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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on November 18, 2010
In 1981, Stephen King began writing the best book I've ever read. "IT" was my first King novel, from the moment I opened the cover, and took in the ever haunting and mesmerizing initial sentence, I was enthralled, and had to prepare myself for a 1090 page journey that would change my life. Although the basic concept of the monster that takes the form of your worst nightmare is brilliant, the stories shining quality is in the way it portrays the values of friendship, childhood, memory, and growing up. No other author has ever captured these feelings better then King, and the magnificient ending brought a tear to my eye. Character developement is astounding and a number of disturbing scenes make the story more real and suspenseful. "IT" weighs in at 1090 pages, each as important as it's predecessor, not one is out of place or unnecessary. There is only one major flaw present, an unavoidable curse that plagues all great stories, it ends. But let me assure you my friends, it ends beautifully. Thank you very much Mr. King, you've changed my entire outlook on writing and filled me with memories that I will cherish deeply and never forget. I will forever hold an undying respect for you and all of your written work. I only hope that perhaps one day, I will be able to write a story that will have as much of an impact on you as IT had on me.
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on April 23, 2012
Scary, poignant, and surprisingly real, Stephen King's 1987 door-stop novel is as much a coming of age tale as it is a horror story. "It" has all the ingredients of classic King: a sleepy Maine town? Check. Flawed, yet believable characters? Check. Supernatural forces? Check.

The book's length rivals that of The Stand (uncut version) finishing off at over 1000 pages, and although this may exasperate some readers, the story contains some truly terrifying scenes that are amplified by the helplessness of the child protagonists. Yes, King does tend to go over-board with the details, but his portrayal of characters is astoundingly accurate. No doubt, readers will relate to at least one aspect of the troubled band of misfits as they try to survive both their personal lives and the horror that threatens the town.

For King fans, "It" is a must read. Newer readers, however, may be put-off by the novel's length, but even if you only read one Stephen King book, make "It" your first choice.
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on October 17, 2001
Before I say why I love this book so much, a helpful suggestion. Please, if you want to appreciate King's more marketable stories, please read the Dark Tower series. I don't think that I'm giving away anything here, but the sequence in "It" that deals with 'turtles' (those of you who have read the Dark Tower know why I'd focus on this) will take on much more meaning. On to the review. I think that people have a misconception about what makes for effective horror writing. You have to care about the characters for horror to be effective. Otherwise, it's not horror, it's comedy. Think about it: in the span of a few short pages, King makes Georgie a character we care about--that's why you really feel it in the pit of your stomach when Georgie's encounter with Pennywise reaches its conclusion. This book is about normal kids and adults (who happen to be incredibly well-developed characters) finding themselves in extraordinary circumstances..That's why "It" is so effective. Minor complaint: Richie does not ring true as an adult or a child. He's the only character that is not believable..fortuneately, even though he has a tremendous amount of dialogue, he's really not important to the story..he's there for comic relief. Finally, by all means avoid the mini-series. I can't for the life of me understand how anyone who has read the book can stomach it.
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on January 16, 2003
I love this book. I first saw the Movie before reading this book (and i got nightmares from it) which i think was a good thing since i knew what the book was about mostly instead of getting confused with alot of sub-plots (For example, the big conflict with gay's in the 2nd chapter). When i bought this book, i thought i would never finish it. But, i sat down one cold December night (i got it for christmas this year) and i was also home alone, mind you, and started to read. After the first part where Georgie dies, i had to put it down - that was immensly disturbing! But, i did finish it. And being the King fan that i am, i LOVED IT! This is the best book i have ever read! I love all Stephen King books, but THIS is a gem! I love Pennywise - or IT. My deepest fear has always been Clowns, and this did not help, but i still love this novel. Mr. King realisticly describes the Clown and all of the shapes it takes, and all of the gory graphic details are great! Althoughy and absolutley horrifying/graphic spellbinder, i also think there is a lighter side to it. King realistly describes school life, pacts, friendship, bully's and other things children must go through. Being a child of 12 (i got started reading King books at about 10) i understand completley what theese kids go through. I was shocked howmuch this book can relate to me. Like Beverly (i am a boy though), i am also afraid to sleep in my most comforatable sleeping position, and i also like to write like bill. I also get picked on alot like Ben (but not because of fat, because i am not fat) and other things. Horror and Emotion camptured all in oen book by my all time favorite author creates a gem, A MUST READ - also get the movie on DVD.
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on December 14, 2001
"The King of Horror" produced his finest tale when he wrote IT. Impressively long at 1000+ pages, King takes his readers on a thrilling joyride back to the wonders and terrors of childhood. Like no other living author, King remembers what childhood consisted of and has the uncanny ability to recall it for us in all its intensity of conflicting emotions.
The plot of this novel is straightforward. Set in 1958, 7 children must face down an almost supernatural evil which they come to call IT. Able to take on the aspect of each person's worst fear, IT mostly sleeps only to awake every 26 or 27 years to feed on the children of Derry. After a series of adventures, the children battle IT to a draw. 27 years later, as adults, they are recalled to Derry to once again do battle with IT's ancient evil.
King interweaves the events of the present day with those of 1958. His characters ring completely true, although they are more vibrant as children than as adults. The various subplots and adventures experienced by the children (the apocalyptic rockfight, dam-building, movie-going, Silver, to name a few) enhance the verisimilitude of the story.
I must caution you on two things. 1st, there is a sex scene late in the book that many will find offensive. While integral to the plot, King could have developed a less viscerally offensive avenue for his characters' escape. It is King in his "if I can't get terror, I'll take horror, and if I can't get that I'll go for the gross-out" mode. 2nd, I am one who equates the name of Stephen King with the term "finest living author". His work, while at times crude, even gross, has the depth and vibrancy of the best of Dickens. No stylist he, but a storyteller without peer with an uncanny ability to delineate character with a few sentences. This is his finest work. Read it.
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on August 20, 2001
This is by far my favorite work by Stephen King. Even though he's written so many wonderful and enchanting books. This one just had me from hello, I suppose. It was also the book that really got me hooked on King. Literally everything you could want in a horror novel is in this novel. The children in this book is what I think made it the best one. They seem like the kids you knew when you were growing up.
This story, timeline-wise, begins with little Georgie Denbrough chasing his little newspaper boat his brother made for him when he was bored from being home sick in bed. There had just been a huge flood in Derry, Maine and George took out the boat and let it sail down the street. It ended up going to fast for him and he saw it go into the drain on the side of the street. As he was about to forget about it and go on home a clown came out of nowhere and asked him if he wanted it back. But when he reached for it....let's just say that was the end of little old Georgie.
One thing led to another during their childhood. Some things good and some very disastrous. They thought they had killed it way back in 1958 but they had been misled. They all got called back twenty seven years later for a reunion.
I really didn't think that the ending was too great but that it okay. I didn't let that get to me. It was still very wonderful. Although it is long you really can never get enough of it. It's definitely one to read over and over throughout the years. I have read it thrice and will be reading it again sometime. I'm glad I decided to buy this one.
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on September 18, 1998
Stephen King's IT is a well-written and originally-structured novel highlighting the power of friendship, innocence, and unity between seven normal (yet extraordinary) young people in the small town of Derry, Maine. Their purpose: to slay the evil "thing" which seems to be slaughtering Derry citizens--specifically children. The seven, after having termed themselves "The Losers Club," set out to strike back against the monster (whose identity and motive remain a mystery). The most interesting parts of this book are not its creative narrative structure and its chilling suspense, but its examination of friendship, and its depiction of the evil that seeks to destroy that unity. The circle of friends meets twice, in two time frames, to complete the same task. As children, their imaginations unlock the mysteries of the evil; as adults, separated by 24 years of their lives, different paths, and different places, members of the Losers Club come together again, and are forced to regain their innocence and creativity in order to vanquish the evil force in Derry. That evil force is kept somewhat nebulous throughout the novel. IT is a combination of ambiguous evils, and nothing specific surfaces. However, it is made clear that IT is a product of the town of Derry itself, and its citizens. Racism, social apathy, degradation of women, physical and sexual abuse, harassment, religious bias, gang violence, and ignorance all can be found in Derry, Maine, if one looks beneath the surface. Intangible, hidden, shameful evils constitute IT, and its power. Seven friends must forget their differences, and place their faith in something bigger than any of them had ever imagined: each other.
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on May 24, 2005
I've read IT about 6 times. The first time I read it I was only 11, and to be honest, though I enjoyed IT in general, I didn't understand a lot of it (I was actually looking up the dirty words I didn't understand in the dictionary and wondering why they weren't there!). I was morbidly fascinated and afraid by the horror and the sex scenes; confused by the Derry Interludes. Weirdly enough though, I love the book today at 24 for the same reasons I loved it at 11: IT is a fantastic and intricately layered story with characters that you miss when the book is over, because you've been with them through their whole story as children and adults, best friends. IT leaves you emotional, wanting more, especially of the summer of '58.
I'm not sure what I thought about the ending. I agree that perhaps it was a bit anticlimactic. But when I think about it, what else could have been done? I'm not talking about the "Beverly & the boys" scene. Even I thought that to be unnecessary and very unbelievable. I was 11 when I first read the book and I found this part extremely weird and shocking. Other than that, I guess the kill had to be anticlimactic; King sort of wrote himself into a corner there. But I forgive the ending for the rest of the book.
To those who think that the book needed "slimming" a few hundred pages, I don't get it! I believe that every element of the story was essential to build a history of Derry, identifying with the book's characters (there were 7 after all). People don't seem to have any patience anymore. I don't see the book as sloppy. I don't see extra chapters as a "waste of time" if they're adding to the book.
I didn't want to mention the movie here, I saw it when I was little and it's sort of a kitch classic for my friends and I, and Tim Curry was great. But why did adult Bill have to have that stupid ponytail????? haha.
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on March 25, 1998
(Sorry for the stutter) I have read this book several times. The paperback is bloated from watterdamage from when I lent it to a friend.. which is all to perfect for the main theme, eh? But still readable. When I first read it, I was entranced by it. There were a few slow prts... but very few. I saw the movie first, and, tho it was cheesy to me, i read the book. I thought it was better by far as soon as I was into it. THe battles were more.. mythical, depending of belief and strength of the mind. NOt just a crappy set of silver EARRINGS (Lady Liberty had a part in there too--though I'd bust the kind for melting such a coin today)... the book's battle (like the one in Needful Things) was better than the movie (which S****)... But when I first read it, as I was starting out to say, I was up till 3:30 AM on a SCHOOL NIGHT (2 years ago) reading the last 200-300 pages. I tried four times to stop reading it, and my light was..off.. for about 3 minutes each time. Read this book. YOu will NOT be dissapointed.
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on November 10, 2001
The first thing you think when you pick up IT is how am I ever going to read a novel that's over 1000 pages. Then you open up to the first page, and your questions are answered. From the first paragraph, when little Georgie is chasing his paper boat down the street, in the rain, to his undeniable death. And from there, the novel takes off. Broken up into many parts, IT is Stephen King's masterpiece. Strong, powerful stortelling, and without a doubt, his scariest novel. The scene in which Mike is in the library, and Pennywise leaves him the baloon literally made my skin crawl. Equally terrifying is when Ben sees Pennywise down by the icerink in the dead of winter. Scary stuff, man. Pennywise himself is King's most terrifying and best villian. The idea to make a clown a mass murderer is absolutely brilliant. We want Pennywise in every seen, and because he's not, when he shows up, we realize just how scary he is. IT is one of the best novel I've ever read. Stephen King broke barriers with this novel, and when you finish reading it, you'll know why.
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