The midlife crisis is real. If you see The Shining buying a motorcycle, dyeing its hair or visiting a hotel in Colorado and turning on its family, go easy, it turns 43 today. Stephen King’s infamous novel, that spawned a modern cinematic classic, was published 43 years ago on January 28th 1977. King’s psychological horror had sold over a million copies as of 2012 with doubtless many more sold since.
Image via ifc center
The Shining is one of King’s best-known (and loved) novels, penned after King and his wife spent some time in Boulder in a supposedly haunted hotel room. They stayed in room 217, which avid readers may recognize from the novel. The story follows Jack, Wendy and their son, Danny. Jack and his family take up residence in The Outlook Hotel during its off-season, so that he can focus on writing a novel. Danny has a sort of sixth sense that allows the hotel and its ghosts to communicate with and through him. They soon find that The Outlook Hotel has no intention of letting them leave.
Like many of King’s novels, some of the scariest moments are inherently human. The ghosts of The Outlook Hotel are not as much of a threat as the skeletons in our own closets and King explores this idea throughout. King has said that he used Jack and Danny’s relationship as a way to explore his own feelings of anger towards his children. In The Companion to Stephen King, he admits:
Sometimes you confess. You always hide what you’re confessing to. That’s one of the reasons why you make up the story. When I wrote The Shining, for instance, the protagonist of The Shining is a man who has broken his son’s arm, who has a history of child beating, who is beaten himself. And as a young father with two children, I was horrified by my occasional feelings of real antagonism toward my children. Won’t you ever stop? Won’t you ever go to bed? And time has given me the idea that probably there are a lot of young fathers and young mothers both who feel very angry, who have angry feelings toward their children.
image via amazon
The book was adapted to the now classic 1980 film of the same name. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, it has been immortalized as one of the best horror films ever made. Despite this success, Stephen King has not always been a fan of the adaptation and was against a prequel story. That said, he then wrote Doctor Sleep, the film version of which was released just last year.
It may not just be our nightmares that The Shining is haunting as it could be taking to the stage very soon. With Simon Stephens at the helm, Jack is getting a new lease of (after)life. A stage adaption would be very fitting since all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
To celebrate the forty-third year of The Shining, consider staying at The Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for the Outlook. The film version changed the haunted room to 237 at the hotel’s request as they worried that featuring room 217 would dissuade guests from staying there. No matter which one you stay in, you’re sure to get all of the spooky vibes that King immortalized in the 447 pages of his novel.
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On November 8th we’re all going to see Doctor Sleep. Oh, wait, you’re not? Why? Because you don’t know the story? Well, let me fill you in…
Ewan McGregor, also known as young Obi-Wan Kenobi, will star as Danny in the film adaptation for Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, a story which follows an adult Danny Torence, the child from The Shining, as he struggles to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence.
He goes to New Hampshire where he establishes a nursing home where he can use his shining power for good, comforting the dying before they go. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival.
In preparation for this movie, we’re going to go through eight Stephen King Books we gotta re-read or just read for the first time (no shame here!) before this movie hits a silver screen near you!
Yep, you knew this would be on this list. Even if you haven’t read It, you’ve heard of It. Loser’s Club, killer clown, weird orgy scene, a giant cosmic turtle, it’s all there. This gem has heart, has scares, has everything Steven King. The book is as big as a stone but it won’t weigh you down.
Juggling themes of adulthood, childhood, and trauma, this story has stuck with us throughout the ages for a reason.
Instead of a scary clown, we meet the the Cujo, the good-natured St. Bernard. Good dog! But he gets bit by a rabid bat. Then when Donna’s car breaks down, she and her young son Tad are trapped while a crazed Cujo tries to kill them. Bad dog!
In his book, On Writing, King notes that due to his alcoholism and cocaine addiction he can barely remember writing this book, and that might be for the best. It’s not bad or anything, far from it, in fact it’s so real, so visceral, so in-your-face-horrifying that it might have even scared Stephen King himself away from writing.
What can I say except thank God there’s only one evil animal in this story.
Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, along with their two younger children move to Maine. Bad move, because in a Stephen King novel Maine is a terrible place. Their cat, Church, dies, so they bury it out in the woods.
Are you sad yet?
Well, things get worse when the cat comes back to life. Turns out that the woods are an ancient burial ground and anything buried there comes back to life with an intent to kill.
With two film adaptations, you’ll have to check out this book, “Darling.”
A post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy, The Standis Stephen King’s fourth novel (can you believe it?).
After a patient escapes from a biological testing facility, he unknowingly unleashes upon the world a mutated strain of super-flu that starts to wipe out 99% of the world’s population.
With the fate of humanity at stake, Mother Abigail—a benevolent one-hundred-eight-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community—and Randall Flagg—the nefarious “Dark Man” who delights in chaos and violence—rise up to lead humanity, and force the survivors to choose between them.
Let’s go back to 1974. Here we get the first novel published by Stephen King, Carrie.
Carrie is relentlessly bullied by her peers and tormented by her overly-religious mother who, after reaching puberty, discovers she has telekinetic powers.
A bloodbath, this novel is one of the most frequently on the banned books. Multiple adaptations have been made, from the stage to the silver screen, but the book proves to be the most terrifying. It’s a good thing that Tabitha King fished the first draft of the first chapter out of the garbage and convinced her husband to keep writing, otherwise Stephen King wouldn’t be the King of horror we know today.
Writer Paul Sheldon is injured in a car accident but is saved by nurse Annie Wilkes. However, Annie is a super-fan of Paul’s writing and is keeping him prisoner, refusing to let him go until he finishes another book in her favorite series.
The title comes from the feeling it evoked not only in Paul Sheldon, but within King himself.
The novel got a film adaptation in 1990, staring James Caan and Kathy Bates in a performance that won Bates an Oscar. Funny enough, the director of the film, Rob Reiner, only took the film on because he wanted to include the infamous ‘axe’ scene but, when it came time to shooting, decided to change the scene into an ‘ankle-breaking’ one instead.
You won’t be miserable when reading this novel, but it might just get under your skin and tear it right off.
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
Stephen King started the Dark Tower series with that line and, for the longest time, it seemed like he wouldn’t finish the series. Years went by, and then he was almost killed, run over by a drunk-driver while he was on the side street during his routine morning walk.
He survived, and afterwards flew through the rest of the series just to get to this ending. And trust me, you all, it’s Stephen King at his Stephen-King-est. If you want crazy insanity to the ninth degree, then this is the book for you.
Of course this would be number one, but let’s refresh your memory.
Jack Torrance has a new job at the Overlook Hotel. This is the perfect chance for a fresh start. He’ll have plenty of time reconnecting with his family and his writing his magnum opus. But as the harsh winter winds blow and snow falls, Jack Torrance falls back into his old vices as his young son, Danny Torrance, feels malicious spirits gather around him, attracted to his unique gift called ‘the shining.’
With IT: Chapter Two scaring up theaters, another Stephen King adaptation has debuted a trailer that is sure to haunt your dreams. And this one calls back to one of King’s most famous stories.
Doctor Sleep, the sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining, will be hitting theaters November 8th. Taking place several years after the events of the original novel, the story follows an adult Danny Torrance as he tries to recover from the trauma that he experienced from his father in the Overlook Hotel. Still haunted by his “shine” power, Danny encounters a young teenager who also shares this ability. When the young girl is hunted for her powers, Danny finds himself drawn back to the hotel and the ghosts of his past.
Image Via Amazon
Ewan McGregor stars as Danny, with Rebecca Ferguson and Cliff Curtis also starring. The trailer makes several callbacks to The Shining, including the music, the blood elevator and the infamous “RedRum” tagline.
Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!
It Chapter 2
Image Via Vanity Fair
A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.
Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!
Image Via Variety
An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.
Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?
We’ll find out this October 4th.
Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.
This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.
Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.
We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.
Another (sort of) Alan Moore adaptation, this version of Watchmen will be, in the words of showrunner Damon Lindelof, “a remix.”
For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.
What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.
What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.
Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation ofDoctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?
The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.
The Good Liar
Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.
After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.
First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.
Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.
His Dark Materials
Image via Amazon
This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.
Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).
If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”
The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?
Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.
Once upon a time, we reported that Draco Malfoy himself, Tom Felton, had attended the opening at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and joined AOL’s In The Know for a game of ‘Fact or Fanfiction?’ and, in the standout moment from the Q and A, Tom Felton was asked: What did he think of Draco’s relationship to Harry Potter?
Image Via Redbubble
Now anyone with even a passing glance to the franchise would see Draco and Harry a simple rivalry, a tale for the ages, but Tom Felton said, I’m quoting AOL here, “Harry was constantly crushing on Draco…He just couldn’t hide it.”
Let’s look at the facts:
Draco and Harry do definitely have some tension going on.
Image Via Youtube
With this in mind we’ve decided to give you, dear readers, twelve literary couples that happened in an alternative universe. Taking twenty-four characters from all across literature, from different book series to classic standalone novels (copyright be damned!), we’ve compiled these characters into eleven distinct (and surely steamy) relationships that would have totally worked out…for the characters, at least. Trust us, we’re chemists here.
No more sparkling vampires, now Twilight‘s Bella Swan is getting an upgrade. Let’s face it: There’s a reason Bram Stoker called this novel Draculaand not Harker. Dracula’s got style, he’s got nice clothes, he’s not charm oozing from everyone pore.
Image Via Pinterest
Heck, if Bella says “No, I’m married” then I’m asking Dracula out to get a nice love bite.
Far before Twitter decided to give us the #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend fan campaign, we had the comic books. See Bucky died, Steve Rogers became a Commie smasher, and then the Commie smasher was retconned, and then the real Steve Rogers was thawed out from the ice.
Image Via The Mary Sue
But Bucky remained dead, and Steve was inconsolable in his grief over his best friend and partner in crime throughout the decades of Captain America comics. In fact, it was one of the most foremost elements of his character
Fans looked at this and took the small hop and believed that Steve’s profound sense of loss than met the eye
So Bucky came back. In fact, he came back as the Winter Soldier in a comic book called The Winter Soldier, and ever since then we’ve been clamoring for Steve and Bucky to get a little closer.
They’re perfect for each other. The two buddies have been with each other since the beginning and will continue to stay together “until the end of the line”. They’re both “men out of time” from 1930s Brooklyn and are war buddies with great rapport who totally get along. They have so much in common.
At least go on a date and see if there’s anything there.
We have Peter Pan‘s Captain Hook, and this man has been through a lot. Yes, he’s trying to track down and kill Peter Pan like he’s an animal, but Peter Pan is an animal! This boy cut off his hand and fed it to a crocodile. Wicked, evil, and savage beyond belief.
Gregory ‘The Man with the Pecks’ Peck as Captain Ahab / Image Via The Guardian
Then we have Moby Dick‘s Captain Ahab who, like James Hook, wants to track down an animal whose savaged ships of all sorts.
But would they be searching for these monsters if they had, you know, found each other? Could their killer eyes turn into ones of passion and love if they only looked into each other’s eyes?
We here at Bookstr call out in a resounding, ‘YES!’
Charles Dickens’ gave us Great Expectations, which us the tragic story of Miss. Havisham. Left at the altar as a young lady, she has preserved her house as it was on her wedding day and lived there ever since, shut away from the world. She has a heart of gold, but no one has treated it well.
Look at those sultry eyes/Image Via Pinterest
Harper Lee gave us To Kill A Mocking Bird, which introduced the world to Boo Radley. Our Boo has lived in a house since he was a child, hidden from the world, but he has a heart of gold, giving young Scout a jacket on a cold autumn day.
If these two shut-ins have closed their doors to the world, would they open their doors for each other? Boo Radley most certainly wouldn’t leave Miss. Havisham at the altar, and Miss. Havisham wouldn’t let our precious Boo feel unwelcomed.
Now this pairing might not be great for the world at large, but they would be great for each other. Both live in fantasy world, the authors who created them were in real life great friends, and both crave ultimately power.
While both skilled in the powers of magic, it wouldn’t take magic to get these two working side by side.
Image Via Denver Post
Imagine it: the White Witch would kill all the lions and the hero in the land, freezing them in ice just in time…
Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchiogrows every time he lies, and he’s made of wood, so lie a few times and cut off the excess, and Voldemort doesn’t have to be called He-Who-Must-Not-Have-A-Nose.
Image Via Harry Potter Wiki – Fandom
Yes, Voldemort is a racist and a tyrant who thirsts for power more than a camel thirsts for water, but Pinocchio isn’t the pinnacle of innocence. After all, there’s a reason he’s cursed to have his nose grows every time he lies.
Plus, if he and Voldemort got together, Pinocchio can use his nose for…
Prince Eric isn’t a good fit for Hans Christie Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. He has legs, Ariel is half-fish, and if she gets together with him then she has to abandon her family. That’s a bad move, Ariel.
Aw, he’s holding him / Image Via Pinterest
But if she wants to take a walk on the wild side and still remain in the ocean, she can always go with the shark from Peter Benchley’s Jaws. Call him what you will (I call him Bruce, but others have called him Jaws or Sharkie or even Craig), but he knows his way around the wide ocean and can show Ariel a whole new world under the sea.
Ah, they always say there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but at least these two fish found each other. Maybe that’ll be the new plot for the new Disney remake!
Mrs. Robinson from Charles Webb’s 1963 novella The Graduate is trapped in a loveless marriage. She’s only married to her husband because she got pregnant and needed to avoid a scandal, and thus she hooks up with young Benjamin Braddock. But Benjamin is only into her because he’s bored. He doesn’t love her.
Image Via Study.com
Oedipus from the seminal play Oedipus Rex has a thing for older women. Yes, he didn’t know he was married to his mom, but she was still older than him. So maybe we can avoid the whole I-gotta-pluck-out-my-eyes thing and just have Oedipus meet up and see where things go with Mrs. Robinson. She’s old enough to be his mom, and that should be enough for dear old Ed.
This goes beyond the fact that ‘Katniss’ kind of, sort of, sounds like ‘cat’ and the Cheshire Cat is, well, a cat.
Image Via Scoopnest
For one, Katniss from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games never really loved Peta. Two, Cheshire Cat from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland knows his way around the block and would have helped her big time before, during, and after those pesky Hunger Games.
Plus, the Cheshire Cat is funny, and you know what they say….