Author: Stephen King
Goodreads Synopsis: Derry, Maine is just an ordinary town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part, a good place to live.
It is a group of children who see – and feel – what makes Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurks, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT appears as an evil clown named Pennywise and sometimes IT reaches up, seizing, tearing, killing…
Time passes and the children grow up, move away and forget. Until they are called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirs and coils in the sullen depths of their memories, emerging again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.
My Goodreads rating: 4/5
When you pick up a Stephen King book, you expect a certain level of quality from the work–and you certainly get that quality here. I am not a horror reader, but when I finally mustered up the courage to go see the new version of this novel’s film adaptation (and finally got around to the original mini-series), I realized that I also wanted to pick up the novel itself, and I was not disappointed.
Unsurprisingly, this novel has so much detail. It is over 1,000 pages, after all. While I did love the detail and its ability to really bring you into the story, at times it was just overwhelming. There are quite a few places where I felt like things could be cut, but at the same time I can understand why King wants to use it, in order to really get inside the reader’s mind. You can feel all these different fears of the adults, wrapped up in their similar experiences with It but still distinguished to each of them individually. I felt the most fear through Ben’s first interaction with It as a kid. It was like I could feel It’s presence around me just from reading his situation. Even with all of these horrifying experiences with this being, though, this story is relatable. Each individual has their own strong qualities that help the reader connect with some part of at least one of them. It humanizes the reading experience while you’re still dealing with the unknown struggles of It.
I think the most interesting and strongest part of this novel is the depth that It has as a character and a piece of the past and present in the lives of the characters and the setting. When you read the history of Derry, Maine and you get to go inside the interactions that the Losers’ Club has had with It, you feel as if this could have actually happened, as if It may be a part of the very fabric of some alternate universe’s timeline. King is clearly a distinguished and detailed writer, and that shows in his exploration of this creature and the town it inhabits. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.