Friday, December 13, 2019

Review: It by Stephen King

Title: It
Author: Stephen King
Format: Hardcover, 1156 pages
Pub. Date: September 15th 1986
Source: Lisa

Book Description:

To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .

The adults, knowing better, knew nothing. Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

Frightening, epic, and brilliant, Stephen King's IT is one of the greatest works of a true storytelling master.



This is without a doubt the longest reading experience that I have ever had. I'm a quick reader, and this took me months. Overall, I didn't hate this book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

Stephen King is a complicated writer. And by that, I don't mean his plots. His resume speaks for itself- the dude can sell a story. I found that this book was in parts, very well written. He is a master at metaphor and description. His language is so detailed that it's often poetic, and it's almost impossible not to be sucked into the storyscapes that he creates. I could picture Derry. I felt like I was in the Barrens, in the house on Neibolt street, and even in Bev's apartment. The language is vivid, and the both the settings and the characters are well thought out and well examined.

This book should be overly complicated, but it isn't. Not only does it follow seven different characters, with chapters that change focus between the seven, but it follows them in two different time periods- when they are children and then when they are adults. He did a wonderful job of making each person distinct enough that it's easy to tell who each chapter is following.

My problem with the writing is that there was too much of it. It often got stale and long, and a bit repetitive. If this had been edited down a bit more, I would have enjoyed it more.

The actual plot of it was fine. I didn't find it scary, though I'll give you that it's disturbing. Most of the scare factors were just ick for me as opposed to fears- blood, guts, bugs, corpses. It's certainly unpleasant, but I didn't quite get the "I need to sleep with the lights on" type of feeling that I was hoping for in this book. Pennywise, beyond his glamour of a clown, is a very odd monster with very odd origins. The book takes a lot of really weird turns that left me a bit confused, although with some closure.

And then there's the whole pre-teen love fest bit. Which.... While nowhere near as graphic as the internet and other reviews had led me to believe... It was a very odd choice to put in the book.

I won't be reading this book again. It was perfectly fine, but because it was so rambling and not really scary, it wasn't my cup of tea. Stephen King doesn't need my validation though, and I already know there are thousands who disagree. More power to them and to him, because he keeps his audience coming back for more.


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