Wow, it took me a while, a long while for sure, but I finally did it. And by it, I mean I finished reading It!
This book has been on my radar for a good time, obviously, it’s one of Stephen King’s more notable works – which is something considering the plethora of books that man has written. It really amped up when I finally read my first King novel in Misery – then came to head when the recent adaptation came out.
But it was a big’un, almost intimidatingly so, and is definitely the biggest book I’ve read in my life so far.
Welcome to Derry, Maine …
It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real …
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.
This review is spoiler free!
I honestly don’t know where to begin with this review. I have so many thoughts running through my head at the minute and a lot of them are quite conflicting at the moment.
So, shall we start with the best bits?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book (for the most part, it wasn’t perfect – the best things aren’t), and my utmost, favourite part – without a doubt was the core theme of friendship that wove this book together. These seven kids love each other and you can practically feel that pure love flowing off the pages. There’s a reason King spent so long building up the foundations of this friendship; their bond and belief are what gets them through everytime something horrific happens. And honestly who wouldn’t want/adore this type of friendship – this is what it’s all about (apart from the whole mass-murdering monster), this is the childhood friendship that many dream of.
And at its base, it’s truly beautiful.
Although there’s a certain scene of bonding and cementing of this friendship that I definitely could not get on board with and I physically cringed whilst reading it – it was a tough part to get through (and if you’ve read the book and know what I’m talking about what were your thoughts?).
Additionally, the idea of childhood wonder, belief, and utter imagination was an intrinsical part of the story. It was the basis of their main form of offense against It. It truly puts you right in their shoes, in their minds, it put you right in their intense yet imaginative fights. It really helped you picture these young 11/12-year-olds without making them too childish that it causes a detachment, that I tend to find when I read younger more often than not. And at no point during this very long book did I find that detachment.
Then there are the parts I didn’t like, first of all, I never truly felt on the edge of my seat, I really enjoyed all the build-up, the journey we took to get to the end and then felt almost let down by the payoff. We followed these seven children through hell and high water and the ending felt rushed, which is a weird thing to say about a 1300+ page book. The big end fight was if anything, slightly confusing and anti-climatic.
Another aspect that I understood the inclusion of, but still didn’t like was the tangents of the history of Derry; The Black Spot, The Silver Dollar – it made sense and were important to the overall effect and expanded upon the brutal bloody history of Derry, but it got to the point where I didn’t care anymore. I would be reading, went on to the next paragraph then have to re-read the previous because it just wasn’t sinking in.
And on a related note – the other related tangents; the weather parallels, the additional murders, for me personally it was perhaps too much. It just didn’t add all that more to the experience of the novel, I could just be bitter about the ending.
Overall, this is definitely one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. It set the tone and place so beautifully – it’s definitely King’s forte. It’s how you know you’re reading one of his work, you can picture precisely where you’re reading, you can almost smell it.
On a somewhat unrelated note – reading a book this big definitely gave me a definite feeling of accomplishment! Though it will definitely be a long while before I attempt another book of this size.
Have you read It? What were your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations on what King novel I should read next?