Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Page 129: "The Shining" and the horror of global warming

About that Stephen King novel adapted into a motion picture by Stanley Kubrick…

I’ve posted twice previously (here and here) about references to The Shining in The Billionth Monkey.

Now, in The Billionth Monkey the gas station attendant in Sidewinder (page 129) is named Lloyd. This is not meant as a reference to The Shining. I just thought it was a good name for the character. It was the first thing I thought of, so I used it as a placeholder and in later revisions saw no reason to change it. Not until I later re-watched the movie did I realize that Lloyd was also the name of the creepy ghost bartender in the Overlook Hotel. Nevertheless, my gas station attendant makes for an obscure reference to the movie, even if I didn’t intend it as such. At least not consciously.

Lloyd the gas station attendant in The Billionth Monkey was not intended (consciously) as a reference to Lloyd the bartender in The Shining. [Image from The Shining, dir Stanley Kubrick, ©1980 Warner Bros.]
Stephen King’s The Shining came out in 1977. While the Overlook Hotel doesn’t survive in the book, it does in the film. The thought of someone returning to the scene 30–35 years later and finding things very different due to climate change struck me as a hilarious comment on how much the world has changed since 1977. It’s especially hilarious since the weather was a key plot point in both the book and movie. If Mr. King ever reads The Billionth Monkey, I hope he sees the humor—and fondness—in my little homage.

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