London: New English Library, 1977. First Edition. Hardcover. First Issue (with gutter code R49 at page 447) of the first UK edition of King’s third novel and the first to hit the New York Times bestseller list, marking the beginning of his long reign as the heavyweight of contemporary popular fiction. Thick 8vo: ,447,pp. Publisher's black paper-covered boards, spine stamped gilt; illustrated dust jacked, priced £4.95. About Fine (heel of spine bumped, pages tanned on margins, as usual) and probably unread, in Fine jacket. A beautiful copy and yet another example of the value to be found in the graphically superior designs of most UK editions of American authors's works. The U.S. (Doubleday) first edition had a print run of 25,000 copies. The UK edition's was much lower, judging from the print runs of Carrie and The Stand, which were each about 1000 copies. Jones & Newman (eds), Horror: 100 Best Books, 77. Pringle, Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels, 64. Item #BB1532
"The Shining, still widely considered King’s finest book, is a rather restrained, controlled novel which owes more to King’s admiration of the type of allusive, psychological haunting found in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House than the gore of the 1950s horror comics. Inspired by King’s stay in a Colorado hotel that was closing for the season, the novel details the gradual breakdown of Jack Torrance, a frustrated writer and increasingly unstable family man who agrees to act as caretaker during the long winter. Accompanied by his long-suffering wife, Wendy, and young son, Danny (yet another of King’s psychically gifted youngsters), recovering alcoholic Torrance soon falls under the destructive influence of not only his own demons but also those that inhabit the corridors of the Overlook Hotel. At its simplest, most affecting level the book is a story of marital and familial breakdown, of a man whose love for his wife and child is gradually eaten away by resentment and self-loathing . . ." (Literary Encyclopedia) Peter Straub (Jones & Newman) calls the novel a "masterwork, a bold product of an original vision, a novel of astonishing passion, urgency, tenderness, understanding, and invention. . . . In it's uniting of an almost bruising literary power, a deep sensitivity to individual experience, and its operatic conventions, it is a very significant work of art." N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.