My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - dipped in and out over 6 days
Pages - 912
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Blurb from Amazon
To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live.
It is the children who see - and feel - what makes the small town of 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 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, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.
This is a re read for me, I read it as a kid (yes I had no place reading such a book at a young age but it began my love of reading and horror), re read it seven years ago and again in prep for the new movie. There is a killer in Derry Main, supernatural and targeting kids, killing them in vicious and terrifying ways. With the killing of young Georgie it kicks starts something IT (the monster) could never have foreseen. Georgie's brother Bill and his friends go on a journey of terror and with a beautiful childlike innocence to confront IT and make a pact for the future, if IT comes back they will too.
The book is split over two timelines, back in the 50s when it all first happens and in the 80s (present day) where the group are now adults and called upon from their pact they made when kids. The killer takes the form of many, Pennywise the clown being one of the most that we readers and fans of the movie know best. But IT has many forms and has gone unchallenged for a long long time. Bill, Ben, Eddie, Bev, Stan, Mike & Ritchie are brought together in friendship and fear to form the Losers Club, they are uniting against the local thug and unknowingly IT. A tale that covers so so much, yes it is a horror and yes there are some claustrophobic gut churning moments of absolute terror but there is also so much more. Friendship, loyalty, innocence, love, racism, marriage, violence, abuse, supernatural and that is just scratching the surface. I loved this book as a kid although I was caught up in the horror side of it. As an adult the other themes really stand out, the racism is horrific and really strong through a huge portion of the book.
I only got to read this in snippets as I have had work and other things on, but I found myself sitting at 3am not realizing how many hours had passed as you just get absorbed into the story. I know some folk have mixed views on how the book turns and wraps up, I think because this was pretty much one of the first books I ever read it will always have that power for me. Clowns are particularly frightening for so many folk, I never had issues with them but Pennywise is indeed something else. I have this book in hardback and ebook and it is absolutely a keeper for me, master King has long been one of my favourite authors and I still have a few of his I haven't gotten to yet. 5/5 for me this time, absolutely not for the faint hearted of easily offended and it is a huge book at almost 1000 pages, if you like King or horror I think you will love this one!