31 July 2012

The Shining, by Stephen King (Audio Review)

People. If there is only one scary audio book that you get this year, make it this one, narrated by Campbell Scott. This actor knocked it outta the park.

Everyone knows the overall story, so I'll give you a quick synopsis. Jack is a failed teacher after a startling incident; struggling with alcoholism and regrets, he agrees to take a winter job overseeing a magnificent and sprawling mountain resort in Colorado to get himself back on track. With his wife and young son in tow, Jack resolves to write a book that will get him back in with society and wipe away his past mistakes. What he doesn't realize is that spending the winter at the hotel might release his own demons amidst the haunting of the Overlook Hotel and with his son Danny still wrestling with his telepathic gifts and near catatonic states, the family faces a catastrophe that is eerily similar to the past caretakers of the hotel.

The thing about Stephen King's books and their subsequent adaptations to film, is that a lot of times it never works out well. There's been a lot of debate about Stanley Kubrick's version (which Stephen King did not like) and the TV miniseries from 1997 that Stephen King wrote (which fans did not like). I've seen both versions and while I get why Stephen King didn't like Stanley Kubrick's version, I do like it a little bit better than the miniseries. I do think Rebecca De Mornay from the miniseries was a better choice for Wendy than Shelly Duvall was, though.

Selecting this story in audio was a little worrisome for me, and not because it's scary. I don't mind that part at all. What I was worried about was whether it would be any good in audio, but I shouldn't have feared it one bit. In Campbell Scott's easy and laid-back voice, the creepy story of Stephen King's The Shining takes shape and is riveting. I was spellbound by the many voices that Campbell Scott easily elicited (especially Jack's inner thoughts) and I soon found myself making every excuse to run, do errands, so I could listen to it, even listening to it while I took a shower. Without question, I would highly recommend this frightening story, but I'd almost feel more confident to suggest this in audio versus printed simply because Campbell Scott was THAT good. Just make sure you either keep the lights on or have a buddy around when you listen. Guaranteed to scare ya.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: 8/12/05
Audio Time: 15 hours, 54 minutes
Narrator: Campbell Scott

Audio Notes: As I mentioned above, Campbell Scott rocked this. Click here to listen to the Audible.com sample and click here for all the books this talented actor has narrated.

About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty novels, including The StandThe Dark Tower series, ItThe Shining, oh...what more can be written that one doesn't already know. So here you go, click here to visit this wicked cool author's official website.

The Stephen King Project. My education (and others') continues! The Shining is another selection for the challenge Kathleen and I are hosting. The site can be found (with other participants' reviews) here.


  1. I just reviewed this and I have to say the book just didn't do it for me. It wasn't scary at all. Maybe I should have just listened to the audio version! However, it hasn't turned me off King. I've been on a King kick since 11/22/63 and am now reading Salem's Lot. I really hope that scares me!

  2. Awww loved the book and the movie, I may just have to listen to this one. It's been many years -- great review.

  3. I don't think I could do a scary book on audio since I can barely do them in print.

  4. The movie scared the crud out of me enough to want to avoid the book! :--)

  5. I have seen both movie versions, but have never read or listened to the book. Perhaps it is time. I know that this is one story that scared my pants off and I can imagine that given the right narrator, it probably would again. Great review today Natalie. I will be looking for this one!

  6. I think I read this in...8th grade? Maybe 7th grade? Good Lord it is an amazing book. And I've seen the movie probably three dozen times in my life, and now my kids love it. I really didn't mind the movie changes at all, but Shelley Duval is just freakish looking. In my mind, the ONLY role she will ever be able to play is Olive.

  7. Loved this book when I read it years ago. One of my favorites of his.

  8. I love Campbell Scott as a narrator and can just imagine the extra creepiness factor he'll bring to King's writing!

  9. What!! What a strange coincidence that you've posted this as I've posted my Wind Through the Keyhole audio review! And I've just downloaded this very one (Shining), so I'm psyched to see your great review. Especially because I liked King's own narration of Wind so much; I had been worried about anybody else's work. Good stuff! Keep up the good work :)

  10. You certainly make the case for The Shining and Campbell Scott! I don't know if I am brave enough to listen to The Shining, but I will check out some of his other stuff on audio.

  11. Linked to your review in my wrap-up post for The Shining Readalong today. I agree with you on the audio narration by Campbell Scott!


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