Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It by Stephen King

The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by an eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. "It" primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes which would eventually become King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, and the ugliness lurking behind a fa├žade of traditional small-town values.GOODREADS


"The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years-if it ever did-began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain" ch.1pg.3

I started reading It in 2011 and then abruptly put it aside for a while....alright for two years. Not that I was scared or anything.......


Although I stopped reading in 2011 the first chapter has always lingered in my mind. It's to me a very well described and memorable start. On a rainy day a paper boat sailing down the gutters. A boy in yellow slickers and red galoshes in its wake. I can see it! Other memorable scenes that have stayed with me since I started in 2011, is when somebody talks through the sink addressing a strange voice that says "it's legion". This is also when I stopped reading because if there are voices coming from your sink you run...you run like hell!

It's a lengthy book of 1090 pages that spans over 28 years. From beginning to the end you'll feel like you're friends with the characters  (the Losers) and the ending will be bittersweet. 

The seven children are the main characters and they refer to themselves as The Losers. Yes, it's sad. Each of them have their own distinguishing characteristic. Bill's the leader who grows up to be a writer and Ben an architect.  They all have some talents and some weaknesses which when confronted by the evil "It" they overcome together. Friendship is a theme here and something that's lost in the end. That's what makes the ending bittersweet. 

While reading "It" something interesting to ponder is, what It actually IS. At some point in the middle It's something that takes the form of the thing you fear the most. Conclusion It's a.......BOGGART! Ha! And being a Ravenclaw myself with some Defense Against the Dark Arts Training this monster is just riddikulus. Well it was, up till the story changed and more was known about where It came from ...from out there. So It's an alien?

However at the final showdown we learn that It's something that existed before the universe. I was reading the book together with a friend of mine and after seriously discussing what to call it we've decided on classifying It as  a Primordial being. Although calling It an alien works for me too.

The characterization is really well done and I love it. Even some of the villain like characters have some intriguing backstories. Like Patrick Hockstetter one of the bullies. A boy who kills things and puts them in a fridge and believes he alone, exists. Patrick is a monster but then what is It? Or Eddy's mother or Henry Bowers background?

Something surprising was the addition of It's POV at the last showdown. I'd definitely recommend this although I'd advise not to read it at night. It's not as scary (bad) as Pet Sematary. On a side note, I'd also suggest Danse Macabre (by Stephen King) as a companion to any Stephen King books you're planning on reading. In this case for this book. I haven't finished Danse Macabre, but chapter two was very insightful and useful when reading It. 



Happy reading!



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