Welcome to our first Shine Along check-in!
Before we get started, just a reminder that Tif (Tif Talks Books) and I are also hosting a read-along for Doctor Sleep. Our Sleep Along will run from Monday, September 30 through Monday, October 21. (Click here for more information.) Now, back to The Shining.
This week, we read through Chapter 16. These early chapters contain a lot of setup. Not a lot happens, but we really get to know the Torrance family and their history. These are just a few of the thoughts I had while reading the first third of the book…
(This discussion will contain spoilers through Chapter 16 of The Shining.)
With Danny’s empathetic/telepathic abilities, he can read emotions and thoughts he doesn’t understand. How does this affect his character? At times he seems nothing like you’d expect a five-year-old to be, but at others he is very child-like. He also takes on responsibility for his parents’ happiness, keeping things from them for fear that it would put strain on their marriage.
As more of Jack’s back story is slowly filled in, we get a sense of who he is, who he used to be, who he wants to be, who he’s afraid of becoming. What do you think of Jack as a person? (If this is a first read, does it contrast with your expectations based on his place in pop culture?)
We learn quite a bit about her relationship with her mother… how does this history affect the kind of wife and mother she is? Would she have made different decisions if she had a strong relationship with her mother (or if her father were still alive)?
This book has a very long setup… almost nothing happens plot-wise in the first two sections other than Jack taking the job and moving his family to the hotel for the winter… but we learn a lot. How does the pacing in a book like this work for you or not? Also, the way King uses punctuation (particularly parentheses) to indicate intrusive thoughts, stream of consciousness… to me, he really seems to capture the way people think, the way our minds work.
Tif responded with some thoughts of her own, which you can read over at her update here. There, you’ll also find the linky to link up your own blog… or, if you don’t have a blog, join the discussion right here in the comments. Just a reminder that this week’s discussion is through Chapter 16 only; if you’ve read farther, try to avoid revealing spoilers!
Our next check-in, for Chapters 17-33, will be a week from today. And if you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to keep up with the hashtag #shinealong to share your thoughts and connect with other readers throughout the week.
What are your thoughts of The Shining thus far? Any thoughts on the characters, the writing, or something we’ve not yet covered?