The Shining Book Summary

by Stephen King36


A chilling story of isolation and supernatural horror, 'The Shining' follows Jack Torrance and his family as they encounter malevolent forces at the remote Overlook Hotel.

What is The Shining about

'The Shining' is a Gothic horror novel by Stephen King that centers on Jack Torrance, who takes a job as the winter caretaker of the remote Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. The story unfolds as Jack, his wife Wendy, and his uniquely gifted five-year-old son Danny move into the hotel, which has a dark and evil past. As winter sets in, the family becomes isolated, and sinister forces within the hotel begin to influence Jack's mental state, leading to horrifying consequences. The novel delves into themes of isolation, madness, and the supernatural, making it a staple in modern American horror literature.

The Shining 6 Key Takeaways

Jack Torrance takes the caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel.

Looking for a fresh start and time to focus on his writing, Jack brings his family to the remote hotel, which has a dark history.

Danny's unique abilities reveal the hotel's sinister nature.

Danny, gifted with 'the shining,' begins to see terrifying visions and feels the malevolent presence within the Overlook.

Jack's descent into madness.

Jack's mental state deteriorates under the influence of the hotel's malevolent forces, leading to violent and erratic behavior.

The hotel's ghostly residents reveal themselves.

As the hotel’s influence grows, its ghostly inhabitants—including the specter of previous caretaker Charles Grady—begin to manifest and interact with Jack and Danny.

The climax of terror.

Jack, completely consumed by the hotel's evil, attempts to murder his family, culminating in a deadly confrontation.

Wendy and Danny's escape.

In a desperate fight for survival, Wendy and Danny manage to escape the Overlook as Jack meets his tragic end.

The Shining Best Reviews

  • 'A master storyteller, Stephen King has taken the traditional horror story and elevated it to new heights with 'The Shining.'—The New York Times
  • 'King's ability to create a sense of creeping dread is unparalleled. 'The Shining' is a terrifying and unforgettable experience.'—Time Magazine

Top The Shining Quotes

  • 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.'
  • 'Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t.'

Who should read The Shining?

Fans of horror literature and psychological thrillers will find 'The Shining' to be a compelling read. Those interested in the supernatural and the exploration of human psychology under extreme conditions will also appreciate this novel's depth and complexity.

About the Author

Stephen King is a prolific American author known for his mastery in the horror genre. With a career spanning over four decades, King has published more than 60 novels, many of which have been adapted into films, TV series, and miniseries. His notable works include 'Carrie,' 'It,' 'Misery,' and 'The Dark Tower' series. King's storytelling prowess and ability to delve into the human psyche have earned him critical acclaim and a dedicated global readership.

The Shining FAQs

What is the book 'The Shining' about?

'The Shining' is about a family who becomes the caretakers of the remote Overlook Hotel, which harbors malevolent forces that drive the father, Jack Torrance, into madness.

Is 'The Shining' book scary?

Yes, 'The Shining' remains a very scary story, renowned for its psychological depth and supernatural elements.

Is 'The Shining' appropriate for a 12-year-old?

It is not recommended for a 12-year-old unless they are very mature and have a high tolerance for horror, as the book contains intense psychological and violent elements.