Stephen King’s It A Review

Today is Halloween. I thought I would offer of a review of what is in my opinion the biggest scariest book of all time.  I have read this book multiple times and it never fails to chill me. It’s not just the ghost or monsters that lurk ready to spring at the reader, but the real life tragedies and traumas that the character are faced with. From domestic violence, to dealing with bullies, death of a sibling, overbearing mother, serial killer on the loose, and small town hysteria. Many of the problems the characters face are problems that each of us have faced or could face. Yet, even in the darkest times and faced with the scariest moments friendship endures.

I think that even though this book is scary and not for every reader that its overall theme is friendship.

It, a 1986 horror novel by amazingly prolific Stephen King tells a story of pure horror, pitting good against evil. Following seven children, nicknamed the Losers Club as they are terrorized by the mysterious being, which exploits the fears of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. “It” primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. Moving back and forth between 1958 and 1985, the story tells of seven children in a small Maine town who discover the source of a series of horrifying murders. Having conquered the evil force once, they are summoned together 27 years later when the cycle begins again. As usual, the requisite thrills are in abundance, and King’s depiction of youngsters is extraordinarily accurate and sympathetic. It deals with themes that would eventually become King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, and the ugliness lurking behind a façade of traditional small-town values.

This book will become known as one of King’s ultimate troves of character, storytelling, and humanity. Not everyone will see in this book what I do and accept that some might even consider this book trash literature. Some scenes are hard to take. One of them for me is a scene at the beginning that goes into detail about domestic violence. One character is brutalized by another. I usually skip over this. I cannot stomach these things. I want to reach out, assault this character, and save the victim. I am horrified by this and what makes it worse is to know that these things actually do happen.

With that said, I do hold It up as a good example of literature. Yes, I said literature. I say that because this book goes beyond what most horror fiction tries to do. It shows us what it means to be a true human being and also the ordinary horrors that each of us face daily and how to deal with them. If you want to read a scary book, that is more than a scary book and don’t mind a long read than I would recommend you pick this one up. However, be forewarned this is not a light read, it is a big bold fright fest.

I don’t have time or space to defend my reading of Stephen King, but I would like to end on a good note. This novel is no different from his other books where King has a knack of showing that even in the darkest moments that life can be good and that if you have someone to count on that you can and will face anything. This books theme of friendship and that good to be good must stand up to evil, both the small and large evil that threatens to ruin life.

I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween.

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