What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about “The Shining” I like Salon's analysis of the film vs. novel. Don't agree with it 100% but there are some sharp observations. You don't have to dislike Kubrick's "The Shining" to see King's point. The two men represent diametrically opposed approaches to creating narrative art. One is an aesthete and the other is a humanist. Kubrick was a consummate and famously meticulous stylist; King's prose is workmanly and his novels can have a shambolic bagginess. The great theme of King's fiction is the capacity of the average person -- especially working-class or similarly humble men and women -- both for evil and for heroism. Although there's almost always a battle against a supernatural antagonist in King's books, the best of his novels hinge on the protagonists' struggles with themselves. In "Doctor Sleep," it is just as valiant for Danny Torrance -- the psychic child character in "The Shining," now grown up -- to stay sober as it is for him to challenge the novel's Big Bad. King has always thought Jack Nicholson seems "too crazy" at the very beginning of Kubrick's "The Shining." Everything that makes Nicholson's performance iconic -- his grinning, campy, manic nastiness -- undermines King's point, which is that Jack Torrance could be you. We all love Jack Nicholson, but he's no Everyman. In King's novel, the Overlook Hotel's seduction of Jack Torrance is rooted in the nebbishy failed writer's frustrated desire to be extraordinary, larger than life. It's impossible to imagine Jack Nicholson wanting to be anyone but himself. In Kubrick's film, Jack's madness becomes that of an imperious auteur, convinced of his own importance, running amok and seeking to wipe out the mere human beings whose inconvenient presence muddles his vision. That two such different men as King and Kubrick were able to see themselves in this character indicates what a remarkable creation Jack Torrance is.