Magical, March 17, 2006
Reviewer: Jackie Coupe "Witness Online" (United Kingdom)
If there ever was a book the described my summer as a teen - this was it.
My first really scary book.
Reading about kids younger than I was fighting bullies, abusive parents, school angst and a shape shifting monster all at the same time was inspiring.
The tones of childhood resonating in each flashback section thrilled me with the passion with which each action and rite of childhood was illustrated and vividly recreated. These were people with which I could easily gel.
The trails and passage of these kids and the horrible way in which they are driven...
Still a remarkable read after all these years.
One of the best books that I have ever read. It is #3 in my list of book that everyone should read, right behind "Rebecca"(not King) and "The Stand" (King's magnum opus, whether he wants it to be or not). This book will creep you out, freak you out, and make you sleep with the light on for days. The characters are just what you expect from Mr. King, you either love them or you hate them but you will rarely be indifferent towards them. You will be unable to put this book down and, if you aren't already, you will be unable to resist becoming a raging Stephen King fan! If you haven't read any of King's books yet, this is a great introduction into his fascinating imagination. It's also a great way to visit one of his favorite places to take us - Derry! Castle Rock is weird but Derry is definitely the creepiest place on the planet!
I personally think this is one of Stephen's King scariest. Rather ironical when you consider that clowns make you laugh. This one will make you shiver and think twice about any circus clown you meet in the future..
I remember packing this behemoth around in junior high for what seemed like a decade before I finished it. The story is about a group of friends who reunite based upon a pact they made as children and we learn of the horrifying terror they all experienced together long ago. The end is not necessarily satisfying but the story is fantastic and worth the time and sore arm muscles inevitably required to experience it.
I thought this was a great book. While it is absolutely huge and took me about a month to read, I found it addicting and read any chance I had. I haven't read many books by Stephen King, but so far he has not let my expectations down. However, I do feel as if some chapters and minute details could have been left out. But this is the kind of writing that sucks you into the story and makes you a part of it. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. Maybe not kids, though, because there are some gruesome parts!
It's a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry, the haunting is real....
They were just kids when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.
Stephen King can write a story in a genre that can (and has been) extremely tacky when done by other authors, but in this case comes off as an epic adventure with horrific undertones. The story begins with a group of children that are mere steps from becoming adults and progresses through middle age. They are the "good". The "evil" is an entity known as "IT" and "Pennywise" the clown. Pennywise is not what you think he is. As usual, Mr. King is the consumate storyteller who creates vivid and believable characters in a story that some call horror, but I call it a great story set in one of his favorite fictional locations, Derry, Maine.
Great book! I couldn't wait to get to the end of it. I was intimidated at first because the size of it. It is a very lengthy read but with the way Stephen King's describes everything it makes you feel like you are there battling "It" along with them. I was a little dissapointed with what "It" actually turned out to be but each their own. If I would have read this when I was younger I probably would have had nightmares about clowns for weeks. :)
I was a little wary of reading this book at first, because I'd seen the movie first and it bored me to tears. It was a little hard to start reading, but once I got into it, I found I loved the book. I could hardly put it down and by the time I got to the end I saw where King had gotten his reputation.
This was the book that hooked me on King's writing, and I've found this same gift to hold the reader to pages in many of his other books. :D
After seeing this listed in a book called "501 Must Read Books" I decided it just had to be awesome. I was disappointed. I didn't even find it scary.
This book is huge, because it is ridden with details that no one cares about (what the prize in the Wheaties box is, what the cigarette sign on a door of a store says, the full title of the magazine someone no one knows is reading in a waiting room) as well as similes all over the place. This one should have been half the size of what it is.
There is a whole lot of buildup and I was anticipating a killer ending. I was expecting something shocking, twisted, something you never saw coming, but it was a total letdown.
The characters are interesting and there is definitely some good character development. You really feel like a part of their club, you're rooting for them and you're into it but then the story totally falls apart. The encounters with IT are too far and few in between.
Also, there is a scene near the end which had absolutely no place in this story, which I thought to be repulsive.
If anyone reading this could tell me who is speaking in the opening line, I've been wondering. I guess it must be the omniscient narrator, but if it is, the whole line does not really make sense.
It's a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.......
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.
This one is hard for me to rate. I feel that if I would have read this book when I was younger (late teens maybe) I would have probably had nightmares for a long time. After reading it now though it didn't do much to scare me. I think I also had very high expectations for this book as well. Horror is such a wide diverse area. What scares one may not scare the other. So this is just my review on what this book did for me. I know others who have read it and never were the same afterwards. Same goes for the movie made based on the book.
As for my likes... my favorite part of the book are the characters and their wonderful friendship. I really enjoyed reading their moments together. It brought back memories of my childhood. Also IT was creepy! Some of the scenes involving IT had me cringing.
Dislikes... book was too long. I have read large books and have been totally entertained the whole way through but with this one I felt dragged in many places. I really think it could have been condensed and ended up being a much better book. The ended was a bit too far fetched for my tastes. The idea of where IT came from just made it less scary for me.
All in all it was a good book and I'm glad I read it. Even though it didn't terrify me, it might terrify you. Think it should be a definite read for horror fans.
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled onto the horror. now they were grown up men and women who had gone out into the world to gain sucess and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end and the evil without a name...
Take a TOWN...Take a CLOWN and make them blood chilling evil. Does this step over your bounds when children go missing and dead and the whole town blanks it out. This is a title that reaffirms KING as KING of HORROR!...Book of the Month Main Selection
Seven teenagers that stumbled on the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women that could not withstand the force that drew them back to their hometown to face the nightmare without an end and the evil without a name...IT. Mesmerizing terror by King.
I read IT when it first came out in 1986 and it was still on my shelf, untouched for 30 years, until I pulled it out 5 days ago to re-read. Now I remember why I haven't re-read it before now. Stephen King is the master of horror. And IT has all the elements that have made his books so great. But holy cow this is a long book. 1180 pages or so, and IMHO he could have slashed that in half and still had a great book. In the middle I spent long sections only reading the right-hand pages. When they get to the climatic scenes there are STILL 300 pages to go. It's got a lot of great writing in it, but it didn't all need to be there.
And another thing - towards the end there is a scene involving the young girl and all the boys that is really abhorrent. I heard King apologized for it not that long ago, but I honestly don't see why the editors allowed it.
The movie has always been one of my favorites. I like to watch It at least once a year. I have never read the book, and I look forward to doing so because I want to enjoy the story as it was originally told in the author's own words. there was quite a few things different between the movie "The Stand" and the book. I want to see how much is different in the book for "It" too.
So it only took me forever, but not because the book was bad (obviously). I'm just a slacker.
I don't know what to say about it other than it is another gem from the master, Stephen King. It was well written and had the right amount of creepiness, horror and humor.
There are some triggering scenes with animal abuse that were discomforting to me.
And am I the only one who felt bad for It in the end? I think it was the mom in me feeling a little softhearted as It begged for it's life and for the life of it's progeny. But, of course, I know It couldn't be left to survive, nor could it's young. But for a brief moment, I felt It's pain; the need to save itself and it's children.
Although it's known as "that scary clown story," this tale is much better described as one being about childhood demons and the innate resiliency in children. The horror passages come at just the right frequency and with just the right amount of chills. The method of telling the childhood story and the return to Derry, Maine 27 years later simultaneously is engaging and intriguing. Additionally, there are wonderful allusions to the Dark Tower series. A book I will surely return to again and again.
* * * *. Horror. A group of adults reunite to fulfill on a promise they made as children. Something is killing the people of Derry, Maine, many years later after those same kids thought they had vanquished it.
I can still remember the characters even 15 years after I initially read it. #1 on my list of King's best. Scary, epic, grandiose. Skip the movie.
I read this book years ago when it first came out and I have to say it gave me the creeps. I would not read it at night, which I did. Scared myself to death. As a writer though, Stephen King is a great story teller. Where he comes up with this stuff I can only imagine.
One of King's best that I put off reading for years. I think I did this for two reasons: (1) the length of the book was rather daunting (1090 pages of rather small print); and (2) I had seen the TV miniseries back when it came out and therefore thought I knew the story pretty well. Well the book was long...it took me almost 3 weeks to read, but it was well worth the effort with all the details and nuances that couldn't come through in a movie or TV version. I am, however, looking forward to the new movie version that comes out later this year.
Anyway, the book was appropriately creepy in King's usual style. If you don't know, the book is about an evil being (IT) that comes around about every 27 years in the city of Derry, Maine wreaking havoc. The being focuses on killing children and can take many different forms...the most prevalent being Pennywise, the clown. A group of children set out to rid Derry of the monster in 1958. They almost succeed but then vow to each other to return to Derry if IT returns which it does in 1985, bringing the group back together as adults. The children in 1958 must not only deal with IT, but also with a group of sadistic bullies and some adults who are blind to what is happening in the town.
I think the main theme of the book is basically how children can bond together and are open to most anything that comes their way...unlike adults. I actually grew up in the 50s and 60s and can relate to the adventures of the kids in this book although I never encountered the extreme bad people as described in the book. Very nostalgic! Overall, I would rate this as one of King's best...up there with Salem's Lot, The Shining, and 11/22/63.
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name...
They were just kids when they stumbled upon the hidden horror of their hometown. Now, as adults, none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them all back to Derry, Maine, to face the nightmare without end, and the evil without a name.
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name. What was it? Read It and find out...if you dare!
"The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years--if it ever did end--began, so far as I can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain."
This is the first line of "It," the beginning to one of Stephen King's masterpieces, and probably the most incredible story I've ever read. Those who complain about it's length... they need patience. Those who complain about its characters... they need to look around at themselves and others. Those who complain about it being vulgar, vile, or horrific... that's part of the story, and not to embrace it means you miss out on something extraordinary.
In the summer of 1958, seven friends encountered something horrible in their town of Derry, Maine. This something fed on children, hunting them, preying on them, and devouring them. It could shape itself in any way It liked, whatever their nightmares suited, but always with one trademark: the semblance of a clown. The seven friends all had something in common: They had all escaped It at some point. And in that summer, they learned about It, confronted It, and killed It... or so they thought.
28 years later... A boy named Adrian Mellon is apparently thrown off a bridge by two other boys for his sexuality. It seems like an open-and-shut case, but the boys claim that there was something down below... a clown and a cloud of balloons.
Soon the friends are being called back to Derry, told that It is back. They made a vow, sealed in blood, to return if It wasn't dead. Each of them is now very successful, and the thought of returning to Derry, of going back to the horror that they'd all forgotten, is more than they can bear, but they had made a promise.
"It" is two stories being told at once. One is the story of their childhood, of their first encounter with Pennywise the Clown, their troubles with the local bullies, the impact of It upon their lives, their own personal struggles, and the eventual defeat of It. This is told from the beginning of the book to the near end of it. At the same time, the story of the return to Derry, of the research done to see what It was, the memories that were now urging to return, and subsequent events that followed which I won't spoil here. Both timelines alternate in their tellings to fit one another perfectly, even if not in perfect chronological order, and they're even further juiced with quick points of time long before their own, dipping into what else It has been up to. This construction is utterly beautiful in how it's placed, and completely builds the story up for all its plot points and climax. "It" also easily avoids a problem with many long Stephen King books: Plot threads that go nowhere.
The characters are completely immersive and none are the all-too-well-known cliches. Bill Denbrough is the leader of the group, with a bone to pick with It, and his own problem of stuttering. Richie Tozier has a smart mouth and a big ego, one that hides things from the others that he's ashamed of, even in denial of. Eddie Kaspbrak is asmathic and weak, but he has courage within him to help his friends. Stan Uris is a sensible and supportive friend, who helps bring understanding of things. Ben Hanscom is an overweight and loving boy who brings his own ingenuity to the group. Beverly Marsh is a tough, yet sweet girl, whose own problems at home help prepare her for what she must face with the others. And Mike Hanlon, a boy chased by the bullies for the color of his skin, who comes across the group with a desire to help, and also leading to one of the more emotional parts of the story, the Great Rock Fight. These are the seven friends whose unity and circumstances held them together against It, and who vowed to return. It isn't long before they feel familiar, as if you've known them all your life, as well as the troubles they've faced, especially those of punk and bully Henry Bowers, whose endless torment drives them into the very heart of It's lair.
"It" is a story that does take some patience to get into after the initial hook, but afterward, you'll have trouble putting it down. The night I finished it for the first time, I was 200 pages from the end and it was already midnight, but I just had to keep going. I couldn't wait until morning. I had to read, see, feel... I had to know. Everything builds and builds, as well as giving off the love, excitement, and horror that abounds, and it doesn't let down. Every single event, be it touching, scary, or vulgar, is necessary to form the complete picture of what may be one of the greatest books you will ever read.
Excellent book!! I have read it several times. Just want to note that my copy is a little older than the one pictured here....the cover is different, it has a picture of the scary clown face on the front.