For the last month or so, my reading life has been consumed with one book- Stephen King's It. At just shy of 1500 pages, it took me a long time to read this sucker. It wasn't the page length though, it was the content within. I would get to scenes, read them almost with eyes closed, and then put the book down wishing it were a paperback rather than an ebook, so I could toss it into the fire consuming the horrors within.
You see, I don't really like clowns. Not so much the circus clowns or the religious clowns, but more the killer type clowns. A year ago or so when people were dressing like clowns and just staring at people, I would have been the guy in the newspaper with the headline- Local Man chases after guy in clown outfit screaming. It would not have been pretty.
Due to my dislike of killer clowns, I never read 'It' nor saw the movie, but with a new movie on the horizon and a sort of re-falling in love with Stephen King novels (although I still argue he needs and editor), I picked up 'It' on a whim.
The book was originally published in 1986 and follows the lives of a group of outcast/nerds in Derry, Maine. A horrible tragedy happens to Georgie, Bill's brother. Georgie goes chasing after a boat on a rainy day when the boat washes down the sewer drain. When Georgie goes after it, he finds a man with yellow eyes dressed in a clown suit, who winds up murdering Georgie. This though is not the first murder in Derry.
Years later, the gang is split and are all adults when a call goes out that it is time to come back to Derry. The clown is back and is once again murdering people. So, the story is told from the perspective of the individuals traveling back to Derry, but looking back at the year all the murders happened when they were children. It appears in forms that touch upon a child's inner most fear- a clown, a leper, etc. The now adults know that even though this may be their last trip back, it is time to stop It once and for all.
While I know I am last in the pack to read this, if you haven't read it, know it is a LONG book. Even though this takes place within a few years of these children's lives, it is almost real time. It is also 1500 pages of mostly child torture. It attacks kids and takes the form of what scares them most and keeps reappearing in that form. While Pennywise the clown is the most well known, it was the scene under the porch with the leper that made me want to throw the book in the fire. The victims are children almost exclusively, so expect a lot of scaring of children.
With that written, I have to state the book still works. I am an adult man now and the book still had me squeamish and it is 31 years old at this point. There were a few slang words that didn't quite fit anymore and some may be turned off by homophobia type sentences, but overall, the book still works. It could be written today and it would still scare the pants off of individuals. This is the reason why Stephen King is timeless and the book still sells. It is a good book and a great horror book. There is something visceral about the creature It, so it continues to be scary.
I am glad I read it, but this is one of those cases where I will never, ever unless held at gunpoint will read this book ever again because I simply don't like killer clowns.
I gave this one 4 stars.
Here is your Amazon link- Stephen King It