Elizabeth's Reviews > It

It by Stephen King
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Aug 21, 12

bookshelves: horror, stephen-king, fiction
Read in August, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Sometimes a book is so much a part of pop culture, that you feel like you've read it and know it even though you haven't. This book is a shining example. It's also an exemplary example of why you shouldn't trust that feeling. This book was so much more than what I was expecting.

It's beautiful, sad, funny, tragic, terrifying, hopeful and more. A coming of age tale unlike any other. One of the things that I loved about this book was the split time line. As you're reading, you're going between the "present day" (1985) and 27 years earlier when the characters almost defeated It as children. The parallels are interesting and the transitions seamless. As the novel picks up pace toward the end, the changes happen more quickly and are interspersed with short sections from the perspective of It and the town as well. It's both thrilling and frustrating, but in the best sort of way, propelling you on towards the explosive finish. And the aftermath.

Stop reading right here if you've not read the book and plan to.

Two pages from the end, there's just this beautiful section of what it is to grow up:

"leaving.

So you leave, and there is an urge to look back, to look back just once as the sunset fades, to see that severe New England skyline one final time-the spires, the Standpipe, Paul with his axe slung over his shoulder. But it is perhaps not such a good idea to look back -- all the stories say so. Look what happened to Lot's wife. Best not to look back. Best to believe there will be happily ever afters all the way around -- and so there may be; who is to say there will not be such endings? Not all boats which sail away into darkness never find the sun again, or the hand of another child; if life teaches anything at all, it teaches that there are so many happy endings that the man who believes there is no God needs his rationality called into serious question. you leave and you leave quick when the sun starts to go down, he thinks in this dream. That's what you do. And if you spare a last thought, maybe it's ghosts you wonder about ... the ghosts of children standing in the water at sunset, standing in a circle, standing with their hands joined together, their faces young, sure, but tough ... tough enough, anyway, to give birth to the people they will become, tough enough to understand, maybe, that the people they will become must necessarily birth the people they were before they can get on with trying to understand simple mortality. The circle closes, the wheel rolls, and that's all there is.

You don't have to look back to see those children; part of your mind will see them forever, live with them forever, love with them forever. They are not necessarily the best part of you, but they were once the repository of all you could become.

Children I love you. I love you so much.

So drive away quick, drive away while the last of the light slips away, drive away from Derry, from memory ... but not from desire. That stays, the bright cameo of all we were and all we believed as children, all that shone in our eyes even when we were lost and the wind blew in the night.

Drive away and try to keep smiling. Get a little rock and roll on the radio and go toward all the life there is with all the courage you can find and all the lelief you can muster. Be true, be brave, stand. All the rest is darkness."
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Reading Progress

06/03/2012 page 161
16.0% ""But still, sometimes, in the heart of winter when the light outside seemed yellow-sleepy, like a cat curled up on a sofa...on those days when it seemed like school would never end and it didn't matter because all the world outside was slush...""
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