Dear God. What can I say about this book?
First off, if you’ve only ever seen the movie (as I have before conquering this pile of pages), know that it’s tame compared to what’s truly inside this novel. Second, I can see why people choose IT as one of Stephen King’s greatest pieces of work. It has everything a horror novel needs, and it just changes you after you read it. Honestly, I’m sitting here shaking as I’m reminiscing of when I read the damned thing, and it’s been about six months since I finished it.
Let’s give you some background: the story focuses on a group of seven friends known as the Losers Club. They all grew up together in Derry, Maine (a focal point in many of King’s works) and they all grew up outsiders. First, we’re introduced to stutterer Bill Denbrough and his younger brother Georgie. At six years old, Georgie is found dead with his arm ripped off near the sewer drain on the street where the Denbrough’s lived. Things pick up from there as Ben Hascom, the fat kid who also happens to be Derry’s newest resident, is harassed by Henry Bowers and his gang of low lives. From there, we meet Eddie Kaspbrak (who has been tortured by his mother to think he has asthma), class-clown Ritchie Tozier, boy scout Stanley Uris, physically abused Beverly Marsh, and token black guy Mike Hanlon. Each and every one of these kids has been haunted by a creature they refer to as ‘IT’.
Originally, ‘IT’ takes on the form of Pennywise the Clown, but it can become anything. During each of these kids’ lowest points in their lives, IT arrives in hopes of bringing them down into the sewers, where IT lives and sleeps beneath Derry, in order to eat them. By the end of the novel, you learn about IT’s history and how long its been haunting the people of the land.
This book scared me. And it didn’t all come from Pennywise.
There’s a scene that haunts me to this day where it makes you question an individual’s morals. I think this book was meant more to focus on good and evil in humanity and how children’s upbringing can influence them as a person. But what the fuck do I know? All I know is that this book left me feeling weak in my gut.
The story itself takes place between the 1960’s as the kids are growing up and 1984-85 after a tragic murder of a gay teenager. Stephen seamlessly tells the story from both eras and you’re never confused as to when things happen/ed.
Pick up the book if you haven’t already. Yes, it’s one of King’s longest reads (The Stand coming in at his longest), but it’s well worth it. This book will keep you up at night.