Kevin Quinley's Reviews > It

It by Stephen King
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Oct 30, 08

bookshelves: entertaining-entrees
Read in October, 2008

IT earns its distinction as a seminal work of modern horror even amongst Stephen King's immeasurable contributions to the genre.

King fiendishly builds upon commonplace circumstances, instilling a shared sensation of mounting terror for both the reader and his characters.

Bill Denbrough, a middle-aged, balding, sales representative, comes to work one day and discovers his spam folder is disabled. Important emails and comical forwards remain buried under a slew of penile enhancement products and dubious fast cash schemes. Horrified at the prospect of actually deleting these emails, Denbrough calmly dials the IT department expecting a quick resolution to his deepening crisis. Horror strikes him like a lightning bolt when a cackling voice on the other end reveals he has switched the Spam folder and regular inbox...and refuses to fix the problem.

Panicked, Denbrough rushes over to his friend Richie Tozier in marketing, quickly discerning the technological malfunctions are spreading rapidly. One glance at Tozier's pale white face confirms Denbrough's worst suspicions -- the internet connection is out. Hyperventilating and beginning to sweat profusely, Tozier experiences a bone-chilling epiphany that he might actually have to work instead of waste time online. Richie's blubbering and near-unintelligible speech demonstrates only the loosest hold on reality, and his friend Bill faintly detects words, web sites in fact(....drudge report.....espn), emanating from his ashen lips. Violently shaking Richie, desperately reminding him that Minesweeper, and Solitaire, don't require the Internet and all will be well, Bill momentarily succeeds in rescuing his friend's shaken pysche. Dropping his eyes to the keyboard, Richie discovers someone has re-arranged home keys to read 'U R FUCKED' -- and unleashes a blood-curdling scream of such magnitude Bill is powerless to temper.

Bill realizes the only way to fight IT is to travel to the IT department, located in the office catacombs and generally considered 'weird' by the majority contingent of the office without World of Warcraft characters. Unwilling to challenge this odd collection alone, Denbrough goes to recruit another friend, office receptionist Beverely. Possesed with purpose, Denbrough arrives at her desk and immediately notices something askew, inconsisent with the friendly instant messages he's accustomed to receiving. Denbrough implores her to join him but it seems her lips are sealed with concrete, totally unresponsive to his distressed pleas. After a minute of listening to his own voice, Denbrough develops a chilling theory all too consisent with the day's horrors. After years of communicating solely through email and instant message, Beverely has no voice without an internet connection. Frantic, Bill asks her to write to him on a piece of paper--only to discover she's lost this skill as well. His mind racing, Bill's mind flashes with a thought and he whips out his cell phone, mimicking the "text message" function. Encouraged, Beverely starts typing on her blackberry before tears start cascading down her face...dependent on the company server, the Blackberry is useful only as a paperweight.

With his friends incapacitated, Bill acknowledges this is a battle to be fought alone. Determined, Bill strides towards the IT department and discovers it little more than a ghost town, the desks are empty, and most telling there are no Mountain Dews littering the desk-space. Squinting, Bill notices a post-it on the monitor, examines the slip and reads a toll free number. He knows all will be well if someone could just unplug and then restart the router. Racing outside to a pay phone, a frightening thought in its own right, Bill dials the number, waits patiently, and hears a voice laced with a thick Indian accent say "Halo this is Mike how can I help you". Cognizant he is about to engage in an unproductive back and forth with a graduate from University of Bangalore who learned English just last week, Bill finally succumbs to the horror of IT and smashes the phone receiver against his head with maddening ferocity.

But I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll stop there. Just beware you'll never look at IT the same way after this chilling tale.
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Don Incognito Clever parody...


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