Lisa Gallagher's Reviews > It

It by Stephen King
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Sep 25, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, horror, film-adaptations, vampires-zombies-other-mythical-c, own, new-england, hauntings
Read from October 20 to November 19, 2014

I've always thought "The Stand" was Stephen King's best book. It's the book that seems closest to the world I live in, both desiring of connection and wanting to boot the whole thing off this mortal coil and start from scratch.

I would rank "It" as my 2nd favorite. I've only read it about three times, but it's a whopper that I set aside and long for, practically drooling, when I need something to sink my teeth into for a week. Halloween time? Yeah, that's a very good time. Because "It" is scarrrrry.

I don't mean boogey-man scary, slasher-film scary. I mean REALLY scary. The real stuff. Life and death. Friendships and loneliness. Spiders and sewer drains and the primal things we put so far back in my memory that, if they trickle back out again, threaten to end us.

"It" is about a group of friends, reunited in their 40's, who together once battled a monstrous and ancient demon when they were children. It's about the small Maine town of Derry. It's about the ties that bind. It's about one malevolent demon in clownface. It will make you afraid of the circus. It will make you hate grownups. It will make you long for the 1950's, even if you were born long after.

Some of the bad guys are a little cartoony, "cheap dime-store hoods" in King's own parlance. Some of the parents are too distant and casually blind to what's happening to the children of their town. There are some weak spots in the storyline. But not many.

There are many who think the big reveal at the end is a letdown. But there's some really delicate, esoteric stuff that is revealed there as well and if you follow the thread, you understand - that big thing hiding under the sewer is only the worst you can imagine. Because the real thing is literally UNIMAGINABLE. A child cannot understand it. And we're really all just children; the Losers' Club, and we readers.

Best of all is the thread of friendship, of choices we make to connect to those we have done real battle with. And the understanding that, as adults, we have let something precious and golden fade in order to "grow up".

As King says: “The energy you drew on so extravagantly when you were a kid, the energy you thought would never exhaust itself - that slipped away somewhere between eighteen and twenty-four, to be replaced by something much duller, something as bogus as a coke high: purpose, maybe, or goals, or whatever rah-rah Junior Chamber of Commerce word you wanted to use. It was no big deal; it didn't go all at once, with a bang. And maybe, Richie thought, that's the scary part. How you didn't stop being a kid all at once, with a big explosive bang, like one of that clown's trick balloons. The kid in you just leaked out, like the air of a tire.”

And one more quote, just to keep you on your toes: “I am eternal. I am the Eater of Worlds.”

Shiverrrrrrrr. Think about that when you head to bed tonight.
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Quotes Lisa Liked

Stephen King
“Adults are the real monsters.”
Stephen King, It

Stephen King
“The energy you drew on so extravagantly when you were a kid, the energy you thought would never exhaust itself - that slipped away somewhere between eighteen and twenty-four, to be replaced by something much duller, something as bogus as a coke high: purpose, maybe, or goals, or whatever rah-rah Junior Chamber of Commerce word you wanted to use. It was no big deal; it didn't go all at once, with a bang. And maybe, Richie thought, that's the scary part. How you didn't stop being a kid all at once, with a big explosive bang, like one of that clown's trick balloons. The kid in you just leaked out, like the air of a tire.”
Stephen King, It

Stephen King
“—I am eternal. I am the Eater of Worlds.”
Stephen King, It


Reading Progress

10/20/2014 marked as: currently-reading
11/20/2014 marked as: read

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