It by Stephen King
4 of 5 stars
I remember reading this years ago, as a teenager, and
occasionally I've thought of it - IT - again.
Of course, in part
that's because Pennywise has become embedded in society's subconscious, in a way
- a lot of people's fear of clowns would trace back to this book, I'm sure.
I decided to listen to the audiobook for this one because it was so
highly rated, and I can see why. Derry really comes *alive* in listening to
this, in a way that I don't think it would have had I just reread it plainly.
Steven Weber did an absolutely phenomenal job and really added to the
For me, this book really transcended the 'horror' genre.
It's not 'just' horror, and I don't say that to denigrate horror, as it's one of
my favourite genres and I think so much can be done within it. King has
obviously built a work of art within the horror genre, here, but he's also done
more than that. I say that because it really encompassed so much more than that.
'IT' is an examination of bullying, of 1950's American society, of racism and
sexism and domestic violence, of relationships, of what it's like to grow up
with parental abuse that isn't physical but is abuse nonetheless. And the
monsters on these pages aren't always 'IT' - instead they're people just like
you and me, people with evil within them.
'IT' is a book that is
downright horrifying at times and creepy, but also - for me - incredibly moving,
too. Towards the end I found myself on the verge of tears, because the book
isn't just about horror and gore and that terror that wakes you in the middle of
the night in sweaty and tangled bedsheets, it's also about friendship and
bravery and love, a very powerful love. It's about the magic of childhood and
why all of us love those movies so much, movies like Stand By Me and Now and
Then and so many others. There's power in the magic of childhood, the memories
that have a soft haze over them.
This probably would have been a
five star book for me if not for the one scene towards the end. Even on a reread
as an adult I'm not quite sure why King included it, though 'desire' seems to be
a very important theme for him in this book. I have a ton of respect for King,
but it still doesn't really work for me and detracted a bit from the story arc,
imo. Perhaps he intended it to be a scene where Beverly reclaims her power and
agency, but it still felt unnecessary.
All the same, this book has
lodged itself on the list of favourites, for me. I can tell because there's part
of me that wants to start reading it all over again.
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