Welcome to the final discussion of The Shining by Stephen King.
How did you like the ending? Did you feel like the book ended the way you wanted it to? Was the last section too scary for you to read?
I was shocked that Hallorann was actually able to make it to the hotel. He sure was persistent to get there. Could you believe all the things he was willing to do to get there? I couldn't believe when he got on the snowmobile and was actually able to get up to the hotel. I was sure that he was going to drive off the mountain before he actually made it to Danny. It was sad that Jack attacks Hallorann pretty much as soon as he shows up to the hotel. He was eventually able to be helpful, but it sure looked like he put all of that effort in to coming only to be murdered by Jack. I was glad when Hallorann was able to get back up and help in the fight against Jack.
I still was a little confused by all of the supernatural experiences in the book. Jack had another supernatural experience in the bar, but he gets a real drink through the experience. And, he gets drunk. He dances with a real person, even though it all seems like a hallucination. I just wasn't sure what was real and what wasn't. I didn't really understand the hotel's powers and what it was capable of. Apparently, the hotel is so desperate for Danny's talents that it is stopping them from getting help, and it's stepping up its attacks on them. At one point, near the end of the book, the hotel seems to come alive and attack them. Did any of those hallucination chapters confuse you? Did you understand the scope of the hotel's powers?
I appreciated that Wendy tried to be strong in this section, but she wasn't really much of a match for Jack. He had almost supernatural strength. I thought they might have a little reprieve from Jack once they locked him in the pantry, but, of course, he was able to get out. I was really nervous once Jack had the roque mallet. It seemed like that was a weapon that could do a lot of damage. What did you think of the fact that Wendy stabbed Jack, but he was still able to run after her with the mallet? It was all so scary to imagine what the scene would really look like. There wasn't any means of escape.
I was glad that Jack was able to have a little redemption in the end. Instead of attacking Danny, Jack is able to come to himself enough to let Danny escape. And, he tells Danny to remember how much he loves him. Do you think that little moment will really make a difference for Danny after all of the scary things he saw? Do you think he'll be able to remember anything good about his dad after this whole ordeal?
Were you surprised that the boiler was the thing that finally defeated the hotel? I thought there was enough foreshadowing about the boiler exploding, so I wasn't too surprised when it actually happened.
What did you think about the new life that Wendy and Danny have? I was relieved that they both seem to be ok, but I can't imagine that they will be able to have a completely peaceful life. I just can't imagine getting over all of the trauma they experienced. And, Wendy has so much physical healing to do. She was lucky to be alive, but the road to complete recovery will be really long, I think.
What are your final thoughts? Did you enjoy the reading experience? Do you think you would recommend this book to someone else? What parts will you remember the most? Did you enjoy this book enough to want to read similar titles? Check out this list I created if you're interested in finding similar books and movies. Make sure to let me know if you check out anything on the list!
Finally, check out the video below if you'd like to hear Stephen King talk a little bit about his inspiration for the story. Do you think you'd be able to stay in a hotel where you are the only guest?
Thanks for following along this month! I hope you enjoyed reading this book with us, and I hope you'll join us again next month as we read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I can't wait to hear from you in the comments.