Run-on Sentence Summary
A group of outcast kids in a small town grapple with the horrors of bullies, growing up, and a killer clown.
I had never read any Stephen King before this, and I figured that I needed to be exposed to such an important and influential modern author. I’m usually not one for horror books, but I figured if I wanted to read King, I needed to choose pure horror story instead of one of his other classics such as Shawshank Redemption. King is extremely prolific, but after some deliberating I chose this epic 1400 page book to stand as his ne plus ultra.
The villain in the story, simply called “it,” is a shape shifting monster that takes the form of your biggest fear, classically rendering itself as Pennywise the clown. This results in the book being an endless stream of one off encounters with a variety show of different terrors, including a giant bird, your dead brother, a wolf man, a giant eye, Paul Bunyan, and many, many others. The book takes its time and fully fleshes out all 7 of the major characters, but it quickly starts to feel repetitive.
This book would have hit much harder if it were half as long. There were even some inexplicably strange passages that added nothing to the story, such as a scene where the two bullies masturbate each other, or where all 7 of the main characters gang bang the only girl in their group. Mind you, they are little kids!
Really, this story isn’t about the monster at all, but about the struggles of growing up and learning not to be defined by your past. The writing was ok, and the bones of the story were solid, but that being said I don’t think I’ll be picking up another King book for a while.
“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.”