I read "It" many years ago when I was a kid. I also had nightmares for about a week about a clown that was under my bed chanting that "we all float down here." too. So thanks for that Stephen King. Though I find "It" brilliant and often cite this one as my favorite King book, there are still some problems with it that are hard to gloss over during my re-read decades later. You all at this point should know about one scene that pretty much had every reader going WTF. My WTF this time made me actually cringe while reading. It makes zero sense to the story and could have been edited out long ago. Also the flow isn't that great when we go back and forth between our gang called the Losers Club (Bill, Richie, Eddie, Stan, Ben, Beverly, and Mike) and other characters. The book truly shines when King looks at these characters as kids, they seem to fall apart a bit when we get to see them grown up and facing with their return to Derry.
"It" was published in 1986. I read this when I was 10 (which would make that 1990) due to the television series coming out. I remember thinking that the series was the best showing the kids and it all kind of went to pot when we see them as adults confronting It again. There are some nice Easter eggs for constant readers to other King works ("Dreamcatcher", "11/22/63", "The Dark Tower", and of course King's latest "The Outsider").
There are a lot of characters in this book, so let's focus on just The Losers Club for this review. King shines when he shows us how this group of 7 kids came together and routed the boogeyman/monster that was hell-bent on murdering kids.
Bill is essentially the leader of the club. When his younger brother Georgie is murdered, Bill is determined to kill "It." I was rooting for Bill throughout this book though there is some weirdness between about the fact that the woman he marries resembles Beverly (yeesh).
Beverly (Bev) is the only girl in The Losers Club and has red hair. Each boy has a crush on her at some point during this story. I only bring this up because I watched Season Two of Stranger Things last year and the girl that joins the cast is called Max in the show. She's a tomboy and you can tell her home life is a hot mess. She also has red hair. While watching Stranger Things I started thinking about Bev from this book and how similar both characters were.
The other boys in this story don't stand out as much as Bill and Beverly though. Ben I thought was great as well. A lonely and overweight boy, he ends up being a very successful adult. Richie ends up becoming a DJ. I felt sorry for Eddie and Stan and Mike the most though.
Going into the secondary characters (people who tormented this group as kids and later as adults) gets a bit boring after a while. I thought King does a great job with the horror elements as well as the fantasy elements. Everything you read seems possible.
The writing was very good though the flow gets clunky towards the end. At first you feel relief when you read about what the kids end up going through in the 1950s. I think King made a mistake though going back to the past and present (1980s) after each other though. After a while I wanted the story to hurry up and get going.
Derry, Maine is the setting of "It" and seriously at this point you have to wonder about anyone living in that town. I do love reading this book mostly since this is the start of Derry being the place where funky/crazy things happen. We do get a sequel of sorts to this book in "11/22/63" where the main character in that book comes across some of the Losers.
I thought the ending was so good, but once again sadness cause you have to know if this is a King novel not everyone makes it.
I don’t think this book is going to be a book for everyone but if you like a little monster mixed in with your erotica it may just be the book for you.
Hayden is a young guy doing a little zombie sex-cult research for a junk rag in the library when he is approached by a gorgeous woman wearing little more than a mini-skirt and a few scraps of rags. She’s dripping (it’s storming out, you pervs), she is icy cold and she smells weird. He knows deep down that something is not quite right here but he has sex with her anyway (hey, she offered!) and now he’s in way over his head. Turns out she’s the sort of zombie that he has just been researching. What are the odds, do you think?! She lets him know that he is her newest sex pet and he must perform whenever she feels the need to “feed” which is quite often, it turns out. She feeds off of sex, by the way, instead of brains and he has no way to fend her off because she easily compels him with her eyes and her beautiful body.
“You don’t understand yet, do you? Let me explain. You belong to me now. Until I’m done with you, that is.”
She chains him, she drugs him and, if you ask me, it serves him right! He has a girlfriend who he has cheated on and now because of his dick and his weakness, she’s caught up in all of this weirdness. He is one of the world’s worst boyfriends and feels bad for brief moments but not bad enough to figure a way out of the situation. And nearly not bad enough for me to feel bad for him as I reveled in his debasement!
This book is something else. I cannot honestly say that I liked any of the characters with the exception of Rachelle, the cuckolded but good-natured girlfriend, because they’re all pretty despicable creatures who do terrible things and think terrible thoughts but I couldn’t put it down. It’s a sexy, strange read with loads of dubious consent and a few humiliating episodes but nothing overly gross or truly disturbing (says me who has read some AWFUL stuff in the past, pee & poo stuff if you must know, so your mileage may vary). Be warned though, if dubious consent or the inability to consent scares you off because that stuff is here in several scenes. None of it gets too dark or disgusting and it’s not filled with angst and emotional despair. It was all rather amusing in a dark, dubiously sexy sort of way.
I’d give it a 3 1/2 because the story did get a wee bit convoluted towards the last half but it still managed to keep me entertained.
Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for providing me with an ARC.
when author Hunter Shea joins me for a guest post in which he discusses his top five people-eating monster books! If you're a fan of creature features, you don't want to miss it!
Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. He’s a bestselling author of over 13 (lucky number!) books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.