CONSTANT READER REVIEW – IT by Stephen King

“What’s feeding in Derry? What’s feeding on Derry?”

IT is King’s ultimate masterpiece. Is it perfect? No. But this book is memorable, and it’s jarring. At first, I didn’t think that it was scaring me much. Yes, there are some creepy, or disturbing, scenes. Yes, there’s always an underlying horror, even (especially?) in the mundane.

But then I found myself looking suspiciously at the drains in my bathroom. And found myself scanning the shadows in my bedroom at night.

IT does so many things well. At it’s essence, it’s a book about friendship and childhood and growing up.

Sure, the ancient entity that terrorizes Derry every 27(ish) years causes bad things to happen. And sure, the residents seem to be poisoned by IT. But many of the terrible things that happen in Derry (homophobia, racism, abuse, assault) happen in other towns, too. Is IT really the one to blame for everything? Or are people monsters too?

[spoilers start here!]

“The kid in you just leaked out, like the air out of a tire. And one day you looked in the mirror and there was a grownup looking back at you.”

I loved the friendship between the seven Losers. I was kind of disappointed that Stan really was just used as a plot device; his presence in the 1958 chapters just didn’t carry much weight.

I was also sad that after finally, officially, defeating IT, they started to lose their memories again. Maybe that just shows us that they ultimately only needed each other for that one purpose. It also makes me wonder what will ultimately happen with Beverly and Ben.

I do think that this book starts to unravel a bit towards the end. I saw the TV movie when I was a kid, and was never impressed by the giant spider. IT’s death was INSANE, but the end sequence is more “action movie” than “horror.”

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