The Shining isn't just great horror; it's great literature. But I do have one great big shining complaint: the epilogue is unnecessary and perverts the sense of dread the reader felt all through the book. The calm, soothing image of the headlights in the snow should have been the image I was left with, not the sappy picture of the little kid sitting on the pier by the lake. I really don't understand why King threw that epilogue in. It just didn't work.
So for those of you reading The Shining for the firs time, skip the epilogue. And read it exclusively at night, alone, in a quiet house. It's the only way to experience it.