A REVIEW OF STEPHEN KING’S IT

Bailey Pickle, Sports Editor

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Stephen King proves to be a bonafide story teller with his 1986 novel IT. Despite his chronological jumping around, the story of the Losers is seamed together smoothly and in such a way that both reels the reader in and leaves one with several questions. 

 

One problem I had with this novel was King’s habit of throwing in random, useless information. IT is 1,138 pages long; it did not have to be this long. Perhaps hundreds of pages could be cut and King’s delicate and occasionally pompous writing style would still be present. Some of the random informational tidbits were interesting, but it got boring when the random informational tidbits lasted for several pages.

 

While Mike Hanlon’s journal entries did offer some insight to its appetite for evil, frankly, they were boring. Its edge comes from the fact that she (yes, she) feeds on children. The fact that It was present when one man kills another does not add to the eeriness, even if it is hinted at that It might be able to work through humans. 

 

King introduces to the adult Losers by revealing how their lives ended up 27 years after they thought they killed It. King spends several pages detailing how they each rose to fame and money. When it is Beverly’s turn for her story to be told, King glazes over her career and life, opting to focus on her relationship instead. 

 

Beverly Marsh’s entire character seemed unreal. She was obviously created to simply be the ideal crush for male readers. The only situations in which she came off as genuine was when she acted as a damsel-in-distress. 

 

Bill Denbrough, the only other character King deeply focuses on, is made to be the most honorable of the Losers; however, all that honor is lost within the last hundred pages when he acts on his manly impulses. 

 

Almost every character in IT offers one characteristic to be remembered by (the stutterer, the girl, the fat boy, the Jew, the ill, the joker, the black boy, and the bully). Worse than that alone, two of the characters’, Stan and Mike, characteristics are their religion and race. For a few brief moments, King explores the feelings of Losers who weren’t Bill, but he mostly doesn’t.

 

Despite all of ITs’ flaws, King does speak a lot of truth regarding childhood. King writes about platonic love, fear, and bravery as experienced by a child in a way that everyone can relate to. When King describes the emotions of his characters, it is easy to empathize with them. 

 

King also highlights how humans use memory to block off unfavorable things from youth (even if the Losers did this unwillingly). This is probably the scariest element of the book. Rediscovering trauma experienced during childhood is a needle-sharp topic which King executes well. 

 

The long, dull parts are almost saved by the unique writing style that keeps the book fresh and unpredictable. The way King includes outside quotes, characters’ thoughts, and all-knowing narration is both fun and genius.

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