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Post by markgunnells on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:48 am

No one has discussed this on here that I can see so I'll start. I know many are praising the book and saying it's classic King, but as for me...I'm disappointed. I don't hate the book, but it fell really flat for me, more so than any of his other recent work. These thoughts I'm about to offer are just my opinions, I realize it's all subjective.

I did like some of the beginning. I loved the early stuff about Dan's struggle with alcoholism and him trying to rebuild his life, I could actually have read an entire book about that. Also, I liked the early stuff with Abra's family trying to deal with a child that had all this psychic power long before she could even talk. Again, could have read an entire book about that.

My biggest issue with the book was probably the villains, the Knot. I found them rather cartoonish and not at all compelling. Tonally I felt like they seemed out of another book altogether. Every time it would switch to them I would actually groan.

Once Abra was older and she and Dan actually met, the story just lost me. I found Abra a rather uninteresting character actually, and many of the other characters were mere shadows. John the doctor that helped, even Billy, and even Abra's parents...none of them seemed really fleshed out and they were just sort of there, words on the page as opposed to living, breathing characters.

My other big problem with the book was I found it utterly unexciting. There was no real narrative tension or suspense for me. The scenes that should have been gripping like Abra's kidnapping just seemed rather pedestrian. And I felt King kept telegraphing that our heroes were always one step ahead of the Knot, ensuring there was no real tension in the story. Someone I know complained none of the heroes died, but that didn't bother me. No one died in Poltergeist but I still found it a terrifying movie because there was a sense of peril, or danger, that I never felt here.

And the scenes themselves, like the final scene at the old site of the Overlook, I didn't feel they were written in a way that really gave a sense escalating suspense or anything like that. They were rather abrupt and anti-climactic.

Some of the other story points I think were supposed to give a thrill to the reader didn't work for me. Like the reveal that Dan was related to Abra, that seemed thrown in just to try to give the readers a shocking surprise but I just shrugged. And returning to the site of the Overlook I think was supposed to be a thrill for the fans of The Shining, but it was not written in a way that made me feel excited.

Again, just my thoughts, but I thought this book didn't really work as horror or a thriller, and it didn't provide enough fleshed out characters or dynamic villains for me.

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