The month of October is finally upon us, and with it creeping fogs and cozy evenings spent with spooky stories. Most of the time, those stories are filled to the brim with witches and monsters, murder and cases of manslaughter. Or you dig up movies, tv shows and books that are all about magic, ghosts, haunted castles and mysterious Hauntings. Those weeks before Hallowe’en are so very special to me, which is why I’m going to fill these coming weeks with reviews and book recommendations fitting the spookiest season of the year. Conveniently for me, most of those are books I should’ve reviewed some time ago – killing two birds with one stone over here. Let’s dive right into it!
S T E P H E N K I N G – I T
“It had some real shape; he had nearly seen it. To see the shape was to see the secret. Was that also true of power? Perhaps it was. For wasn’t it true that power, like It, was a shape-changer? It was a baby crying in the middle of the night, it was an atomic bomb, it was a silver slug, it was the way Beverly looked at Bill and the way Bill looked back.
What, exactly what, was power, anyway?”
Stephen King | IT | p. 900
Do you remember your childhood?
Are you sure you remember all of it?
Or are there things, unspeakable things, that are just beyond your reach?
Picture a group of five men and one woman, all of them leading successful lives. That is, until a single phone call from a childhood friend tears open old wounds, digs up memories long buried and forgotten. Memories of their home town Derry, Maine. Where, as children, they were tortured by a monster as gruesome and vile as only your worst nightmare could be. In Derry, they fought IT when they were just about twelve years old. Now, 27 years later, IT again rears its ugly head, waking from its 27-year-long slumber, just as it has done its whole life. And this group of childhood friends has to come together and try to stop it for good.
“Come on back and we’ll see if you remember the simplest thing of all – how it is to be children, secure in belief and thus afraid of the dark.”
I have often declared Stephen King as the master of horror, because horror in most cases isn’t a box full of lunatics wildly splattering blood everywhere or rotten, hairy monsters reaching out for you with gore dripping from their fangs. Hell, no. The real horror lies in the inbetween, in the guessing and in the unimaginable things that fill a childhood just like that of Stuttering Bill, Stan the man, Four-Eyed Richie, asthmatic Eddie, Ben, Mike and Beverly – the members of the Losers Club. The real horror is the darkness in which creeping creatures might lurk, it’s the loneliness of someone who doesn’t feel loved by his own parents. It’s losing someone you love and not being able to tell anyone about the real circumstances behind it. Because who would believe that Bills little brother Georgie was killed by a clown called Pennywise that has been haunting Derry for longer than anyone could imagine?
Stephen Kings ‘IT’ has been such a wild ride! On 1166 pages, you become friends with this group of simply wonderful, kick-ass kids, you laugh with them, you scream and fight with them. This brick of a book is all about a bond only children are able to form, a friendship so deep and pure it will certainly make you want one like that as well.
“Maybe there aren’t any such things as good friends or bad friends – maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you’re hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they’re always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for too, if that’s what has to be. No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.”
“IT” is, as most of King’s books, about fears that each and everyone of us might have – either surpressed or boiling at the surface or even outright panicky fears. It’s a fear that there really is something out there that plants its evil seed in people, and uses them for its schemes. But it’s also about power and about overcoming evil. This story is told in a mixture of ‘current events’ in 1985, journal entries and flashbacks to the year 1958, where the members of the Losers Club are still children and their biggest fight is yet to come. It’s also told from different perspectives, which gives the story an insight into each individual character, providing credibility and an overall idea how big IT’s influence over Derry really is.
And although it took more than a month to finish this weighty tome, it has been a reading experience beyond compare. This has also been my first buddy-read with a group of four others, and discussing each chapter has been the greatest fun! Gabriela, Elizzy and Suse, I can’t wait to do something like this again in the future. ♥
“It” is about the purest form of friendship, about fears that might easily drive you insane and sheds a light on the mystery of a town called Derry, where evil lurks in the sewers below town. So tell me, dear reader, when will you come to Derry and meet the Losers Club?
Author: Stephen King
Press: Hodder and Stoughton
Year of publication: 1986 (this paperback edition: 2017)
Other opinions on Stephen King’s IT:
Other books by Stephen King I’ve reviewed on this blog:
Other spooky book recommendations this fall: