I’m feeling a little like Jack Torrance today, isolated up here on top of my hill.
Jack Torrance, in The Shining, felt confident that he would not lose his marbles and slaughter his family during his weeks of confinement at The Outlook hotel. This unlike the previous uneducated caretaker there. Jack theorized that as he was an educated reader, he would never get bored, lose his shit and kill everyone within reach.
Much like Jack, I feel shielded from boredom. Fortunately, I’m ace at entertaining myself. I have been a reader since I can remember. I’m that nerd who would have to be kicked outside by my mother on a summer’s day. I was happier stuck inside reading Salem’s Lot. I remember sitting on the floor between the bunk beds tearing through Interview with the Vampire while other kids were out playing rounders. As long as I’ve had a book I’ve never felt alone or bored. I’m never without one. My sister Ana always said I was odd.
Jack Torrance’s theory proved to be horseshit.
So tonight, I’m going with Jacks.
I would be remiss to do this lousy Jack Torrance imitation and not recommend The Shining. It’s a double Jack movie – Jack Nicholson playing Jack Torrance. This arthouse haunted house story by director’s director Stanley Kubrick, was scorned by author Stephen King on its release. King wanted a sane looking everyman actor, who appears to go insane, cast in the role of Torrance. He felt Jack Nicholson always looks insane. This is one of those roles you now couldn’t imagine anyone but Nicholson playing.
I got to visit the Stanley Hotel in Colorado back in 2018, on my road trip. It’s King’s basis for the Outlook and it is that spooky.
This is another rewatchable and one of the better Rewatchables podcast episodes.
I’m also recommending The Shining as a novel. It has a lot of similarities with the film, but you’ll also enjoy it for all the differences. The book delves more into the origins of evil in the hotel, detailed in a scrap book found in the boiler room by Torrance. And I learned what a topiary is! It ranks as my choice King book.
On the book front we have Jack Reacher series, by Lee Child. Reacher, a giant of a man, is an ex military police officer who aimlessly roams the country. As his life on the road would have it, he always just happens on some badness in the making. Lee Child writes perfectly readable mysteries punctuated with bursts of extreme violence. His first novel, Killing Floor, is as good a place to start as any. He’s not winning a Pulitzer Prize, but when you are in the mood for a Jack Reacher novel there’s nothing quite as much fun.
In the which Jack show to binge category , I’m going with Jack Shepherd and Lost. The series (6 seasons/121 episodes) follows the many survivors of crashed Oceanic Flight 815. The past, present and future lives of the passengers are explored as they struggle to survive on the mysterious island they are marooned on. This was a weekly addiction for we fans when it aired. For any dissenters, I thought the last episode was great. I’m ready for a re-watch.