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Avg. Rating: 4.67
Where to begin....
There's a lot to this book. One would think that would be obvious, simply based on the sheer size of the thing, but the fact of the matter is that this story also covers a remarkable span of theme and quality in its groping quest for...well, something, because this is certainly different from much of what King wrote around the time this was published.
To start, the good, and there is plenty of it. The novel itself tells a story that manages to be compelling and suspenseful (as suspenseful as a forum where you manage the pace yourself can be, I suppose) throughout, which is probably good enough for most die-hard readers of King. The characters themselves are fairly endearing, though they're certainly more than a little two-dimensional at times. On the whole, the book would be fairly average, however, were it not for the occasional flashes of brilliance that King shows in his writing. One you may want to look out for is Mike's father's description of the burning of the Black Spot, but most of the historical interludes manage to find a special level of storytelling that set them apart from the rest and achieve the degree of quality that shows up in King's later, better work (Heats in Atlantis, Desperation, etc.).
The book isn't all warm fuzzies, however--there are some serious problems that some readers may have with this novel. First off, though I hate to say it, the length is a problem. This is basically two books in one, since King sets out to tell completely two complete cycles of conflict between the children and Pennywise, and when you add that to King's general tendency to bloat a little, you've got a massive piece of work. What's more, the organization will probably throw some people--I hate having to pay attention to datelines to know what timeframe I'm in. Fortunately, this isn't as big a problem as it could be, and I managed to keep up perfectly well, but it still may be a concern for some people.
Now, I'm not easy to offend, but even I have to admit that he went out on a few limbs when he wrote this book for no apparent reason. There are some undertones that some would label misogynistic, and one particularly distressing scene near the end concerning Beverly and the rest of the group. I certainly wouldn't recommend that just any teenager be allowed to read the novel, and any overly sensitive adults might want to reconsider before they give it a shot as well. Additionally, the characters are sometimes so defined by their various outcast traits that they strain the bounds of believability, which may keep those approaching the book from a skeptic's perspective from fully enjoying the experience.
Overall, however, you have to consider what audience is likely to read this book in the first place. There are some King books that I would recommend to anybody. This is not one of them. If you've read other work by Stephen King that you like, you'll probably find this book right up your alley, and if you're in the market for a good old fashioned horror read, you won't be disappointed. Ultimately, though, the novel's riskier moves probably serve to alienate any readers outside of King's usual "fan base," so if you're looking for a first book by Steve, I'd point you towards Desperation or Hearts and Atlantis before trying to tackle It.
no doubt one of my absolute favorites
I loved this book. I bought it a long time ago and always wanted to read it but never had the time so when i finally started it i was hoping for something good. I was definitely VERY,VERY, impressed. This book has everything; great character developement and great characters, pretty good writing, lots of explanation through subplots and such things, great story, lots of imagination (not to mention plenty of images left to the imagination of the reader). You know, I mean I laughed, I cried, I felt for all the characters in one way or another. When I read this, I got much more than I bargained for (definitely in a good way!).
IT, taking place in Derry, Maine, is about a group of misfits and loners who call themselves the Losers Club. It begins with the death of one of the losers' brothers being killed by a mysterious clown in the sewer. IT can take the shape of your deepest fears, but most frequently appears as either Bob Gray, or Pennywise the Dancing Clown. After the Losers form the final 7 (lucky seven), they try desperately to beat IT by going down to the sewers and facing IT in IT's true form. They supposedly kill IT. Flash to 1985; IT's back and killin' little kids once again. They all come back to Derry to defeat the eternal evil without a name, known only as IT, once and for all. Read this book to find out what happens.
Of course, I can't sum up the entire 1093-page novel in one paragraph, for it's too long and complicated. All I can say is read this great book.
CAUTION (for the easily offended)---------there is much violence and some sex and language in this book.
As a horror novel "It" works well, to my mind, even better than "The Shining". Not that I was much scared. I was more touched by a deep sense of childhood, friendship, and the loss of innocense, which are the most important themes in the novel. "It" comprises all our chidhood fears, but most of all the fear of becoming an adult...
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