Part of the reason I'm rereading all of King's books in chronological order is to watch the progression of a creative mind. I believe The Shining is King's strongest piece, his most well-rounded achievement. Fantastic opening, amazing character development, truly terrifying scenes, and one epic ending. No other King book has that combination. Or at least I do not recall one that does. Has my opinion changed? Not yet.
There are only a handful of authors who can scare me with implication. Point in fact: the hedge animals. I mean, even if the lions had gotten a hold of Hallorann, what were they going to do? Foliage him to death? Still, every single scene involving the hedge animals is terrifying. And you don't even know what they're capable of because their actions are never shown, only implied. Don't even get me started on that fucking fire hose. Nightmare inducing shit...
In summation: If you don't read any other King novel, read this one. That's all I have to say on the subject.
I know this review sucks, but it's also my fourth or fifth time reading this book, so give me a break. I'll do better on the next one, promise.