First – do not read this book when you are staying in a semi-isolated cabin by yourself. Can we say stupid move? I totally freaked myself out. While I love a good scare from time to time, Stephen King alone can do that. No need to amp his writing up.
Second – marathon reading session of Stephen King can literally take all day given his page count and I am totally up for that.
Third – I have never seen the movie. I have seen a few short clips of it that are part of pop culture references or other movies. However, I did not have a clear
With those pieces of administrative news out of the way onward to the book review!
This may be my favorite Stephen King book so far. I do add the caveat “so far” because I have not yet read all of his books. I like to leave my options open in case a new favorite pops up. If we are being honest, that is likely to happen with King.
The basic overview of the plot is that a man takes a job as the winter caretaker for an isolated hotel. He moves in with his wife and son as the guests are departing leaving them alone and trapped as the snow sets in. Slowly, as the isolated deepens, the hotel begins to come alive. It is angry and evil and vindictive. Will they survive? Or will the hotel drive them to insanity and death? Well I won’t tell you that, spoilers sweetie!
Why is this my favorite? For starters, the pacing is very well done. The tension is slowly ratcheted up, at times imperceptibly. In fact, you are even fooled into thinking there is a moment or two of calm or even that the storm is dissipating. These are lies, fake-outs, false trails – whatever you wat to call them. Two pages later and BAM! you are wound up tighter than a two dollar watch (yes I found that analogy on Urban Dictionary).
Second, the settings. Oh my gracious even with all the terror swirling around I wished the place was real. The vivid descriptions of the twisting roads, mountain peaks, and the hotel are so temptingly beautiful. I would love to explore that hotel and the grounds. It sounds like an amazing place to go on day hikes into the glorious undisturbed surrounding nature only to return for a fabulous cocktail by the fire. In my head, the hotel has fantastic glassware in case you were wondering.
Third, the writing style is classic Stephen King. By that I mean the writing pulls you in so completely that you forget about the world around you. Which is how I read over 400 pages in afternoon with minimal breaks. The book is a classic example of a real page turner. The kind of book you tell yourself, just one more chapter and end up finishing it before you know what happened. Not that I would do that…and realize at sunset that I had less than 80 pages to go. Even though reading Stephen King after dark is basically the start of one of his novels which means it is not a good idea.
To sum this review up the book is a fantastically scary and terrifying read that is well worth your time. But it is not for the faint of heart or those who prefer a more lighthearted read.
Love and don’t judge me for sleeping with the light on,