THE SHINING: THE FOLIO SOCIETY ILLUSTRATED EDITION

PrintE-mail Written by Robert Martin

Whilst it may sound like a strange club from one of Stephen King's own novels, The Folio Society is an organisation which specialises in creating carefully crafted editions of the world's finest literature. For them, the act of holding a book, of turning a page, of the feel of the paper, even the typography, as an essential part of ones enjoyment of the content.


And they've just given The Shining, now approaching 40 years old, a make-over. King's third novel might come as a surprise to anyone who knows the story only via the Stanley Kubrick film version. Essentially it's the same: Jack and Wendy Torrance move in to the grand and remote Overlook Hotel for the winter to take care of it as it becomes snowbound and isolated. Their young son, Danny, has 'the shining', a gift which allows him to pick up on remnants of the past and suggestions of the future. But the hotel seems to be haunted and starts to play with them, turning Jack's mind to the story of a previous caretaker's axe-wielding murder of his family.

The Shining is a story about fathers and sons, responsibility and selfishness, addiction and redemption. King delves inside his characters as they delve inside the Overlook, where nothing is simple and complex themes become manifest in the horrors that the hotel throws up. As Jack battles to keep on top of the Overlook and his life, (he's a recovering alcoholic who changed his ways after breaking his young son's arm), Wendy balances a mixture of support and resentment for her husband, and Danny's self-awareness of his gift grows, the hotel's secrets reveal themselves in increasingly unsettling, terrifying and deadly ways. At first, you question if it's all in their minds as much as they do themselves. But it's not.

It's a hugely impressive piece of work.

Superbly creepy images linger in the mind – the dead old women in room 217, the moving topiary animals, the opening and closing of the lift at night time – but the slow creeping dread of approaching REDRUM as Jack slips over into insanity, is just as unsettling.

This edition's superb illustrations by artist Edward Kinsella help to free the mind of the iconic film, and holding this beautiful book in your hands encourages you to treat the contents within with the respect they so fully deserve.

THE SHINING / AUTHOR: STEPHEN KING / PUBLISHER: THE FOLIO SOCIETY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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