Kirk Wolcott's Reviews > It

It by Stephen King
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Recommended for: Fans of horror and supernatural stories

One word: edit! I had heard a lot of good things about “It” over the years and really wanted to like King’s 1986 bestseller about a group of teenage friends from a fictitious town in Maine who stumble onto an unspeakable horror. But as frugal as he was with the title, did “It” really need to be 1,396 pages long? In another word: no.

At least for me, if you require that many pages you better be writing a classic like “Gone with the Wind” (only 1,057) or “From Here to Eternity” (866). Even “War and Peace” (1,440) is just some 40 pages longer than King’s tome, and it’s as long as, well, “War and Peace.”

Not that his monster of a tale – in theme as well as length – doesn’t have its attributes. In typical fashion, King pulls you in quickly with his colorful characterizations and then lets the creepy fun begin. Be forewarned, there are a few hair-raising, stomach-turning bits here. I also like the way King captures the difficulty most of us practical, if not cynical, adults have recapturing the wonder of youth (although I think Ray Bradbury does it even better in “Something Wicked this Way Comes,” and he only needed 387 pages!)

I also think King “suffered” from his earlier successes, which may have been why he and his editor felt they had the license to let this saga ramble on the way it often does. It’s too bad, too, for with a little slicing and dicing, I might have added “It” to the top shelf with some of King’s other horror classics, such as “The Shining” (466 pages), “The Dead Zone” (420), and “Misery” (356).

Kirk Wolcott
Author of the international thriller A Simple Game
Proprietor of the blog "Pen & Globe" at kirkwolcott.com

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Reading Progress

February 15, 2016 – Started Reading
February 15, 2016 – Shelved
March 21, 2016 – Finished Reading

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Kirk Wolcott One word: edit! I had heard a lot of good things about “It” over the years and really wanted to like King’s 1986 bestseller about a group of teenage friends from a fictitious town in Maine who stumble onto an unspeakable horror. But as frugal as he was with the title, did “It” really need to be 1,396 pages long? In another word: no.

At least for me, if you require that many pages you better be writing a classic like “Gone with the Wind” (only 1,057) or “From Here to Eternity” (866). Even “War and Peace” (1,440) is just some 40 pages longer than King’s tome, and it’s as long as, well, “War and Peace.”

Not that his monster of a tale – in theme as well as length – doesn’t have its attributes. In typical fashion, King pulls you in quickly with his colorful characterizations and then lets the creepy fun begin. Be forewarned, there are a few hair-raising, stomach-turning bits here. I also like the way King captures the difficulty most of us practical, if not cynical, adults have recapturing the wonder of youth (although I think Ray Bradbury does it even better in “Something Wicked this Way Comes,” and he only needed 387 pages!)

I also think King “suffered” from his earlier successes, which may have been why he and his editor felt they had the license to let this saga ramble on the way it often does. It’s too bad, too, for with a little slicing and dicing, I might have added “It” to the top shelf with some of King’s other horror classics, such as “The Shining” (466 pages), “The Dead Zone” (420), and “Misery” (356).

Kirk Wolcott
Author of the international thriller A Simple Game
Proprietor of the blog Pen & Globe http://victorymansionmedia.com/


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