It by Stephen King

It

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....

Title:It
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0450411435
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:1116 pages

It Reviews

  • Maciek

    Some time ago the wise bald (or white) heads stationed at various universities came to an agreement that a literary form, commonly known as the novel, is dead - fewer and fewer works of any significance are written each year. Of course, one must understand the requirements the wise gentlemen expect of a novel of worth: it would be good if the writer would include some "aesthetic dignity" by including as much a

    Some time ago the wise bald (or white) heads stationed at various universities came to an agreement that a literary form, commonly known as the novel, is dead - fewer and fewer works of any significance are written each year. Of course, one must understand the requirements the wise gentlemen expect of a novel of worth: it would be good if the writer would include some "aesthetic dignity" by including as much allusions and connections to other previous works of literature - consciously, that is. The language must also be exquisite; preferably obsure and as incomprehensible as possible, drawing from earlier works of worth and including metaphors and allusions to them. If the author by any chance happens to include a

    in his work, there is a good percentage of possibility that his work will be deemed unworthy, and forever excluded by the adacemia.

    Or at least as long as these wise gentlemen live.

    Of course, the reader is not expected to understand, not to mention enjoy the work of worth - no one

    anymore, the wise men would say; people read rubbish like Danielle Steel when Bold & Beautiful is not on the TV. And, by God, no such novel of worth can ever be popular - after all, the intelligence level required to appreciate it is apparently not met by the 90% of world population.

    A literary figure who is as popular and appreciated like The Beatles? Whose work is admired by thousands of people? And the possibility that these people might learn something from it? That is simply not possible - the wise heads mutter in unison - that is simply not possible! Ask people who know!

    Ask

    History, as we know it, has a nasty habit of repeating itself - though in this case something good might actually come out of it. Writers have been criticized before - most notably Twain and Dickens - and yet, their work is still read and loved by whole generations of readers. Their fiction is taught in schools. Huckleberry Finn has been deemed as vulgar and impropable, much od Dickens's work was described as overtly sentimental, but it prevailed - which can't be said about those who concerned themselved with being the so-called "Arbiters of Literature". In the end, they couldn't grind the knives because they weren't theirs to wield.

    The bones of those who tried to define "literature" perished; the works they so often tried to banish did not. No one remembers (or cares) about those who tried to defy the power of Twain or Dickens; they are immortal through their works.

    People perish; books do not. No one cares about the boy's club of the literati, who cry out words of rage from the ivory tower, instead of helping people understand the joy of reading, understanding and believing. The main principle of art is to

    ; the problem is, not many of the educated seem to understand that even simple things can evoke great emotions. But they too will go down in history without leaving any mark on it, forgotten and alone; and I believe that there will be a lot of bodies turning in their graves when some titles enter the school curriculum.

    "IT" by all means, is not a simple novel. To classify it as a "horror" story is the same as saying that "Moby Dick" is a very long manual on whaling. To say that it is all about the monster is to say that the whale is the villain of the piece.

    -Robert McCammon

    Although vulnerable and physically weak, two factors that make them perfect victims, children posess strenght that most adults had lost in the painful process of maturing - the strenght of imagination. A child feels and experiences emotions much more intensely than an adult, but their unique imaginative capacity allows it to cope with the seemingly impropable much more efficiently. Hence when in

    an adult faces a vampire, he fells down dead from a heart attack. When a child faces one, he is able to go to sleep ten minutes later. As King puts it, "Such is the difference between men and boys".

    King has been depicting children throughout his whole career, and his child characters have subsequently grown older, along with his own children. "IT" is in my opinion his best novel with child protagonists; his most elaborate, complex one. It's also one of his longest, if not the longest.

    The lenght is appropriate, because of the theme: After all, it deals with childhood. Childhood defies Time; a day can last forever, and the summers are endless. And then we grow up, all these years pass, just like a blink.

    -Stephen King,

    Children also posess another one of the invaluable assets that most adults strive to grasp, and it still seeps through their fingers, like sand:

    . Children experience the passing of time differently not because time actually slows down for them (that would be a neat thing indeed) but because they occupy a vastly different social position than that of an average adult. Most adults are forced to work and take care of their families, offspring included. Their imagination is dimmed by the countless hours spent on labor, and for most it never really comes back...the disilusions of experience push it farther abd farther down in the dungeons of the mind, until we finally forget that it was even there in the first place.

    Until we forget what we are possible of...what adventures we can create, what worlds and realms, completely out of the whole cloth.

    When you are a child the hours lazily pass by, the only important matter is to get home from school and after throwing the backpack in a corner going to get your friends and hanging out with them till dinner...and then go hang out with them some more.

    Most children experience more during one summer vacation than some adults throughout their whole life; They have their precious innocence, they haven't been spoiled by work, by taxes, by bills and other things that each of us has to face at some point in life. There is always food in the fridge, and there is always roof over the head; and if there is not, there is always hope that there eventually will be, and friends that help to keep it.

    Children

    more and

    more because they can; when school ends, the day is theirs. Their schedule is not as strict as that of an adult; their duties not as responsible. Therefore, they do not have to trouble themselves with money and shelter, and even if they do they are easily able to push these matters away and concentrate completely on what they are doing right here and now.

    With little breaks for homework and chores children can spend the whole day playing make-believe with their precious friends, and sometimes the boundaries between the real and the imagined become thin, and sometimes they vanish altogether.

    Sometimes their thoughts take shapes...and sometimes their fears do too. Sometimes they joy is almost tangible...and sometimes the boogeymen come out of the closet.

    And sometimes they are real.

    "IT" is a story of a group of children who are not among the most popular, strongest or smartest; a tale about the group of seven friends living in Derry, Maine in 1958. They form the self-called "losers" club and encounter a horrible, awesome force lurking in their hometown...a force feeding on fear and devouring young children. A force that adults do not seem to see; a force that appears as a clown, holding a hand full of baloons.

    The seven children all have one thing in common: they encountered IT. They had all escaped...and that one summer of 58, the seven friends have confronted and defeated IT.

    Or so they had thought.

    28 years later a young homosexual is thrown off a bridge in Derry...it seems like a classic, clear case of homophobia, but the testimony of one of the witnesses changes everything.

    He claims he has seen a clown under the bridge...a clown and a cloud of balloons.

    Mike Hanlon, the sole member of the losers who remained in Derry calls the others and reminds them of the promise they had made all these years ago...a promise sealed in blood. A vow to return if IT wasn't dead. If IT will come back. And apparently, IT has.

    Can they face IT again? Can they go back to the horror they have long forgotten?

    They faced the terror as children. It was their time to take action, and they managed to fight it. Now they are all grown-up...but it is their time,too.

    Will the monster be bested...or will IT FEED?

    "IT" is composed of two nonlinear narratives. The first is the story of 1958, where we meet the children and they first encounter IT; King effortlesly interleaves this timeline with the story of 1985, where the adults return to Derry to fight IT, basing on research that has been done on the subject and their returning memories. IT avoids the problems of most other lenghty books: plot threads that go nowhere. Each of them is important, and only adds to the suspense and builds up to the shattering climax.

    If there is a thing which places King above most other writers, it certainly is his great understandning of adolescence. Few others manage to write so vividly and convinclingly about childhood and coming of age.

    The unquestionably hard time of growing up - school, bullies, parents, first crushes - they are all here, and the reader feels as if he himself was experiencing them. King allowed me to re-live my past again; I wasn't around in 1958, but if I were I would undoubtedly be one of the boys. It is truly an impressive experience to read how King builds his characters and the world they live in.

    Which of course includes stormdrains...which might be empty, but then they might be not.

    IT also manages to adress important social topics: racism, prejudice, domestic abuse. But most importantly it is a story about friendship and childhood: How it irrevocably binds people together and affect their lives. About the power of memory and imagination; about the terror of the familiar world which hides many secrets around the corners and down in the sewers. It's a study of children facing the uncanny, and overcoming their greatest fear: the fear of being alone in fright.

    IT is a story of seven friends, each different, each indispensable and irreplaceable.

    stuttering Bill Denbrough, the unlikely group leader;

    Ben Hansocom, an overweight boy, with a talent for architecture;

    Riche Tozier, the brilliant witty boy of many voices;

    Mike Hanlon, the black kid who comes to the group to find acceptance and finds it;

    Eddie Kaspbrak, the asthmatic and fragile boy who finds within the group a thing he has never dreamed of - courage;

    Stan Uris, a sensible boy who brings understanding;

    and Beverly March, the sole girl in the group, an redhead who is both sweet and tough, and helps the boys in most dire of moments.

    King has proven himself earlier to be capable of producing an epic narrative (

    in 1978), but I think that IT is equal to - or even surpasses - the story of the plague.

    This is a brilliant novel, beautifully told in crisp, clear prose, with truly unforgettable characters and situations. It is the essence of good fiction; the truth inside the lie. King knows his way around the corners; and has that undefiniable look in the eye, the dreamy look of a child. His words are the best set of toys he ever had; and he's generous enough to share them with us. And when he's showing us how his trains travel along the tracks of his imagination and

    they go to, we won't dare to blink because we could miss a minute of the experience...even when the carriage passes through some dark tunnels.

    And if it is the work of an "inadequate writer", a producer of "penny dreadfuls", without any "aesthetic value" or other high-flown pretentious gibberish babbled by people who would most likely want to cast Stephen King and his readers to hell for destroying the image of "Literary Reader"?

    Like Huck Finn, I'd shout loud "All right, then, I'll GO to hell!"

    Literary Heaven might have a better climate; but Literary Hell sure has better company.

  • Khanh (the meanie)

    I'm not easily scared these days. As a grown woman, the only thing that brings the feeling of dread into my heart is the constant pinging of new work emails requiring my attention when I'm at home, but there was a time when I was a shy, delicate, sweet little girl who was scared of my own shadow.

    Proof: not exactly the terror you see haunting the hallowed halls of Goodreads handing out 1 stars like they're candy these days.

    It wasn't until I was around 20 that I outgrew my fear of scary creatures

    I'm not easily scared these days. As a grown woman, the only thing that brings the feeling of dread into my heart is the constant pinging of new work emails requiring my attention when I'm at home, but there was a time when I was a shy, delicate, sweet little girl who was scared of my own shadow.

    Proof: not exactly the terror you see haunting the hallowed halls of Goodreads handing out 1 stars like they're candy these days.

    It wasn't until I was around 20 that I outgrew my fear of scary creatures and things, and stopped tucking in my toes between the blankets, lest they get eaten by monsters, but before that happened...there was

    . I can say with complete confidence that this goddamn book (and the movie) scarred me for life.

    A sentiment that I'm sure many of you who have read the book and seen the movie echoes.

    I remember the exact moment I saw this movie. It's not something one forgets.

    I was 16 years old. I was in Academic Decathlon competition in high school, and after studying for the competition, our little group decided on a movie night. The selection: Stephen King's

    .

    From the moment that goddamn clown popped up on the screen from beneath the sewer, I knew this was a terrible, no-good, bad idea. I spent the rest of the movie hovering on the edge of my seat, crouched between my best friends, hands either over my eyes or clamped over my mouth to suppress my screams.

    I went home. I didn't sleep that night. Neither did I get much sleep for the next two weeks. A few months later, it was winter. Spirit of the season. Clowns can't haunt me when it's Christmas, right? I was brave enough to actually

    the book this time.

    Bad idea.

    So in closing, damn you, Stephen King. Out of all your books, this one has scarred me most.

    These days, I maintain a terror of two things: mummies (long story), and clowns. I can no longer visit theme parks at Halloween.

    Thank you, Mr. King. You shouldn't have. No, you really shouldn't have.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    The narrator is Steven Weber and he did a great job!

    The first time I read this book was in the 6th grade and I had forgotten how good it was! I loved the movie as well, but the book is so much better!

    I love how Mr. King goes back and forth from when the friends were kids and to them as adults and what they do

    The narrator is Steven Weber and he did a great job!

    The first time I read this book was in the 6th grade and I had forgotten how good it was! I loved the movie as well, but the book is so much better!

    I love how Mr. King goes back and forth from when the friends were kids and to them as adults and what they do in life now, while they are on their way back to Derry. See, when they were young and all became friends, they made a pact that if "IT" ever came back so would they.

    IT showed itself to them in many different creeptastic ways but "IT" showed itself more as Pennywise the Clown!

    Bill's little brother Georgie was the first one to be.. um.. eaten... by Pennywise. I'm sorry, I don't care how old I am, if I saw a creepy clown down in a drain-gutter thingy (leave me alone, I forgot the name!) I would have ran until I fell over! I mean..no..no...no.. and NO!

    Bill, Eddie, Ben, Richie, Stan, Beverly, and Mike are all friends. I love each of their separate stories and I love their friendship together. They are all picked on by the town bully/jerk named Henry Bowers, but when they are together Henry can just go on down the road when the little group gets their courage and attacks Henry and his gang.

    I love the camaraderie between the friends and how they believe each others stories of meeting Pennywise, even when he wasn't in clown form. They didn't ridicule each other, they watched out for each other the best they could.

    At one point they think they kill ole Pennywise, but after many years and the killing of kids starts happening again, Mike, who stayed in Derry at the library, calls everyone home. It's weird how they all forget anything that ever happened to them until they get that phone call. It's like they were made to forget.

    And there is sweet Pennywise to welcome them back! Uggggg, clowns!!!!!!!!

    I know there are some people out there that hasn't read the book so I won't give out any spoilers for them, but one of the group commits suicide before anything even gets started and another of the group gets killed before they kill Pennywise for good.. or is IT really dead? I think Mr. King should bring him back with a whole new set of peeps that have to take him out :) Yes, I'm not quite right in the head!

    This is a very long book to read, but you know good books like this one really doesn't matter the length, when they are written very well, it just doesn't seem like a tome. Well, with the exception of holding the book up if you have joint issues, just let it rest quietly on your lap tray while you read :)

    I didn't get bored not one time in this book, I did, however want to shoot a few people and of course Pennywise... but I digress.

    At the end Mr. King wrote:

    That's a good amount of time and would explain how freaking good the book was in all of the detail. The detail was just awesome!

    I'm going to leave you with one last thing........

    MY BLOG:


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