In a rare instance for me, I saw the movie based on this book before actually reading it. I don’t usually go for horror stories because I am easily scared but I really enjoyed watching the movies and decided to read this book.
IT is set in 1950’s as well as the 1980’s with a gap of 27 years in between in a town called Derry, Maine. It is not an exact division like parts 1 and 2 but the book moves from the past to the present throughout its narration. The story begins with the murder of a six-year-old Georgie Denbrough who is the brother of Bill Denbrough, one of the seven protagonists. Georgie is chasing his paper boat in the rain when he sees a clown in the sewer who rips his arm off. The story then takes a leap of one year towards the beginning of summer. The protagonists Bill, Richie, Eddie, Stan, Ben, Beverly, and Mike each get their own viewpoints as the story begins in the present.
The murder descriptions are horrific. The deaths of Adrian and Georgie are described in such a vivid way that it made me cringe. The protagonists as kids are bullied by Henry Bowers and his friends; Henry constantly terrorizes the seven kids and I hated his character. Pennywise, the killer clown has such a hold on Derry and he exaggerates the tendencies already present in Henry, he doesn’t create his cruel behavior which makes Henry’s character despicable.
The book starts off strong and in gruesome manner. The narration is from the third person point of view which fleshes out a complete picture of the character’s personality. All of the seven protagonists have aspects to their characters I feel are relatable which makes the reader invest in the characters emotionally. The past timeline of Bill’s story is hard to read at times because of the descriptions of how difficult it has been for him and his parents after the death of his brother which makes his obsession about finding Pennywise justified in a way.
The book is more than 1000 pages in length and it does feel stretched at times when not much is happening in terms of advancing the story. Pennywise, is completely creepy and instilled a new fear of clowns in me. The friendship between the seven characters especially as kids is a highlight of the story and adds an element of nostalgia for those innocent childhood days and bonds. The friendship translates well to their adult selves too. The scene with the kids where they are lost in the sewers and can’t find a way out was difficult to fathom, I actually didn’t get it completely. I read through that particular part rather quickly because it bothered me.
The book explores the darkness and violence to the full extent befitting the horror genre. Watching the movies didn’t spoil this book for me at all; there were so many aspects in the book which were not in the movie. As I said before the length and that one scene which I was unaware of in the beginning I enjoyed reading this book. The world Stephen King has created in the book is intriguing, scary, and nostalgic. IT was a terrifying and exciting read.
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