s an important part of the story. He grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father, and the path that Jack Torrance went down is the same path that led them to the Overlook.
Everything came full circle.
In the authors notes, when Stephen King talks about Stanly Kubrick’s movie version of The Shining, he says “…the movie, which many seem to remember – for reasons I have never quite understood – as one of the scariest films they’ve ever seen.”
Now, that sure sounds to me like he isn’t pleased with Kubrick’s interpretation. That surprises me!
The 1997 The Shining, also known as Stephen King’s The Shining, is a more accurate adaptation of Stephen King’s vision. This movie was filmed at The Stanly Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. THIS is the hotel King visualized while writing the story, having stayed there prior. I only wish I had my photos of our trip there! It is a gorgeous place, I met many workers who were hired as extras in the movie, and spent an hour playing with chipmunks in the parking lot!
Rocky Wood: King said Rock knows SK’s work better than SK, and is his go-to guy for all things Shining while working on this book. He also said ‘look him up sometime’. So, I did.
Art, THIS is the guy you will probably want to get in touch with about ‘the incident at the boiler’.
Links from the ebook:
The Simon & Schuster Stephen King page –
Normally, I wouldn’t even visit the page for more than just being sure that the link works. But, when I did, I ended up checking some things out. The main neat thing… Become a fan of Stephen King on the S & S page to find out about new releases by SK, recommendations, special offers, and more. Plus, get a FREE eBook when you join their mailing list – See more at:
~ has a little description of the book with a picture of the cover. A link which reads ” WHERE IS DANNY TORRANCE?
Click to find out”. The click is a maddening circle, ending at the beginning. I think it’s a little piece of SK’s sick humor…
King reads from Doctor Sleep
Need a refresher?