I have just finished listening to It as an audio book. It was 45 hours long, it took a month’s worth of listening to get through it all. The book has over 1,100 pages! It is a Hell of a book! It contains some of the scariest scenes, imagery and characters ever put to paper. It is Stephen King at his best and currently my favorite of all his novels. (written before the 2017 film)
Summary: The book follows the Loser’s Club, a group of kids in the fictional town of Derry Maine, where the townsfolk are plagued by an unusually high number of unexplained deaths, particularly children.
The first part will be spoiler free and give insight as to what this book is about and why it works.
The second will discuss the events of the book and will heavily feature spoiler!
Why I picked IT:
Plain and simple the reputation of Pennywise the Clown as one of horror’s most beloved and terrifying creations. I chose the audio book over the paper purely due to its size and I know my patience to read something so long would definitely wane.
This Guy is so much more than the face made famous by Tim Curry in the 1990 film.
What I enjoyed :
The characterisation is superb . This whole book gives you a real sense of what it is like to be a child again. It captures the sense of naivety and wonderment that only occurs through the eyes of a child. This book acts as a window into childhood .
The Looser’s Club
King spends a good amount of time with each of the chid characters as we see their adult selves reflecting on their memories of childhood. This is done very naturally by King who is able to show the character of each child and how their experience has shaped their experiences as adults.
For instance we see Bev, the only female main character who is harassed as a child by her father amidst her growing into womanhood. Her relationship with her father is directly paralleled in the future by her choice of partner. Much of the real threats in the book are not from Pennywise himself but human characters who are in a position to cause damage to the Loser’s both physically and mentally.
The Adults in the town of Derry Maine are influenced by It to turn a blind eye to the horrific events which keep on happening. This ignoring of the murders and violence in the town makes helps add to the sense of dread within the Loser’s.
As children we naturally turn to our parent or adults for help when scared. King has successfully removed this as an option and the reader can relate to the fear and the sense of loss felt in the book.
The adults are unable to see many of the incidents with Pennywise, this reiterates the aura of the town.
Pennywise acts as a force of chaos, the fear of the unknown is what adds to his effect. The clown is not his only form and in my opinion is one of his least scary. There is a huge amount of backstory written about Pennywise which is linked heavily with the town of Derry. This is an aspect I absolutely loved. The lore of Pennywise paired with the scares of the Loser’s as they start to research the killings is something which adds to the scares as you discover new information the same way they do . This leaves your imagination to run riot.
(Click here for part 2)