Book vs. Movie- The Shining

This will be a new semi-regular feature.  I listened to the audio book of The Shining by Stephen King in 2010 (post here) watched the 1980 movie last month (post here).  Let’s break down how they compare.

The Story/Plot  Ultimately, this is the story of one man’s descent into madness.  While I enjoyed Nicholson’s performance I thought the book explained it better than the movie showed it.  If I had just seen the movie I would have missed fully understanding what drove Jack to the brink.  Thumbs up-Book

The Visual  I liked seeing the grandness of the hotel, but missed seeing the hedge animals come alive like they did in the book.  There was a hedge maze but it didn’t have the same effect that the animals did in my imagination.  I bet they could do this if the movie were made now fairly easily.  Tie

Characters vs. Actors Nicholson really put it all out there in the crazy department and I liked it, even if it wasn’t how I pictured Jack at all in the book.  I really liked the mom in the movie, Shelley Duvall, and liked that the movie was just as much about her as a mother as it was that Jack was going insane.  The kid was fine, but somehow it’s easier to imagine the shining than to see it. Tie

The Ending The one thing that drives me crazy about movie adaptations is when they change a perfectly good ending as was the case here.  It’s not even a close call.  I loved the ending of the book and disliked the movie version.  Thumbs up-Book

And the winner is…the Book!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on (The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

19 thoughts on “Book vs. Movie- The Shining

  1. drewlucymom says:

    BOOK! BOOK! BOOK! It scared the heck out of me. Very few movies have been better than the book. I may think that no Stephen King book or story has been outdone by the movie version. The movies were ususally fine, as long as you are looking at them as movies, not adaptations from an actual book. Know wht I mean?

  2. Heather says:

    I watched the movie along, long time ago, but I did see the made-for-TV movie a few years ago as well. I heard that one was closer to the book than Kubrick’s version. I liked that ending a lot better for sure. So I’m sure I’d agree about the book! Looking forward to more of these posts!

  3. drewlucymom says:

    THE BOOK! THE BOOK! THE BOOK! I have yet to see a Stephen King movie based on a book be better than the actual book or story. I have enjoyed a lot of the movies, but there is something about the books/stories that just make them better.

  4. Bumbles says:

    You totally need to watch the TV mini-series version. King was actually involved in the production of that one whereas he was not with the movie and rumored to have despised it. The TV version has those horrifyingly awesome living topiary animals!!! I felt it was much closer to the book and really delved into Jack’s past, better explaining his demise. I loved the book and the movie is just as great in my opinion, even though they are quite different.

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