Jane Stewart's Reviews > It

It by Stephen King
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's review
May 25, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: horror
Read in May, 2012

3 ½ stars. Great characters and actions, but too much jumping around in time and interrupted scenes.


I wish I would have read the physical book instead of the audiobook for three reasons.
(1) Way too much jumping around between 1958 and 1985.
(2) Too many scenes end in the middle of crises or in the middle of sentences instead of at logical ends.
(3) The narrator takes too long to speak stuttering sentences which I could read quickly if doing the physical book.

1. I wish the author had told everything in the order it happened starting in 1957 - 1958 (maybe leaving out the final scene of how they escaped the monster in 1958). Then go to the future 1985 and tell everything there in order. I wouldn’t mind occasional interruptions for a few pre-1957 events. But I was annoyed, having to keep so many open stories floating around in my head. This was work, not fun.

2. Interrupted scenes. It’s 1958, a bully is chasing a girl. As he gets closer, the scene stops. We jump to 1985, a bad guy comes to a hotel room to kill a guest. He knocks on the door. As soon as the door opens, the author switches back to 1958 still chasing the girl, and then that scene is stopped in the middle, again. This wasn’t as bad early in the book because not as many killings and crises were happening - and we were getting to know everyone. Early in the book the result felt like many short stories. But the last fourth of the book was a problem. Some experts think this is good writing technique - unfinished scenes ending in the middle of a threat or disaster. I immensely dislike it. Because Stephen King is so popular, I think experts mistakenly believe that everything he does is great, including jumping around. And those experts encourage other authors to end scenes in the middle. Ugh. Please don’t. I think Stephen is great because of his creative ideas, situations, characters, and actions.

3. Some scenes should have been cut or shortened. Especially during the last fourth of the book. At times I felt “can we get moving here - back to the story?” One example was the scene with Mr. Keen the pharmacist talking to Eddie. It was long and drawn out, too much pondering and thinking of other things by Eddie, plus interruptions. It could have been shortened. Another example was the scene about Claude Herrough killing others with an axe. The book would have been fine without it..

4. This was not a big deal, but slightly annoying. In 1985 the characters had amnesia regarding what they did in 1958. A lot of time is spent inside their heads pondering and trying to remember what happened. I’m ok with amnesia, but at times I was tired of the pondering and wondering. I wanted it sped up a little.

5. (view spoiler)


1. There were scenes which were frightening, upsetting, and difficult to read concerning child abuse, abuse causing infant death, cruelty to animals, and spousal violence.

2. There were two sex scenes that troubled some readers. I wasn’t bothered as much. I saw them as more weird things going on. One was underage kids having sex. The other was a man in love with his wife, having sex with another woman. It didn’t fit his character or do anything for the story.


This book is soooo good because the author really brings the characters to life. I loved them. They were losers and outcasts. I was sympathetic. I loved their bonding and friendship. And I loved their courage and strength when they had to run, hide, and fight the bullies - and the monster.

This book is long, like reading three or more books.

Most of my reading is romance, crime, and mystery novels. I didn’t think I would like horror, but I was surprised that I did. In a way the monster in “It” had the same effect on me as serial killers in crime fiction. This killer just had a few more twists making him different/creative. He’s a type of demon.

The narrator Steven Weber was good at doing many different voices, but I’d prefer someone else. His general narration voice was too strident for me. I prefer a more soothing voice. Also I did not like the way he narrated the stuttering character. If reading the book, I could read the stuttering sentences quickly. But the narrator spoke them in a true-to-life manner which was slow and frustrating to listen to. He could have done a brief stutter. He took too long to read sentences like sh-sh-sh-sh-should s-s-s-s-someone...

A demon “It” lives in water drainage pipes beneath the town of Derry, Maine. It connects with humans through mental telepathy. It talks to them and tempts them to come to it, almost hypnotically. It changes its shape to be what the person fears most. It kills and eats/consumes humans - mostly children. A group of 11-year-olds try to fight it. These kids are also attacked by local bullies and have to fight, run, and hide to survive.

Unabridged audiobook reading time: 44 hrs and 57 mins. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words and occasionally the racial n-word. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: about 8, briefly done with not much detail. Setting: mostly 1957-58 and 1985 Derry, Maine. Book copyright: 1980. Genre: horror. Ending: Good enough to feel good, but not every good guy lives.

For a list of my reviews of other Stephen King books, see my 5 star review of Carrie.
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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

zero chance that I'd ever read this book, but love the review.

Jane Stewart LOL!!!! Thank you Mlle :)

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