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The Shining

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Campbell Scott
Series: The Shining, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (666 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Before Doctor Sleep, there was The Shining, a classic of modern American horror from the undisputed master, Stephen King.

Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

©1977 Stephen King (P)2005 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"A master storyteller." ( Los Angeles Times)
"He's the author who can always make the improbable so scary you'll feel compelled to check the locks on the front door." ( The Boston Globe)
"Scary!... Serves up horrors at a brisk, unflagging pace." ( The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

so much scarier than I originally read

this was a "re-read" for me ans MAN, Campbell Scott does an amazing job with the narration. The voice acting scared the crap out of me and made me check my back seats as I was driving. The story is terrifying, one of King's best in my opinion. This is pure horror and Scott really makes you feel that.

6 people found this helpful

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Scary!!

A thousand times more terrifying than the movie or mini series. I don't always love Stephen Kings work (the first book I read was Dragon Eye) but this is one of his very best and worth the listen. Also, Leave space in your freezer!

5 people found this helpful

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Campbell Scott performed wonderfully!

After purchasing this book, I read the reviews and realized in a panic that not many people appreciated this orators delivery and found him "boring". After initially listening out of obligation to my purchase, I realized soon in that I respectfully disagreed with these comments. I binged this 15 hour + book in 2 days. We're all aware of Stephen Kings brilliance but I continually found myself enraptured by the delivery of certain lines, especially when things begin to pick up in part 3. Please consider this ebook - it's sure to make an impression

3 people found this helpful

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so good!!

I almost didn't download this because of the negative reviews on Campbell Scott. I'm so glad I didn't listen. He read the book Exactly the way that it was meant to be read. His performance, although nowhere near the calibre of Steven Weber's read of "It" was perfect for this story and I would highly recommend that you don't pass on this one. This story is in my opinion Stephen King's finest and the book is far superior to either of the film's although if you've only seen the Jack Nicholson version prepare for a much different plot.

2 people found this helpful

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Better than the Movie

AS usual, the audio of this book was so much better than the movie. You really got into the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Worth a listen

This was actually pretty good. It definitely drags on in some places because King loves to set atmosphere, which is fine, it just gets a little boring. I absolutely love the Shining movie and figured I had to give this a whirl just to compare the two and find out what I didn't totally understand in the movie *cough cough dog suit man cough cough*. I enjoyed finding similarities and finding out what Kubrick left out and put in. Honestly the movie and the book tell very different stories. The book is very supernatural and I find the movie to be more about severe cabin fever with some ghosts. Both good.

The performance was awesome. I feel like if I read the book myself I would have been lost the whole time, but Campbell differentiated the characters extremely well.

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointed!

This was a drag. Terrible. I don't know how this book became a hit. I was so excited for this one. What a shame. I mean the plot, the character monologues, the premise,... everything was/is just too slow and kept crawling. It is almost like one can write a better script by observing a bunch of lunatics in an asylum.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent in every way

I can only say good things-the best Stephen King book so far, also excellent presentation.

1 person found this helpful

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awesome 👍

this was so very different from the movie and so much better! definitely worth the time!

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Different than the movie

One of my wife and my favourite movies of all time, have watched it maybe 100 times, the book far exceeded my expectations and the ending is definitely more palatable in my opinion.

Enjoy the listen.

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  • Robert
  • 2016-12-18

good story, mixed narration

the narrator was inconsistent. great timing but monotone for much of the book. his telling picked up further in the book, but took awhile to get into.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-06-08

THE FOG OF ANGER

Jack's Anger
After being amazed that a Stephen King masterpiece actually went on sale, I was again amazed at the listening again. In the first reading you may be scared over one of the scariest books ever written. In the second reading you might want to concentrate on the writing, the dissection of anger and human behavior. King could write in any genre and be considered a genius. I am only glad he chose horror. I belong to a family in which anger is very present and all those things that go through Jack's mind, happen a lot more than you probably think. Keep that in mind when you get one of those fake smiles from someone you are dealing with.

Grab this at the sale price while you can. In five years I have rarely seen a King masterpiece go on sale.

154 people found this helpful

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  • KJ
  • 2012-09-17

Don't expect the movie...

Any additional comments?

I think this audiobook will suffer from people comparing it to the movie. The movie story had very little to do with the actual novel. While the movie eventually reached classic status, the story and character development veered wildly from King's vision, quite notoriously and controversially. The movie is fantastic in its own right but should stand alone. If you are looking for an audio version of the movie or Jack Nicholson's performance, you should give this a pass.

That being said the novel is a tremendously gripping and horrifying read, bringing you along as the characters are more and more absorbed by the forces at work. The centerpiece is the hotel, and King paints an amazing picture over the course of the book, giving the Overlook a back story, a personality and a voice. Campbell Scott does an admirable job capturing the myriad of voices and emotions. A very tough assignment given that he not only has to portray a woman and child, but inner voices and distinguish between lucidity and madness. His performance did not take me out of the story at all and that is a tall order in a suspense piece. I enjoyed every minute listening to this book and when listening at night was truly scared at times.

184 people found this helpful

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  • Tomb
  • 2019-08-19

Bad Narration

I've read this book years ago and loved it, So now wanted to have it on audible, I couldn't finish it due to the Narrator's monotone reading

6 people found this helpful

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  • C. Keogh
  • 2013-05-16

Read this book if you've only seen the film...

...because the book is a much more well-developed story. I saw the movie as a kid and watched it again just after finishing the novel for the first time. While I can understand why the film is iconic, it is a completely different interpretation of King's story and in my opinion just doesn't have as much depth or emotion. And I'm a Kubrick fan!

The story that most of us know: A writer takes his young family from Vermont out west to Colorado as he has taken a position as caretaker of a secluded hotel during its off season. King tackles issues such as alcoholism, self-esteem, and the strength of the family unit while telling a deliciously frightening story of the demons of the Overlook Hotel. He is one of the most talented storytellers out there, and I spent a good deal of time sitting in my driveway to listen to the end of a chapter before turning the car off and going inside my house.

Campbell Scott put me off at first as a narrator - I thought him to be a little too monotone at first, it was lolling me into a zone, not good when one is driving. But I stuck with him and he did brilliantly acting out the different characters, particularly the violent angry ones and I felt my pulse quicken during those parts.

I know it's said over and over again that the book is always better than the movie, but it's especially true in this case. Please treat yourself to this story, now one of my favorites by King.

55 people found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth Sanders
  • 2017-05-01

Book is 5 stars, the reader is 3-4

While I enjoyed the book very much, I had to convince myself to keep listening during the first several chapters. The reader was lackluster.

27 people found this helpful

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  • B. Reyes
  • 2019-08-03

Terrible Narrator

Such a good book. I’ve never saw the movie, so I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Everything about the book itself was amazing, the narrator was the problem. Some of the other reviews said that they liked his neutral monotone, but it took so much away from the story. It was hard for me to finish. If you want my advice, just read the book instead.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-30

Problems :(

I am currently on chapter 19.. was loving it completely so far, until now. The chapter keeps skipping. I was thinking maybe it was the audible app. I have restarted it and my phone. But no, this book skips and completely stops reading at different intervals in this chapter. The words slowly fade away and then jump right back in at a different, not so far ahead, part of the paragraph.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mxbrwr
  • 2019-08-06

Wonderful book, lackluster performance.

As many have already stated, the reader was lackluster. While at first it helped the foreboding atmosphere of desolation and monotony, and got you into Jack's psyche as someone trying to keep his cool despite his obvious issues with alcohol and anger, once we really start getting to the meat of the interactions between characters, there is hardly any passion. Jack and Wendy's frantic screaming dialogue which should induce terror and savagery instead just sound like muffled whispers, as if the reader was trying not to disturb a neighbor with thin walls. It was a strange choice. There was characterization to distinguish different speakers, but it was very subtle. Luckily the bulk of the reading focuses on the 3-4 main characters, but that only served to highlight the lack of passionate dialogue when it counted.

As a fan of Kubrick's interpretation and using that as a benchmark, the delivery was just so lacking, which is disappointing because the characters in the novel are so much richer and deeper and more complex. I definitely recommend the book, even if it did leave a few unanswered questions, and the performance is definitely not detrimental overall, just not up to par with other great performances.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bella
  • 2014-01-23

Loved it even more than the film!

Where does The Shining rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Usually I can't read a book after seeing the movie. It is too distracting to have the movie images in my head, but this book was so different in so many ways from the film. I loved the film, but the movie was so so so much better. Loved all 10+ hours of it, and wished it could go on longer. But thankfully there is "Doctor Sleep" which I am downloading now.

Any additional comments?

If you loved the movie, treat yourself to this.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Stéphane
  • 2019-05-22

Just awesome

The book doesn't need to be presented any more, but the reader is just gold !