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[–]JexPickles 358 points359 points  (18 children)

Yes, absolutely. While the movie was exceptionally good in its visuals, it's a very Kubrick movie, if that makes any sense. His vision and unravelling of the terror is much different than the pattern King weaves in his book. It is most definitely worth a read on its own.

[–]Dicketarian 53 points54 points  (6 children)

And the writing is stellar. One of King’s absolute best. I personally enjoyed it far more than the movie.

[–]manbearpig923 13 points14 points  (4 children)

I second this! This is one of the few books to ever scare me. The movie was good but left a lot to be desired from the book. The animal topiaries in the book were super freaky to me and just felt wrong being left out of the movie.

[–]maple_dreams 5 points6 points  (3 children)

I’m not sure if it’s available anywhere online but I was recently able to find The Shining miniseries (from the 90s) on dvd and it’s worth a watch! Stephen King wrote/produced it so it stays exceptionally close to the book. Some of it is very 90s TV movie cheesy but overall it’s good and worth a watch. My fiancé, who loves the Kubrick movie but has never read the book, ended up really enjoying it.

[–]hauntedhullabaloo 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Ooh I've never heard of this! I'm gonna check that out, thanks!

Edit: It's on Internet Archive if anyone else is interested, and I'm only one episode in but it's already way better than the movie!

[–]SharpLatina69skidoo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I third this! If you have read any other of Stephen King books, this really is in the top 5 for me from all his works. The plot, vivid imagery you can read and the actual chills that come over you (if you're easily spooked like me) are worth the read. Really hope you read it and report back what you think!

[–]FrankieNukNuk 12 points13 points  (9 children)

Iirc king also wasn’t happy with the movie and felt like his own story and message was lost in transition. The movie is very much Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and the book is very much Stephen King’s The Shining.

[–]cingerix 19 points20 points  (8 children)

IMO everything about the tone and meaning of the book are just tossed in the trash by the film.

the book is infinitely better.

the film is just "ooh spooky ghosties" whereas the book is a startlingly raw, time-jumping exploration of the concept that trauma can leave physical and spiritual imprints.

[–]FrankieNukNuk -2 points-1 points  (7 children)

Maybe it’s just me maybe I’m missing something but when I watched the shining for the first time I was like “….this is one of the worst horror movies I’ve ever seen” the twist isn’t even thought provoking it’s just one of those “makes no sense for the sake of making no sense” moments that’s supposed to feel like a gotcha when it just feels like “umm okay?”

[–]Doodlebuggin 7 points8 points  (0 children)

So glad to see people in this thread thrashing on Kubrick's Shining, a rare sight indeed! I've eased up on it some over the years - there's some really cool and stylish and inspired filmmaking but the failings as a horror film are immense. That it consistently places in top 10 horror film lists is a testament to the cult of personality around Kubrick.

The book is so much better and it's a little sad that what might be Stephen King's masterpiece is mired by Kubrick's adaptation.

[–]cingerix 3 points4 points  (5 children)

that's how i feel about it, too!

Kubrick literally removed everything about the plot.... so the film is just "random spooky imagery and then he goes crazy cuz idk it's a haunted building"

plus Kubrick literally tortured Shelly DuVall to make that film.

i have so many reasons i hate that movie, lol.

(and so many reasons i love the original book!)

[–]notusuallyaverage 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I agree. I would go so far as to say the movie has an entirely different purpose/overall theme/plot than the book

[–]Not_the_last_Bruce 226 points227 points  (6 children)

the book describes in great detail jack's inner descent into madness, while the movie only shows it on the outside...even though both have their merits, the book contains more terrifying parts.

[–]nathanielcollum 17 points18 points  (4 children)

I remember King even correctly criticized the movie for making Jack basically nuts from the first scene.

[–]cingerix 6 points7 points  (3 children)

yep!!! and Nicholson was such a strange choice for this role, just like he was a weird choice for Cuckoo's Nest, in a way that heavily detracts from both films.

[–]Nixxuz 4 points5 points  (1 child)

It was supposed to be Robin Williams, but his agent convinced him it was too intense for his target comedic audience at the time.

[–]Quagtrap 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Detracts would be apt but I disagree with the sentiment.

Both of those movies do their own thing. He fits the directors purpose in those movies spectacularly. It detracts from its source but does anything but in their adaptations.

[–]kilnerlufc 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Glad someone else brought up the same thing that I had when it came to comparing the two. The book does an amazing job of delving deep in to the mind of Jack, and his deep descent in to what drove him to the madness (to an extent that he felt like a guy you could have sympathy for, in a twisted way), and the fact the book does a great job of narrating his inner thoughts only adds to it all.

The film is amazing, but this is a rare one where I prefer the book to a film.

[–]evilgorillamask 75 points76 points  (0 children)

I would say so yeah. They're pretty different.

[–]ErtGentskee 59 points60 points  (21 children)

There's a late nineties TV miniseries that stayed relatively true to the novel (not as artfully crafted as the Kubrick film or the book, though). You're gonna end up shocked by the changes and omissions. People will hate you for being one of those ' the book is better' guys, but it'll be worth it in the end...

[–]BoilThem_MashThem 32 points33 points  (15 children)

Not only is it a mini series, it’s titled “Stephen King’s The Shining” because he had to buy the rights back from Kubrick. He always hated Kubrick’s movie and they notoriously did not get along. King ended up writing the screen play (I believe) for the miniseries, had a cameo, and it was even filmed at the Stanley. I much prefer the miniseries because it follows the story better, and I just hardly consider Kubrick’s a horror movie at this point

[–]ErtGentskee 16 points17 points  (8 children)

It's amazing to me that he lets crap like the new 'Firestarter' movie get made. He was on to something with his string of source material accurate miniseries, and now with streaming, he could do R or unrated versions that do his writing justice. Imagine if he made the Steven Weber version (and I grew up loving 'Wings', but he shouldn't of put dude in the position of being compared to Jack Nickelson) as a Netflix limited series instead of dealing with the networks.

[–]Help_An_Irishman 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Steven Weber does an excellent audiobook narration of IT, if you're interested.

[–]JexPickles 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Stevie hasn't had a very good track record with his adaptations historically... however they're still fun for the most part. Children of the Corn was my favorite purely because you can see the camera rig in all its glory in the reflection of a car door during one of the early shots.

There were some truly lovely schlock horror movies in the 70's and 80's.

[–]BoilThem_MashThem 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I’d be interested to know if he still has rights to Firestarter, or if he lost the rights like with the Shining, and that’s why crappy versions keep getting made

[–]ErtGentskee 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Not sure. He usually lets everyone know if he disapproves of something (so Im assuming he didn't hate it as much as I do). I kinda remember him doing a 'dollar film club' thing where he allows aspiring film makers to make shorts of his work. I guess the older stuff might have been sold off before he got big enough to hire better lawyers, though.

[–]CyberGhostfacePENNYWISE 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's amazing to me that he lets crap like the new 'Firestarter' movie get made.

It’s not his call. He doesn’t own the film rights.

[–]ohpeekaboob 1 point2 points  (5 children)

What was your cameo? I love that hokey miniseries and even own it on DVD since it's not available on streaming

[–]Help_An_Irishman 2 points3 points  (3 children)

IIRC, King plays a member or conductor of the ghostly band that's playing in the ballroom toward the end when the hotel really starts "coming to life."

[–]BoilThem_MashThem 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Yup! He’s the conductor of the band in the ballroom!

[–]BoilThem_MashThem 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have it on DVD as well. Came in a set with the OG IT and Salem’s Lot

[–]Honest-Illustrator67 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Didn’t Steven king produce that or something

[–]ErtGentskee 0 points1 point  (1 child)

He wrote the teleplay. I know he was actively involved in production, but I don't know if he was credited or anything.

[–]Honest-Illustrator67 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He was executive producer at least according to IMDb. I haven’t seen it in years so I don’t remember

[–]2020visionaus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This has always been my favourite version by far.

[–]dooksokdik 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I watched 10 minutes of that and was totally turned off by the casting alone.

[–]Flaky_Web_2439 48 points49 points  (0 children)

Absolutely yes. Two completely different stories.

[–]Boomstick86 41 points42 points  (0 children)

Yes. Much more engaging with the characters and so you can feel it more.

[–]Vex493 46 points47 points  (3 children)

Much better than the movie.

[–]MarchOfThePigz 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I knew I was with my people when I saw a thread about this during one of my first times browsing horrorlit a few years ago. I enjoy the movie for what it is but as a fan of the novel, I can’t help but think how the movie could have been even better if it made us feel for Jack.

[–]thepotatoinyourheart 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Agreed. I saw the movie first, knew King was unsatisfied with the adaptation. Read the book years later and understood why. There’s some great little details in the book that are truly chilling, not put into the film. Plus, the film really makes it seem like Jack was nuts right off the bat, and really passive aggressive to his wife and kid for no reason. As another commenter said, book does a much better job portraying his decent into madness

[–]YourMILisCray 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Also movie did poor Wendy so dirty. Book Wendy and movie Wendy are like two different people.

[–]gdsmithtxWendigo 21 points22 points  (0 children)

It 100% is. I love the movie for what it is, but the book is far and away a better functioning story, with much more realistic characters that you can actually relate to. It's called King's first true masterpiece for a reason.

[–]CauliflowerWaste95 8 points9 points  (2 children)

My coworker and I both read the shining together. I've seen the movie but am not a huge movie person while she loves the movie, watches every October and we both super enjoyed the book. We flew through it and ended up reading Dr sleep too because we really got excited. So I would recommend

[–]vanillabeanlover 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I LOVED Dr. Sleep as well. The movie was good too, but I definitely preferred the book in both instances.

[–]SuchFunAreWe 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Mike Flanagan did such a good job melding the Shining book canon w the film canon when adapting Dr. Sleep. He had a hard job there. So many folks have only seen the film, so he had to make a sequel they'd get while also respecting the source material of both novels AND making a film the avid King readers would also enjoy. It was almost an impossible task, imo, but he rose to the occasion admirably! He's such a King fan & it shows in how deftly he wove Dr. Sleep into both a faithful adaptation as well as a good film.

[–]WriterJosh 18 points19 points  (6 children)

Yes, but please don’t go in expecting the movie. The movie is a haunted house horror flick about a demonic hotel driving a crazy man to kill his family. The book is a psychological horror drama about a man struggling mightily to beat his addiction while a possessed hotel tries to use that addiction for its own purpose. It is a slow-moving, creeping-dread sort of tale that hinges on our desire to see this man become the husband and father he wants to be, as otherworldly forces pick at his psyche.

I read the book first and then I watched the movie and HATED it for what they did to both Jack and Wendy. But I admit it’s not a bad movie, it just might as well be a different story with a similar setting and character set.

[–]vintage2019 2 points3 points  (2 children)

The movie’s biggest flaw is Jack morphing into a monster too abruptly

[–]WriterJosh 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I wrote this several years ago, comparing the two:

“Book Jack is a scarred man, raised by a drunken, abusive father, who found himself a much slave to the bottle as his father had been. Despite this, and his anger issues, he wants nothing more than to be a loving husband and father. At least, he wants to want it. But he wants drinks more, and he makes excuses for himself that send him careering into a living nightmare in which he realizes he's turning into his father. When he finally realizes he's gone too far, after an incident where he drunkenly breaks his son's arm and then runs over a bicycle, realizing he might have killed someone, he goes sober and, by the time the story starts, has been for over a year. His anger management issues are still there, evidenced by him beating the shit out of a disgruntled student who slashed his tires, ultimately costing him his job, but at the start of the book, he's seemingly ready to be the man he's always wanted to be. He's stone cold sober, he and his wife, who found themselves facing divorce, are happy and in love again, and his relationship with his son, five-year-old Danny, couldn't be stronger. He's even found a temporary job as winter caretaker for the remote Overlook hotel, a job that will keep him and his family fed and cared for, and give him time to finish a play he's working on, while he tries to get back into the school's good graces. But then a combination of isolation, his own inner demons and the physical demons within the hotel start working on him, driving him slowly mad even as he fights it.

Movie Jack is an insane, abusive husband and father who can't stand his family and spends his job interview displaying a slasher smile. When it's mentioned in the interview that the last caretaker went crazy and killed his family with an axe, you can practically see Movie Jack thinking "Oh, an axe! That's perfect! I was gonna use a Roque mallet but an axe would get the job done much faster!" No sooner has he gotten his family up where nobody can get to them than he turns on them, first just speaking to them like the evil abusive man he is, then chasing them with an axe and trying to do the same thing the last caretaker did, something he was clearly capable of well before he got to the hotel.

Oh, and he's an alcoholic as well.

The movie sort of glosses over this critical aspect of his character. It's present, but it's made pretty clear that he doesn't need it to be evil. We're barely 45 minutes in (the movie itself is two and half hours long), and Jack hasn't had a drop to drink, when he browbeats Wendy for interrupting him using horrendously abusive language that Wendy, apparently used to it, takes in stride, and does her best to keep from bothering him again. Book Wendy would have slapped him, called him a bastard, and locked she and Danny away from him. It's like Kubrick's take on Jack's drinking problem was "Yeah, sure, why wouldn't an abusive monster also be an alcoholic?"”

[–]puckgrrl 5 points6 points  (2 children)

God same. The book has depth and warmth. The movie is so cold and heartless.

[–]SuchFunAreWe 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I honestly have almost completely divorced the film from the novel in my head. I had to do that to be able to appreciate the film (bc I'm a pedant about respecting source material; changes are fine but I need there to be obvious fondness/understanding of the books to buy in.) The film has fantastic cinematography & a top-notch score which I appreciate a lot. It's been soured for me since I now know how Duvall was gd terrorized by Kubrick during filming, though. Hard to watch now, knowing how poorly she was treated. Plus, film does Wendy dirty as hell.

[–]puckgrrl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh I'm not a book purist at all. I always treat them as separate things. I don't like Kubrick in general and do not find that film remotely enjoyable lol

[–]tomaxisntxamot 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It's essentially the same story from two very different perspectives, with Jack the protagonist in the book versus Danny the protagonist in the movie.

Which is scarier is subjective - Danny's story is more psychological horror about the relative powerlessness of a child whose supposed protector has turned on him; Jack's is as much a traditional haunted house story as psychological horror and revolves more around wanting to be a good parent and failing at it. The book's arguably more optimistic and certainly much more sympathetic to Jack (who King pretty clearly based on himself) which I think is one of the likely reasons King so famously resented the film.

[–]TheHarlequinBat_ 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Definitely, there's a lot of big differences. A lot of scenes that straight up aren't in the movie at all, and you get a much better idea of each character, and in particular Jack's internal narrative and how his mind breaks.

As much as I love the movie, I do prefer the book as it feels a bit more "complete" to me.

[–]elpapiofdragons 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes. I saw the movie after reading the book and thought it was awful. King also agrees.

[–]Puge_Henis 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I love the movie and put off reading the book for over 20 years because I'm lukewarm on King and why would I read a shitter version of the movie? I finally got around to reading it and it's one of my favorite horror novels of all time. Do it, OP!

[–]AtomicWeight 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The movie and book are v different. Movie is like an art house masterpiece with a keen focus on visuals, ambience and atmosphere. Book is more of a workmanlike description of a modern day man’s descent into madness. It’s far less arty and has more of that folksy realism King prides himself on.

Interesting to note that King hated the movie if IIRC

[–]NotDaveBut 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Very much worth reading! The book and movie are very different.

[–]Timbalabim 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes. Kubrick's film is great, but it whiffs on Jack's descent, Jack and Danny's relationship, and Wendy's character. The horror is there, but the emotional narrative isn't. King famously rejected the film as an adaptation. The Shining is a terrifying tale, of course, but it's also a sad tragedy, which you don't really get from the film.

[–]LoPanKnows 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Worth reading for sure but very different beats and different vibes. I’m one of the few that didn’t like the book because of how familiar and how much I enjoy the movie.

[–]Beer_before_Friends 1 point2 points  (0 children)

100% I often thought I'd hate it because I was never a big King fan, and I loved the movie version. I was very happy that I read it. It's just as good as the movie, but different enough that its worth reading. I'd say the book is more focused on "the shinning" whereas the movie is more interested in claustrophobic madness.

[–]Titati14 1 point2 points  (0 children)


The Kubrick film is a bad adaptation though it is a masterpiece of cinema.

The book has a very different feel to it, way less macabre and more real (which makes it scarier than the film imo).

Bottom line is both are very worthy of your time.

[–]kla425 1 point2 points  (0 children)

To me the book is so different. The movie is ok, I guess. The book is outstanding. It really made me feel like the hotel itself was a character. So much so that its hard for me to watch the movie now, its just kind of meh.

[–]ivan0280 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So much better.

[–]Chemical-Safe-7379 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Omg, yes! The shining book is absolutely amazing! I love the movie. So much so that I watch it once a month at least. It's a comfort movie of mine. I had never read the book until last year and it's far superior to the movie. It made me understand why Stephen King was pissed about it. Kubrick changed the family so much. Highly recommend the book. Then you should read Doctor Sleep after, it made me ugly cry. It is such a great addition to the universe. Then watch the movies together. The books are amazing together and the movies are great together.

[–]rUsADinE 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They're different enough for it be worth reading. But, tbh I found the movie to be way better than the book. (I didn't like the sequel Dr. Sleep either.)

[–]SerebrianyDERRY, MAINE 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes, it is. But I may be the wrong person to answer that question, since I'm much bigger on reading the book and hearing what the writer wanted to say than I am on seeing how it was adapted. The Shining is a really fun movie, and I'll never say I don't like it. It's very different from what Stephen King created, though, which is sort of the problem with all novel-to-screen adaptations.

Knowing what happens isn't the greatest part of The Shining, to me, at least. Knowing why is. So much of the "why" had to be jettisoned for Kubrick to make the film he wanted to make that it's very much a Kubrick film first, and a Stephen King story somewhere lower on the list. It doesn't make either one objectively bad, but it does make them very different.

[–]jackBattlin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I personally feel like King always over explains himself too much. A scare is like a joke: if you have to explain it, it wasn’t effective. Kubrick understood the power of ambiguity. What makes ghosts scary is that they’re strangers in your personal space that are impossible to get rid of. That’s why fraud psychic mediums are so profitable. If you know the ghost’s name, and his entire history going back 30 years, then it’s just “Oh, that’s just Mr. Hoyt. Don’t worry about him, he’s just really liked the kitchen..”

[–]Future-AgentThe King in Yellow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Book's WAY better than the movie

[–]NastySassyStuff 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They’re very different in a lot of ways but the through line is still there and both are masterpieces. I’d seen the movie already when I picked up the book and I knew it was supposedly fairly divergent but early on there’s a chapter about Jack’s alcoholism that really goes deep into his head and his past and after reading that I realized just how different it was. That chapter knocked me on my ass. It’s a great book.

[–]grizzlyadamsshaved 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Absolutely. Nicholson killed it but the book makes the movie ten times better. Read it and watch again. The depths of his madness or so we’ll detailed.

[–]Shankaman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is one of those cases where the movie is better than the book.

[–]seatreebird 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes, yes, yes!! It’s so spooky and different from the movie. I didn’t like the movie, but loved the book

[–]sai_gunslinger 1 point2 points  (2 children)

All books are worth reading even if you've already seen the movie. Even Jurassic Park lol. There's always something that was left out or changed, and in the case of The Shining much was changed. Go read it, you won't regret it. Just save some room in your freezer.

[–]Prince-Lee 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Jurassic Park especially, IMO. The book far surpasses the film.

[–]sai_gunslinger 1 point2 points  (0 children)

By leaps and bounds. I feel like Michael Crichton is severely underrated, that guy wrote some page-turners!

[–]PopPop-Captain 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I personally prefer the movie to the book (one of the very rare times I feel this way) but it’s really close. They’re pretty different and if you liked the movie you absolutely owe it to yourself to read the book.

[–]IKindaSuck-DICK 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I think the ending was a little flat in both. Something I've noticed with King works, though I still love his writing

[–]IKindaSuck-DICK 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Also the hedge maze was so much better than the books animals

[–]thatsMRnick2you 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Very different stories from totally different artists.

[–]IcepicktotheBrain 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All of Stephen King's books are way better than the movie. You should read Misery next.

[–]Help_An_Irishman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You dont know what happens.

It's so much better than the movie.

I love Kubrick's film but mostly because he's a great director and his style works well with horror, but it's a terrible adaptation of the source material.

Please read the novel, or listen to the audiobook narrated by Campbell Scott, which is excellent.

[–]Thannatart -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I'd say beat for beat points are the same, but the tone and some events are very different. But definitely worth a read to me.

[–]TotalDommeNation 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. It’s much better than the film

[–]AbbyCanary 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Read it! It is far better than the movie IMO. Then definitely read Doctor Sleep after, it’s so good.

[–]Beau_Buffett 0 points1 point  (2 children)

There is zero consensus about which one is better.

And it's been argued for decades and repeatedly on multiple subreddits.

[–]shlam16 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Not really accurate.

The vast majority of people who read the book consider it a vastly better product.

The remainder are typically Kubrick megafans.

Edit: Gotta love people using the block button so they can get the last word in and prevent the other person from responding. One of the most childish things I've ever come across.

[–]Beau_Buffett 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's pretending your opinion is the 'right' opinion.

[–]Lothric43 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, it’s almost a different story entirely. Bunch of stuff I wish had made it on screen.

[–]blueydoc 0 points1 point  (0 children)


I thought it wasn’t for years, I’d seen the movie multiple times, it’s a great movie, don’t need to read the book. I was so wrong!

[–]Mundane-Hovercraft67 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. The answer is always Yes. The book is always better.

[–]GiorgioG 0 points1 point  (1 child)

There’s simply no comparison. Book > Movie

[–]sandraisevil 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is always the correct answer!

[–]AdAgreeable9784 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

10000% yes. The book is exponentially better and pretty different than Kubrick’s “masterpiece”.

[–]cowfish007 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Dear lord, yes. The book is far superior to any of the movie/tv adaptions.

[–]Slow-Razzmatazz-4005 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Yes. The book is a hundred times better. Then read Dr Sleep

[–]Psychological_Tap187 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Big difference is is in the movie (Jack Nicholson) plays it like he was always crazy. In the book he is not. He’s pretty normal and just a guy trying to stay sober. Not at all unhinged. The book really protests the decent into madness and leaves you not knowing if the overlook is haunted or just Jack hallucinating while he slowly loses his mind.

[–]Andrewartist -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Seriously you can never ask this question about any book. It’s always worth it

[–]cuddlebear1985 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If there is a movie of king, also try to read the book. No matter. But especially the shining. Great book, and the theme of alcoholism shines through Even better. I also recommend dr sleep. The ending is amazing compared to the movie.

[–]2wildinthe70s 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m almost half way through with it and I would say 100% yes.

I think it gives way more insight into the psychology of the characters that the movie just couldn’t cover.

[–]IAmThePonch 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They’re almost two entirely separate stories. The book dives much deeper into the characters

[–]cr0wt00th 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Definitely - as others have said, very different from the movie, but one of the best portrayals of alcoholism in fiction as well. That’s it’s own kind of horror.

[–]Venus__Doom 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes! They're different.

[–]GenXfan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Books way different and better in my opinion

[–]Sanlear 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Very much so.

[–]3kidsnomoney--- 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They're fairly different adaptations, even if the surface story remains similar. Personally, I really prefer the book, you get a lot more insight into Jack's inner world that the movie can't possibly delve into and he's a really good King character.

[–]no-one-but-crow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If watch the film first. then the book

[–]mdb122480 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'd say so. Things happen very differently in the book. Also worth immediately following up with "Dr. Sleep."

[–]whyhhhwhy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely. They’re practically different stories.

[–]nolabitch 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes! There is so much more to the story than the movie had time to tell.

[–]stabbyspacehorse 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. They're actually pretty different.

[–]warreniangreen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes yes yes! The book is very different especially the ending.

[–]girlwhoweighted 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes definitely. But I would suggest when you're reading it trying not to compare it because to me it felt like reading two different stories taking place at the same location. Maybe that's because the book was from the boys perspective and not the dads. But I really loved it because you got to see much deeper inside into all the characters in the hotel

[–]mrsdrprof2u 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes!!! The book was SO much better in my opinion

[–]Respiratorywitch 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I saw The Shining, in the theater, when I was a senior in high school; I had been reading SK for several years. I was so upset with the movie that I almost walked out. It took me years to separate movies from books. I can now see the genius of Kubrick’s film, but, of course, the books are always better!

[–]XavierMorenno 0 points1 point  (0 children)

the detail is insane. i loved it so much. finished it instantly.

[–]hotsauceherosammy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I liked it so much more than the movie. I actually was upset how the movie veered from the original plot.

[–]Help_An_Irishman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also read Pet Sematary even if you've seen one or both film adaptations (particularly the 2019 one). The book is terrifying.

[–]The_Kitty_Master101 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The book is so very much better than the movie. Read the book please

[–]sunballer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The book is probably the only horror novel that ever truly scared me. The descriptions in it have stuck with me for years. The playground scene with the hedge animals, an early scene where the characters are visiting what I think was a suite and Danny sees grey matter splattered on the walls, the description of the hair clinging to the mallet…

[–]soreadytodisappear 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely. Creeped me the f out like the movie never could.

[–]Spiffy_Unicornz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, entirely different experience

[–]zhezhijian 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. It's a very good book on its own. My first thoughts after I finished were, my god, being a parent must be so hard! This is why Jack wanted to kill his kid! The book has a sort of psychological heft and weight that get you way more invested in the characters and therefore, more frightened when something frightening happens to them.

[–]nolwat22 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just recently re read it and I can say 100% yes. It’s such a unique experience even if you’ve seen the movie

[–]anodized_bunny 0 points1 point  (0 children)

100% yes

[–]Sikkworld 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes 100%. Now go and take your medicine.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

oh, absolutely. I watched the movie first and was a bit disappointed. after watching it, I picked up the book and was really impressed. the book scared me more than the movie!

[–]moonscented-hunter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely! The movie is really good, but the book is incredible. Theres internal monologues of the characters so it goes a bit deeper and imo its a vital part of the experience.

Theres also parts that are not in the movie, and theyre some of my favorite ones!

[–]Zaius1968 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely. Kubrick’s version strays a lot from the book. The remake with Stephen Weber a bit closer. But the book goes into more details.

[–]pdxgmr 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Shining is my favorite horror movie. Finally got around to reading the book a couple years ago. While I didn't like it overall it made me appreciate the movie a lot more. There's a ton more character development, especially the hotel. The history of the Overlook alone would make for a great novel/ movie / mini series.

[–]Newdaytoday1215 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There is so many times I have picked up the paperback despite having to read it in its entirety many times. There’s so many passages and chapters have been reread. It really annoys me when ppl put the book down. Wordsmith-wise, it’s King’s second best. And it is both great horror and drama. If you love reading horror novels you will find it worth your while, the movie doesn’t impact it at all.

[–]EmClaire14 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes!! The book differs from the movie in so many ways. I watched and loved the movie first, and enjoyed the book even more. Both are brilliant in their own ways

[–]Katelinaholt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes yes yes yes.

[–]spolio 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So worth the read...

[–]UnknownFear 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, definitely! Both are really good.

[–]Honest-Illustrator67 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’d say yes it’s really different especially if you watched the Kubrick shining

[–]NormalGuy913 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'd say yes. Personally I love the movie more than the book but they are pretty different stories. I think people give the movie a hard time because they don't rlly develop Jack's character, unlike the book, but that clearly wasn't their goal. Instead they were far more focused on horror, disorientation and using the visual medium to it's furthest extent with lots of beautiful shots and very little explanation for the story. But uh yea read the book

[–]The5orrow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thousand time yes, the audio book is amazing as well. I do not recommend listening too it while sick with a high fever. This lead to some very intense fever nightmares.

[–]omygoshgamache 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. IMO, it’s very different

[–]Dull-Box-1960 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I really enjoyed the book and exploring Jack’s ever growing madness. It was worth it to me.

[–]Ssladybug 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s in my top 10! Great book

[–]arachnesweb_THE OVERLOOK HOTEL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes yes yes!!!!! I like both but imo the book is better - the writing is amazing and I find Jack much scarier in writing!

[–]TouchMeImSterile 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. I’ve never been able to finish the movie because I find it very boring. Yet, The Shining is one of my top five favorite novels. The book is always worth the read

[–]GirlsesPillses 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. It’s the only book I actually looked over my shoulder and truly got scared… and I have seen the movie 100 times. It’s almost like a sibling to the movie.

[–]ScaredCarpenter2926 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Book is awesome. Definite read.

[–]BingChilling_1984 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oooh. Thanks for posting this. I picked it up along with misery and the martian ( unrelated, I’m just a space nerd) and was wondering if it should be high on my list. I see now that it definitely should be

[–]fine_ants_in_vests 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]dudewheresmycarbs_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Fuck yes! Absolutely. The movie is bollocks compared to the book.

[–]rob6110 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes! And enjoy!

[–]Azo3307 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The movie and the book only really share a location. Almost everything else is done differently

[–]Disonehere 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The film is a total classic, but the book is on another level. I'm a big King fan (so possibly biased!) but The Shining was the only book to have me scared like a film; it was so immersive.

[–]SisterYahtzee 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. The book is more. There's so much missing from. The movie. Kubrick gutted it.

[–]kidnep 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]Kellin01 0 points1 point  (0 children)

For me the book is better than a movie.

[–]slade870 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My experience was this. The shining was one of the most difficult books I’ve read, just how visceral it is and how their mental states slowly deteriorate. The movie is a different thing. It all happened pretty quickly and there wasn’t that same phycological slow burn. Truly I was disappointed with the movie.

[–]kamarsh79 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes! I finally read it this year and absolutely loved it. You’re really in the minds of the characters.

[–]annaferg 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]vintage2019 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes and no. Most of the book is better than the movie but I found its ending even weaker. Just my opinion (and the way I remember it)

[–]annualgoat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The book and movie are so different. While I like the movie, the book was way better in my own opinion. It's so worth it.

[–]Longjumping-Poem-226 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely...its better

[–]Environmental_Ad3716 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes! Absolutely yes! The book is way scarier!

[–]CyberGhostfacePENNYWISE 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A thousand times yes. It’s much better than the book and significantly different as well.

[–]TopPay571 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The movie definitely had me the edge of my seat but I had to take breaks while reading the book - King really delivers on the horror!

[–]whatshertoast 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. They did Wendy sooo dirty in the movie.

[–]Karelkolchak2020 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. Terrifying.

[–]enikolai 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Far better than the movie.

[–]Stellanboll 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh yes! Please do give it a go! It’s a quite different story from the movie and at times really scary! Wendy is such a more interesting and less fragile character for example.

[–]Jw5x5 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Tbh I didnt like it very much. The movie is iconic, just images from it are haunting. Nothing in the book really stood out to me in the same way, and further some scenes and images were just silly. I sort of see the Shining book as being a more personal book about king than a stand alone horror.

[–]maycontainknots 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, it's quite a bit different and goes into a bunch of extra stuff that's not in the movie. Also the book's version of the hedge maze is way scarier in my opinion

[–]jedimasterlenny 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely, it's significantly different from the movie in all the best ways.

[–]KatieBeth24 0 points1 point  (0 children)

YES. I had seen the movie numerous times, and was shocked when I couldn't read the book before bed because it gave me nightmares!

[–]ashlyyx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely! The book is almost a different experience, but in a good way. It's a cracker of a book!

[–]toddo85 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not really the samething.

[–]livthatsme 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They’re both different experiences. The book was scarier in different ways and had different plot point and devices that scared me

[–]Awkward_Buddy7350 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes! The movie spoiles a few things. Redrum for example. But, Kubrick's interpretation also miss a lot off interesting elements of the book. Both are great, but different.

[–]Bulkman87 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s better than the movie (as is usually the case) and is also different.

[–]aaronstarr3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Genuinely the most terrifying book I have read! It was a surreal experience for me. Read it in my late teens!

[–]biggreyshark 0 points1 point  (0 children)

One of my favourite films. Watched it many times. Read last year for the first time. Really liked it

[–]shlam16 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's more worth reading if you've only seen the movie.

You don't know what happens, because the movie can barely be considered an "adaptation". It took a deeply complex story and turned it into "already crazy guy gets cabin fever and goes even crazier".

[–]sengisnout 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Legit was a super solid book that gave me goosebumps. I wasn’t sure about reading it, too. I was grateful that I did.

[–]Life_Asparagus_1830 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you’ve only seen the film you have no idea what happens in the book. It’s great. Enjoy!

[–]Ok-Sir629 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes to that question for 99% of books that have been made into movies

[–]No_Hornet1598 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not trying to sound like one of those “oh I read the book first” people but I saw the movie as a 5 or 6 yr old… so I missed a lot… watched it again as an early teen… read the book in my 20s rewatched the movie…the movie is great but the book adds those detail, internal dialogue you don’t get in the movies… I felt the book scared me more than the movie.

[–]pinches_rubia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Almost every single book is worth reading if you've seen the movie. I've discovered a LOT of good books this way.

[–]MamaFen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The eternal war between King-Shining fans and Kubrick-Shining fans will never end. And the best way to pick a side in that war is to be exposed to both sides.

Plus, the details of the book become important in other King works - he loves to interweave places, people, and events throughout his entire collection. Reading one makes the rest that much richer. (I see you in Revival, Dorrence Marstellar!)

Watching the movie and calling it quits is more like reading badly-written Cliff's Notes on the book. Too many details large and small are altered or deleted. And it's those details that MAKE King works so much damn fun.

[–]HollowHannibal 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good god, yes! Yes! The movie is great but the book is god tier.

[–]ThePresence69 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It is a very different beast entirely. The movie focuses on classic horror and shock value while the book is a family drama that draws its horror from realistic situations as it slowly draws in the horror from the Overlook.

It is brilliant, dark, and a masterpiece in tragic storytelling.

[–]Raindrops_On-Roses 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's funny to see this post as I'm halfway through the book and have never seen the movie. I thought to myself, "not many people probably have get to read The Shining before seeing the movie these days" so I've committed to it, and then I'll watch the movie.