It is the story of the small town of Derry, Maine and the shape shifting demon that lives under Derry and preys on children. It’s a story of growing up and facing your fears, of bullying and what shapes us as children.
It is the story of seven children, The Loser’s club and their fight in 1958 against the town bully and the town demon and twenty seven years later, struggling to remember their childhood so they can fight the demon when it returns to prey on the town’s children once more.
First things first, I was not scared by It at all. I spent months thinking I wasn’t going to be able to finish this because I would be too scared. I remember reading The Shining in my twenties and being so freaked out I would stop reading in broad daylight so when I talked to family and friends about It, the general impression I got was I was going to be even more scared, not so much though.
What I do love about Stephen King is that he is a storyteller and a great one at that. When I open a King book, I feel like I’m sitting there while he tells me a story, filling in all the details, giving me the visuals I need etc. and I think It is a good story, just not great. I love coming of age books and this has a lot of that.
Who doesn’t get freaked out by clowns? That clown is downright creepy but it’s not just a creepy clown terrorizing the children of Derry but a demon (right word?) that takes the shape of your biggest fear. Adults can’t see It because they no longer believe in such things as Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and monsters under your bed, or in this case, in your drain. It preys on the fears of children.
One thing that really bothered me was near the end of the book, when the Loser’s club is in the sewers near the end of the 1958 scenes. There is a pretty disturbing sex scene involving the six boys and one girl. I can’t see any relevance to the story, the motivation offered by Beverly is completely unrealistic to me and it doesn’t enhance the story at all. It should have been cut.
There were parts that were slow and didn’t help move the story along like the Derry Interludes. There were four of them in which about twenty pages are spent in each one recapping past murders and other atrocities in Derry. I think anyone reading It knows Derry is a creepy town where evil breeds.
It is one of Stephen King’s most well-known novels, but for me it wasn’t what I was looking for.