The master is shining again

Julia Donaldson is concerned that children's lack of access to books will send literacy standards into decline
Julia Donaldson is concerned that children's lack of access to books will send literacy standards into decline

Like many horror fans around the world, 2013 has been a year that I have been excitedly anticipating. with the publication of the sequel to Stephen King’s 1977 iconic horror masterpiece ‘The Shining’.

For 35 years ‘The Shining’ has both terrified and fascinated readers with its blend of goosebump-inducing subtle horror and relatable characters. Now King is back to tell the tale of a now adult Danny Torrance and life after the harrowing experiences within the dark walls of The Overlook Hotel in ‘Doctor Sleep’.

Working quietly at a care home, Danny Torrance is now middle-aged, living in New Hampshire. Restless and troubled by the harrowing events of his childhood, he is desperate to escape his father’s legacy.

Whilst working at the home his extraordinary psychic powers provide comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes ‘Doctor Sleep’. Here at Waterstones we don’t want to give too much away. Suffice to say, the early buzz surrounding the novel has been promising!

For nearly 40 years, King has proven himself not just a master of the macabre but a master story-teller. He is considered a pioneer of modern horror, alongside other greats such as Clive Barker, James Herbert and Susan Hill. After his initial success with ‘Carrie’ and ‘Salem’s Lot’, King was looking to write something which would break him into mainstream horror.

Staying in a remote Colorado hotel with his wife in an attempt to gain some inspiration for a third novel, the Kings found themselves to be the only two guests for the night as the hotel was about to close for the winter. The isolation and the long, rambling corridors bore the idea for what would later become ‘The Shining’.

Of course, we know the book went on to become a huge hit and along with Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film version starring Jack Nicholson as the troubled protagonist Jack Torrance, ‘The Shining’ is now hailed as a classic of both film and literature.

Here at Waterstones Falkirk we love Stephen King. Come and browse our horror and sci-fi section where you will find many of his titles.

We warn you though, you may be sleeping with the lights on for a while!

Louise Chapman