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The Shining

Stephen King



  "The most wonderfully gruesome man on the planet."

  --USA Today

  "An undisputed master of suspense and terror."

  --The Washington Post

  "[King] probably knows more about scary goings-on in confined, isolated places than anybody since Edgar Allan Poe."

  --Entertainment Weekly

  "He's the author who can always make the improbable so scary you'll feel compelled to check the locks on the front door."

  --The Boston Globe

  "Peerless imagination."

  --The Observer (London)


  Copyright (c) 1977 by Stephen King

  Excerpt from Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Copyright (c) 2013 by Stephen King. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

  All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, in 1977.

  Anchor Books and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Owing to limitations of space, permissions to reprint previously published material appear on this page.

  The Library of Congress has cataloged the Doubleday edition as follows:

  King, Stephen. 1947-

  The shining / Stephen King.--1st ed.

  1. Hotelkeepers--Fiction. 2. Families--Fiction. I. Title.

  PZ4.K5227 Sh PS3561.l483



  eISBN: 978-0-385-52886-3

  Cover design and photograph: Henry Steadman




  Title Page



  Author's Note


  Part One: Prefatory Matters

  Chapter One: Job Interview

  Chapter Two: Boulder

  Chapter Three: Watson

  Chapter Four: Shadowland

  Chapter Five: Phonebooth

  Chapter Six: Night Thoughts

  Chapter Seven: In Another Bedroom

  Part Two: Closing Day

  Chapter Eight: A View of the Overlook

  Chapter Nine: Checking It Out

  Chapter Ten: Hallorann

  Chapter Eleven: The Shining

  Chapter Twelve: The Grand Tour

  Chapter Thirteen: The Front Porch

  Part Three: The Wasps' Nest

  Chapter Fourteen: Up On the Roof

  Chapter Fifteen: Down in the Front Yard

  Chapter Sixteen: Danny

  Chapter Seventeen: The Doctor's Office

  Chapter Eighteen: The Scrapbook

  Chapter Nineteen: Outside 217

  Chapter Twenty: Talking to Mr. Ullman

  Chapter Twenty-One: Night Thoughts

  Chapter Twenty-Two: In the Truck

  Chapter Twenty-Three: In the Playground

  Chapter Twenty-Four: Snow

  Chapter Twenty-Five: Inside 217

  Part Four: Snowbound

  Chapter Twenty-Six: Dreamland

  Chapter Twenty-Seven: Catatonic

  Chapter Twenty-Eight: "It Was Her!"

  Chapter Twenty-Nine: Kitchen Talk

  Chapter Thirty: 217 Revisited

  Chapter Thirty-One: The Verdict

  Chapter Thirty-Two: The Bedroom

  Chapter Thirty-Three: The Snowmobile

  Chapter Thirty-Four: The Hedges

  Chapter Thirty-Five: The Lobby

  Chapter Thirty-Six: The Elevator

  Chapter Thirty-Seven: The Ballroom

  Part Five: Matters of Life and Death

  Chapter Thirty-Eight: Florida

  Chapter Thirty-Nine: On the Stairs

  Chapter Forty: In the Basement

  Chapter Forty-One: Daylight

  Chapter Forty-Two: Mid-Air

  Chapter Forty-Three: Drinks On the House

  Chapter Forty-Four: Conversations At the Party

  Chapter Forty-Five: Stapleton Airport, Denver

  Chapter Forty-Six: Wendy

  Chapter Forty-Seven: Danny

  Chapter Forty-Eight: Jack

  Chapter Forty-Nine: Hallorann, Going Up the Country

  Chapter Fifty: Redrum

  Chapter Fifty-One: Hallorann Arrives

  Chapter Fifty-Two: Wendy and Jack

  Chapter Fifty-Three: Hallorann Laid Low

  Chapter Fifty-Four: Tony

  Chapter Fifty-Five: That Which Was Forgotten

  Chapter Fifty-Six: The Explosion

  Chapter Fifty-Seven: Exit

  Chapter Fifty-Eight: Epilogue / Summer

  Excerpt from Doctor Sleep


  About the Author

  Other Books by This Author

  This is for Joe Hill King, who shines on.

  My editor on this book, as on the previous two, was Mr. William G. Thompson, a man of wit and good sense. His contribution to this book has been large, and for it, my thanks.


  Some of the most beautiful

  resort hotels in the world

  are located in Colorado, but

  the hotel in these pages

  is based on none of them.

  The Overlook and the people

  associated with it exist

  wholly within

  the author's


  It was in this apartment, also, that there stood ... a gigantic clock of ebony. Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang; and when ... the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock a sound which was clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical, but of so peculiar a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause ... to hearken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and, while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused reverie or meditation. But when the echoes had fully ceased, a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly ... and [they] smiled as if at their own nervousness ... and made whispering vows, each to the other, that the next chiming of the clock should produce in them no similar emotion; and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes ... there came yet another chiming of the clock, and then were the same disconcert and tremulousness and meditation as before.

  But in spite of these things, it was a gay and magnificent revel ...

  E. A. Poe

  "The Masque of the Red Death"

  The sleep of reason breeds monsters.


  It'll shine when it shines.

  Folk saying





  Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick.

  Ullman stood five-five, and when he moved, it was with the prissy speed that seems to be the exclusive domain of all small plump men. The part in his hair was exact, and his dark suit was sober but comforting. I am a man you can bring your problems to, that suit said to the paying customer. To the hired help it spoke more curtly: This had better be good, you. There was a red carnation in the
lapel, perhaps so that no one on the street would mistake Stuart Ullman for the local undertaker.

  As he listened to Ullman speak, Jack admitted to himself that he probably could not have liked any man on that side of the desk--under the circumstances.

  Ullman had asked a question he hadn't caught. That was bad; Ullman was the type of man who would file such lapses away in a mental Rolodex for later consideration.

  "I'm sorry?"

  "I asked if your wife fully understood what you would be taking on here. And there's your son, of course." He glanced down at the application in front of him. "Daniel. Your wife isn't a bit intimidated by the idea?"

  "Wendy is an extraordinary woman."

  "And your son is also extraordinary?"

  Jack smiled, a big wide PR smile. "We like to think so, I suppose. He's quite self-reliant for a five-year-old."

  No returning smile from Ullman. He slipped Jack's application back into a file. The file went into a drawer. The desk top was now completely bare except for a blotter, a telephone, a Tensor lamp, and an in/out basket. Both sides of the in/out were empty, too.

  Ullman stood up and went to the file cabinet in the corner. "Step around the desk, if you will, Mr. Torrance. We'll look at the hotel floor plans."

  He brought back five large sheets and set them down on the glossy walnut plane of the desk. Jack stood by his shoulder, very much aware of the scent of Ullman's cologne. All my men wear English Leather or they wear nothing at all came into his mind for no reason at all, and he had to clamp his tongue between his teeth to keep in a bray of laughter. Beyond the wall, faintly, came the sounds of the Overlook Hotel's kitchen, gearing down from lunch.

  "Top floor," Ullman said briskly. "The attic. Absolutely nothing up there now but bric-a-brac. The Overlook has changed hands several times since World War II and it seems that each successive manager has put everything they don't want up in the attic. I want rattraps and poison bait sowed around in it. Some of the third-floor chambermaids say they have heard rustling noises. I don't believe it, not for a moment, but there mustn't even be that one-in-a-hundred chance that a single rat inhabits the Overlook Hotel."

  Jack, who suspected that every hotel in the world had a rat or two, held his tongue.

  "Of course you wouldn't allow your son up in the attic under any circumstances."

  "No," Jack said, and flashed the big PR smile again. Humiliating situation. Did this officious little prick actually think he would allow his son to goof around in a rattrap attic full of junk furniture and God knew what else?

  Ullman whisked away the attic floor plan and put it on the bottom of the pile.

  "The Overlook has one hundred and ten guest quarters," he said in a scholarly voice. "Thirty of them, all suites, are here on the third floor. Ten in the west wing (including the Presidential Suite), ten in the center, ten more in the east wing. All of them command magnificent views."

  Could you at least spare the salestalk?

  But he kept quiet. He needed the job.

  Ullman put the third floor on the bottom of the pile and they studied the second floor.

  "Forty rooms," Ullman said, "thirty doubles and ten singles. And on the first floor, twenty of each. Plus three linen closets on each floor, and a storeroom which is at the extreme east end of the hotel on the second floor and the extreme west end on the first. Questions?"

  Jack shook his head. Ullman whisked the second and first floors away.

  "Now. Lobby level. Here in the center is the registration desk. Behind it are the offices. The lobby runs for eighty feet in either direction from the desk. Over here in the west wing is the Overlook Dining Room and the Colorado Lounge. The banquet and ballroom facility is in the east wing. Questions?"

  "Only about the basement," Jack said. "For the winter caretaker, that's the most important level of all. Where the action is, so to speak."

  "Watson will show you all that. The basement floor plan is on the boiler room wall." He frowned impressively, perhaps to show that as manager, he did not concern himself with such mundane aspects of the Overlook's operation as the boiler and the plumbing. "Might not be a bad idea to put some traps down there too. Just a minute ..."

  He scrawled a note on a pad he took from his inner coat pocket (each sheet bore the legend From the Desk of Stuart Ullman in bold black script), tore it off, and dropped it into the out basket. It sat there looking lonesome. The pad disappeared back into Ullman's jacket pocket like the conclusion of a magician's trick. Now you see it, Jacky-boy, now you don't. This guy is a real heavyweight.

  They had resumed their original positions, Ullman behind the desk and Jack in front of it, interviewer and interviewee, supplicant and reluctant patron. Ullman folded his neat little hands on the desk blotter and looked directly at Jack, a small, balding man in a banker's suit and a quiet gray tie. The flower in his lapel was balanced off by a small lapel pin on the other side. It read simply STAFF in small gold letters.

  "I'll be perfectly frank with you, Mr. Torrance. Albert Shockley is a powerful man with a large interest in the Overlook, which showed a profit this season for the first time in its history. Mr. Shockley also sits on the Board of Directors, but he is not a hotel man and he would be the first to admit this. But he has made his wishes in this caretaking matter quite obvious. He wants you hired. I will do so. But if I had been given a free hand in this matter, I would not have taken you on."

  Jack's hands were clenched tightly in his lap, working against each other, sweating. Officious little prick, officious little prick, officious--

  "I don't believe you care much for me, Mr. Torrance. I don't care. Certainly your feelings toward me play no part in my own belief that you are not right for the job. During the season that runs from May fifteenth to September thirtieth, the Overlook employs one hundred and ten people full-time; one for every room in the hotel, you might say. I don't think many of them like me and I suspect that some of them think I'm a bit of a bastard. They would be correct in their judgment of my character. I have to be a bit of a bastard to run this hotel in the manner it deserves."

  He looked at Jack for comment, and Jack flashed the PR smile again, large and insultingly toothy.

  Ullman said: "The Overlook was built in the years 1907 to 1909. The closest town is Sidewinder, forty miles east of here over roads that are closed from sometime in late October or November until sometime in April. A man named Robert Townley Watson built it, the grandfather of our present maintenance man. Vanderbilts have stayed here, and Rockefellers, and Astors, and Du Ponts. Four Presidents have stayed in the Presidential Suite. Wilson, Harding, Roosevelt, and Nixon."

  "I wouldn't be too proud of Harding and Nixon," Jack murmured.

  Ullman frowned but went on regardless. "It proved too much for Mr. Watson, and he sold the hotel in 1915. It was sold again in 1922, in 1929, in 1936. It stood vacant until the end of World War II, when it was purchased and completely renovated by Horace Derwent, millionaire inventor, pilot, film producer, and entrepreneur."

  "I know the name," Jack said.

  "Yes. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold ... except the Overlook. He funneled over a million dollars into it before the first postwar guest ever stepped through its doors, turning a decrepit relic into a showplace. It was Derwent who added the roque court I saw you admiring when you arrived."


  "A British forebear of our croquet, Mr. Torrance. Croquet is bastardized roque. According to legend, Derwent learned the game from his social secretary and fell completely in love with it. Ours may be the finest roque court in America."

  "I wouldn't doubt it," Jack said gravely. A roque court, a topiary full of hedge animals out front, what next? A life-sized Uncle Wiggily game behind the equipment shed? He was getting very tired of Mr. Stuart Ullman, but he could see that Ullman wasn't done. Ullman was going to have his say, every last word of it.

  "When he had lost three million, Derwent sold it to a group of California investors. Their experience wit
h the Overlook was equally bad. Just not hotel people.

  "In 1970, Mr. Shockley and a group of his associates bought the hotel and turned its management over to me. We have also run in the red for several years, but I'm happy to say that the trust of the present owners in me has never wavered. Last year we broke even. And this year the Overlook's accounts were written in black ink for the first time in almost seven decades."

  Jack supposed that this fussy little man's pride was justified, and then his original dislike washed over him again in a wave.

  He said: "I see no connection between the Overlook's admittedly colorful history and your feeling that I'm wrong for the post, Mr. Ullman."

  "One reason that the Overlook has lost so much money lies in the depreciation that occurs each winter. It shortens the profit margin a great deal more than you might believe, Mr. Torrance. The winters are fantastically cruel. In order to cope with the problem, I've installed a full-time winter caretaker to run the boiler and to heat different parts of the hotel on a daily rotating basis. To repair breakage as it occurs and to do repairs, so the elements can't get a foothold. To be constantly alert to any and every contingency. During our first winter I hired a family instead of a single man. There was a tragedy. A horrible tragedy."

  Ullman looked at Jack coolly and appraisingly.

  "I made a mistake. I admit it freely. The man was a drunk."

  Jack felt a slow, hot grin--the total antithesis of the toothy PR grin--stretch across his mouth. "Is that it? I'm surprised Al didn't tell you. I've retired."

  "Yes, Mr. Shockley told me you no longer drink. He also told me about your last job ... your last position of trust, shall we say? You were teaching English in a Vermont prep school. You lost your temper, I don't believe I need to be any more specific than that. But I do happen to believe that Grady's case has a bearing, and that is why I have brought the matter of your ... uh, previous history into the conversation. During the winter of 1970-71, after we had refurbished the Overlook but before our first season, I hired this ... this unfortunate named Delbert Grady. He moved into the quarters you and your wife and son will be sharing. He had a wife and two daughters. I had reservations, the main ones being the harshness of the winter season and the fact that the Gradys would be cut off from the outside world for five to six months."

  "But that's not really true, is it? There are telephones here, and probably a citizen's band radio as well. And the Rocky Mountain National Park is within helicopter range and surely a piece of ground that big must have a chopper or two."