Monday 29 August 2011

Stephen King - It, Review 3 ....

... here's another in my series of Stephen King reviews.  This is about as far as you can get from crafting, but one of my other big hobbies/loves is reading.  I found about the Stephen King Challenge while browsing the Internet - I came across Book Chick City where the girls review books.  They set up the Stephen King Challenge and I joined in January this year.  Initially, I thought I'd just go for six books, but I've already exceeded that by a few!  So I decided I'd go the whole hog and read twelve Stephen King novels.

I'm well on my way to reading a lot more than twelve!!  The reading is easy, the reviews take a while longer.  But here's Review No 3 - if you're not interested - I'll be back with cards tomorrow.  But if you're just a bit intrigued - read on!

These are the books I’ve read so far on my Stephen King reading challenge.  I’m writing my reviews in the order I read the books.

  1. The Stand - finished 23 March 2011
  2. The Green Mile - finished 28 March 2011
  3. It - finished 29 April 2011
  4. Desperation - finished 8 May 2011
  5. Bag of Bones - finished 10 May 2011
  6. Cell - finished 19 May 2011
  7. On Writing (non-fiction) - finished 27 May 2011
  8. Carrie - finished 3 June 2011
  9. The Gunslinger – finished 15 July 2011
  10. The Dead Zone – finished 20 July 2011
  11. Insomnia – finished 25 July 2011

Title: It

Author: Stephen King

Original Publication Date: 1986

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks, (4 Oct 2007)

Language: English

This is another HUGE book – my edition has 1376 pages!!  I got this book when it first came out – I admit to being a Stephen King fan.  I’d read pretty well all his books up to this one – even those under the pen name of Richard Bachman.  When I first read this story, I stayed up all night and read it at one sitting.  This was the first, and only, book that actually kept me awake and gave me nightmares!  I think it’s because I’m not overly fond of clowns – and “IT” appears in this book as a clown – ugh!  I took this copy of the story to Mumbai earlier this year – consequently, it took me a little longer to read it.

The story is set in Derry, Maine and covers two time periods; 1957-58 and 1984-85.  The story starts with the death of George Denbrough in 1957 and moves onto the death of Adrian Mellon in 1984.  Next we meet the main characters – the “Losers Club” – they were children in 1957, but in 1984 they are adults, and they don’t remember what happened in the summer of 1958.  They don’t remember that an evil that can change shape killed many children in 1958; they don’t remember that they killed IT!  The Losers Club were seven children from Derry – Mike Hanlon, Ben Hanscom (Haystack), “Stuttering” Bill Denbrough, Bev Marsh (Rogan), Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak and Stan Uris.

Mike Hanlon was the only one of the Losers Club to stay in Derry after the events of 1958 – he stayed and he remembered.  Mike is the local librarian and historian; he notices that strange events and lots of unusual deaths are occurring again.  And Mike realises that IT is not dead.  The rest of the Club left Derry and all have became successful in their chosen fields.  Mike calls the members of the Losers Club and reminds them of the promise they made when they were children – to return to Derry if needed and make sure that IT was really killed.  Stan commits suicide rather than return, but the rest come back to Derry to fight IT.

There are lots of other characters in the book, all involved in some way with the members of the Losers Club.  We never really know what IT is – we find out that IT can change shape and take on different forms – using childhood fears and phobias as a basis for the shape shifting.  IT is seen as a spider, a mummy, a werewolf and a clown.

As adults, the members of the Losers Club gather at a Chinese restaurant – they share stories and catch up with each other.  Mike brings them up to date with what has been happening in Derry and then suggests that they visit the town.  The group go their separate ways, and during their walks they all encounter IT.  Mike is injured in the library and is unable to go with the remaining five – Ben, Bill, Bev, Eddie and Richie.  Destroying IT is up to them – the group is now five – another magic number.  Ultimately, IT is destroyed, but another of the group dies.

Once again Mike remains in Derry and the others leave, all promising to meet up and get together.  But as time passes – they all forget!  The big but – we don’t know for sure that IT is dead.

It took me a little while to get into the story – but that might be more to do with trying to read it while laying in the sun in Mumbai!!  However, once I did, I couldn’t put it down.  The pain and angst of not being one of the “in-crowd” came through really well.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story – do give it a try.  But, be warned, you’ll never look at a clown in the same way again!

That's all for now.  I'll be back with some pictures of the Folk Festival and some cards tomorrow.  Bye for now.


Paula (PEP) said...

Sold quite a few Stephen King books yesterday whilst on Sunday bookshop duty. They sort of sell themselves. Thanks for the review - I'm definitely not reading this - nightmares for certain if I did.
Paula (PEP)

Vicky Hayes said...

Hmm - I've always thought clowns are rather sinister! I noticed in the paper that there's a new Stephen King novel out in September.

G Peplow said...

Hi Deborah, Another great review, well done and thanks:0) Saw the film, haven't read this one but I think I may give it a miss:0) I too find clowns a bit sinister. It's great to see that the book is not that far removed from the film, Gay xx

Jeanne J. said...

Deborah, I'm a big SKing fan too. I've read just about everything he's written. My favories would have to be The Stand, Duma Key, and most recently the Dome. You are reading alot of his older work - the best of the bunch on your list for me would have to be Insomnia. My daughter read it for high school required summer reading if you can believe that! Great review. I didn't love this book - it was reminicient of Bradbury's Something Wicked this Way Comes which left a bit more to the imagination.

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