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Les premières phrases

«  Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick. 

Ullman stood five-five, and when he moved, it was with the prissly 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 that 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. »

Circonstances de lecture

Lu il y a plus de dix ans… Le meilleur Stephen King à mon goût.


Jack et sa femme Wendy s’installent avec leur petit garçon de 5 ans, Danny, dans un hôtel à l’écart de tout… Un enfant loin d’être ordinaire… Car c’est un « shiner » et il a un compagnon de jeu imaginaire. Dans ce lieu coupé du monde extérieur,  son don devient un enfer. L’hôtel vide semble prendre vie, pour le pire… Flippant.

Un passage parmi d’autres

 The first time he had been out in the back yard and nothing much had happened. Just Tony beckoning and then darkness and a few minutes later he had come back to real things with a few vague fragments of memory, like a jumbled dream. The second time, two weeks ago, had been more interesting. Tony, beckoning, calling from four yards over: « Danny… come see… » It seemed that he was getting up, then falling into a deep hole, like Alice into Wonderland. Then he had been in the basement of the apartment house and Tony had been beside him, pointing into the shadows at the trunk his daddy carried all his important papers in, especially « THE PLAY. »

« See? » Tony had said in his distant, musical voice. « It’s under the stairs. Right under the stairs. The movers put it right… under… the stairs. »

Danny had stepped forward to look more closely at this marvel and then he was falling again, this time out of the backyard swing, where he had been sitting all along. He had gotten the wind knocked out of himself, too.

Three or four days later his daddy had been stomping around, telling Mommy furiously that he had been all over the goddam basement and the trunk wasn’t there and he was going to sue the goddam movers who had left it somewhere between Vermont and Colorado. How was he supposed to be able to finish « THE PLAY » if things like this kept cropping up?

Danny said, « No, Daddy. It’s under the stairs. The movers put it right under the stairs. »

Daddy had given him a strange look and had gone down to see. The trunk had been there, just where Tony had shown him.

The Shining – Stephen King – 1977