Chances are if you are reading this you probably saw the movie IT that came out last summer. When I began my journey of trying to read every Stephen King book there were two things about the book IT that I knew for sure: a) that I was absolutely going to read it before the new movie came out, and b) I was absolutely terrified of reading IT.
You see Constant Reader’s (what Stephen King calls his fans), I have to tell you something semi embarrassing about myself. I have an aversion to clowns. I used to be terrified of them, but as I have grown up the fear has lessened almost totally to where now I just have a strong dislike for them. Now, I know what you are thinking, “Niles, there are tons of people afraid of clowns, how can that be embarrassing?” Well, in order for you to understand the cause of my fear I must tell you a story first.
Back when I was a child, around the age of eight I think, my parents signed my brother and I up for clown classes through the local rec center. The class taught you the basics every clown needs to know – to this day I still know how to make some balloon animals. I loved every second of being a clown. Shortly after, I saw the original version of IT. IT scared the shit out of me and in my immature child’s mind I became convinced that’s what I was going to turn into and that scared me even more.
Needless to say, when I decided to embark on the journey to read IT there was some definite hesitation. Now, I hadn’t seen the movie in almost 20 years so I remembered very little of the story, so I really had no clue what to expect from the book. Also, be an avid reader I know how much of a book will be changed when it is adapted so the parts I did remember I wasn’t sure if they would have been the same. What I found as I read was a fantastic story.
IT is about a town called Derry, Maine, that is being terrorized by a monster and the group of friends – the losers club – who decide to fight back. An important thing to know about this book is that it focuses on the losers club when they are preteens and when they are adults. I loved this about the book. I am fairly obsessed with life back in the 50s and 60s so it was very fun to read about them when they were preteens.
Another reason I loved this book is that it scared the hell out of me. The thing about the monster is that it will take on the shapes of your biggest fears. So when reading this and taking on the stress of these characters it’s very easy to feel some of the fear that they are feeling during these parts. For example, Eddie is afraid of being sick so the monster takes on the shape of a leper and of course everyone knows its most famous shape, Pennywise the clown.
IT is in no way a perfect book though. There are parts where it sort of drags on, mostly during the moments between the time differences. Another issue I have, and most fans of the book, is towards the end of the book. If you’ve read the book you know what I am talking about and if not… well I am not going to write it here because this is a place for all ages, but if you would really like to know you can ask me or look it up.
Even with those parts I loved this book. It’s a very long book so it took me about a month and half to two months to read it, but I loved every second of it. IT is scary as hell, but well worth the trouble. I do have to say though, if you are just starting out on King, maybe save this one for later, especially if you are younger.
Length: 1156 pages
Favorite Quote: “We all float down here!”
Niles’ rankings of Stephen King books:
- Mr. Mercedes
- ‘Salem’s Lot
- The Shining
- End of Watch
- Gerald’s Game
- Finders Keepers