Yep, your girl has finally read a Stephen King novel, IT! I have wanted to read Stephen King books for years. Literally years. But I never got around to finding a good place to start, as there are so many. Lots of people cite King’s books as ground breaking fiction and many of his books have been adapted for the big and small screen. Which funnily enough, is what lead me to finally pick up one of his arguably cult novels…the book with the killer clown himself.
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.
I watched the first IT film when I was around 20 years old and I remember laughing my ass off at it. When the remake came out, I fell in love with the world of Pennywise all over again and my eagerness to get to the cinema and view it prompted me to finally pick up the book.
When I found the book in WHSmith, I was immediately intimidated by how big the book is. You could very easily knock someone out with the book. However, this quickly faded into eagerness to delve in; it’s been a long time since I sat down and read a good book and I became so excited to dive straight in.
Initially I found the story difficult to follow as it jumps between two different timelines very quickly. One minute you get engrossed into the timeline with the children and then it throws you into the adults’ timeline, or even into the thoughts of IT. There were a few sections I have to re-read so I could understand exactly where I was in the book.
There were also some parts of the story that I felt didn’t make much sense. I knew a few of them since I’d seen the first film, but even in the book, they just felt very odd. There was a scene where the bullies in the children’s timeline are lighting their farts on fire and while I can see why this was shown, it felt very out of place and unexpected.
There was also another scene towards the end of the children’s timeline that I really didn’t know how to feel about. I’m not going to spoil it for those who haven’t read the book but the best way for me to describe it is that it’s rather…crude. When I was reading it, I couldn’t believe I was actually reading the scene and having to imagine what was happening. It honestly creeped me out more than any other part of the book.
I’ve gone on about a lot of the negative things, so let’s look at some of the positive stuff. King’s writing style is very matter of fact and he does descriptive writing very well. It was very easy for me to imagine what was going on in my head and although the jumping of the timelines is difficult to follow, he manages to integrate it very cleverly. I also really enjoyed the parts of the book that were from IT’s perspective and getting to know what the monster was thinking, along with learning his origins which rather surprised me. It felt slightly Discworld esque (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read those novels) and it was a great perspective to look from, as most books don’t really focus in the actual monster itself and its thought process.
It took me just over two weeks to finish the book and every single page pulled me in. I consider it quite an achievement that I read the giant chunky book in that short amount of time, but whether I would go out and willingly buy another Stephen King book is another matter. I would definitely like to try reading another book, but I’ll probably borrow it from the library so I can make my own opinion of whether I’d buy more.
If you’re into horror and the unexpected, I’d highly recommend IT, but be on the slightly cautionary side; some scenes will make you feel more confused rather than frightened.
Have you read IT?