Category: Stephen King

6 Facts About Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’

While most people only know of the The Shining thanks to the film adaptation directed by Stanley Kubrick, Stephen King’s 1977 novel was published today, and to celebrate a story that has revolutionized the horror genre, here are a list of fun facts.


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6. the location of the overlook hotel was entirely arbitrary

After writing Carrie and ‘Salem’s Lot, which were both set in small towns in Maine, Stephen King wanted to, in his own words, “spend a year away from Maine so that my next novel would have a different sort of background.” To decide where his next story was to take place, he opened an atlas of the United States on a kitchen table and set his finger down a random location, which just so happened to be Boulder, Colorado. Curiously, though, King seems to have abandoned this strategy entirely, as the majority of his book after the fact have taken place in Maine.


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5. originally, there was a prologue and epilogue

Before The Shining was published, there included a prologue titled “Before the Play” which chronicled the events of the Overlook Hotel before the arrival of the Torrence family, as well as an epilogue titled “After the Play,” though neither were included in the final draft. Five years later the prologue was published in Whispers magazine, and an abridged version appeared in the 1997 issue of TV-Guide to promote the upcoming miniseries. The epilogue was thought to be lost, but was re-discovered in 2016, and both were published in a special edition of the novel released by Cemetery Dance Publication.


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4. king hated the kubrick film

This one may not be as unknown to fans of Stephen King, but to this day he claims he was disappointed by the 1980 film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick, despite it being regarded as one of the greatest horror movies of all time. His criticisms mostly stem from how poorly Kubrick adapted the novel’s themes, as well as how little the original source material was followed. I, for one, have to agree that, as an adaptation, the 1980 The Shining is subpar.


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3. the hotel that king used as inspiration is also haunted

Many believe the Stanley Hotel is haunted, having reported a number of cases of ghostly activity. Kitchen staff have reported to have heard a party going on in the ballroom, only to find it empty. Patrons in the lobby have allegedly heard someone playing the ballroom’s piano; employees investigating the music purportedly found nobody sitting there. Employees believe that particular ghost is of Freelan O. Stanley’s wife, Flora, who used to be a piano player. In one guest room, people claim to have seen a man standing over the bed before running into the closet. This same apparition is allegedly responsible for stealing guests’ jewelry, watches, and luggage. Others reported to have seen ghosts in their rooms in the middle of the night, simply standing in their room before disappearing. Are these real ghosts or simply the imaginations of the inhabitants hijacked by the novel’s reputation?


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2. the novel was adapted into an opera

Who would have thought that a supernatural horror novel would be inspiration for an opera? And who would have thought that the performance would have received largely favorable reviews? Directed by Eric Simonson and premiering at the Ordway Music Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the opera was, according to critics, “an unqualified success.”


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1. ‘The shining’ was the first of king’s book to introduce the supernatural ability of the same name

If you’re a fan of the Stephen King Macroverse (which I explain in-depth here), then you know how prevalent “the shine” is in his books. While the abilities of those that possess the shine range from pyrokinesis to precognition, in The Shining it’s explained as telephony, and it’s the first of King’s novels that introduces it to his world. Since then, dozens of characters have been theorized to poses the shine, from John Coffey in The Green Mile to Mother Abigail in The Stand, and while Carrie was written before The Shining, it’s been retconned (at least by the readers) that her telekinesis was also a result of the shine.


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7 Author Twitter Reactions to Biden’s Inauguration

Curious to know what some of your favorite best-selling authors thought about Biden's inauguration? We got their twitter reactions!

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7 Books Turned Musical That Might Surprise You

What comes to mind when you hear Matilda, The Color Purple, and Oliver Twist? The books by Roald Dahl, Alice Walker, and Charles Dickens, of course! But did you know that these titles, and more, have been made into popular musicals, and that some of your favorite musicals are based on books? Well below are seven musicals based on books that just might surprise you.




Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz, took the world by storm seventeen years ago, and is based on the first book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, a 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire. It is the first book of The Wicked Years series. So if you like the musical and want more, there are three sequel books that you can check out.


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Carrie, a beloved cult classic by Stephen King, became a musical in 1988 and had an Off-Broadway revival in 2012.


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The Phantom of the Opera

Yes, that Phantom of the Opera. The 1968 musical, by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is based on a book written in 1910 by French author, Gaston Leroux, originally titled Le Fantôme de l’Opéra.


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Tuck Everlasting

You guessed it; that book you had to read in sixth grade has also been turned into a musical. Natalie Babbitt’s 1975 novel, Tuck Everlasting, which has become a class of children’s literature and has had a run on the banned books list, took to the stage back in 2015 and had a thirty-nine show run before closing production.


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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Another well-known literary classic turned musical is seen in Jekyll and Hyde, whose musical narrative takes inspiration from the 1886 novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson… with multiple renditions and revivals bringing the gothic thriller into public view.


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Be More Chill

With original music and lyrics by Joe Iconics, this musical captured public attention back in 2015 and had a limited run on Broadway in 2019. But what fans might not know is that Be More Chill is based on a book by American author, Ned Vizzini.


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Percy Jackson

Fans of the Percy Jackson series were devastated by the 2010 film adaptations, so much so that they got together and made a musical! The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a faithful adaptation of the first book in author Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It had a limited run on Broadway earlier in January 2020.


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Read an Excerpt from Stephen King’s Upcoming Novel

Stephen King's new novel, Later, tells the story of Jamie Conklin, the son of a financially struggling mother who posses an ability that, according to King himself, lets him "see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn." When an NYPD detective involves Jamie with the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave, he learns just how dangerous his gift truly is.

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