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“"IT" is everything we fear, and to the children of...”

Written on: 09/01/2008 by juanjo101 (1 review written)

Good Points
Deep, interesting, sympathetic characters and motives. Horrific and challenging.

Bad Points
Extreme detail that has a tendency to disrupt the flow of the narrative.

General Comments
"IT" is everything we fear, and to the children of Derry, Maine, IT is the town they live in. A respectable town on the surface hides many dark secrets, not least extreme acts of violence, prejudice and high crime rates. Derry also happens to be the home of a being older than the town that periodically returns every 27 years to eat the children of the town.

It's arrival is signified by a severe act of violence towards another and it's departure is followed by an unspeakable accident or another act of violence.The children are the only ones who can see this demon, because they have the ability to believe that such a thing could exist. When a child no longer remains a child, they stop being able to, or allowed to believe in such things and pretend not to know of anything of a supernatural quality.

It's noted that those who see IT are those who fear the town, such as Don Hagarty, the children, Mr. Keene, etc... This is in part due to It being the 'creator' of Derry, it thrives so IT can eat.

The novel is lengthy, at over 1,100 pages it can look like a real challenge, but thankfully, King has crafted something so terrifying and gripping you'll be up many nights not just because you're too afraid to fall asleep but because you'll need to know what's about to happen.

When Stan tells his story about the Standpipe and the dead children who attacked him, or Eddie telling of the Lepor under the porch, or Mike about the big bird that tried to kill him, it's impossible not to be completely immersed in the story and feel the terror or desperation that each must have.

The characters in the novel are some of King's strongest - Beverly Marsh, Eddie Kaspbrak, Mike Hanlon and Henry Bowers - are some of the most interesting characters I've ever read.

When Beverly first receives her phone call and she has a fight with Tom, I believe that there has never been more emotion conjured up in so few pages, so much history of motives and character explained that you cannot help but cheer Beverly on even though you've only known her for less than 10 pages. And in Eddie confronting his mother, who hasn't ever wanted to tell their mother they love them but they have to let them decide for themselves sometimes? Especially those who are dominated and repressed by their mother's love and possession?

My biggest problem with the novel lie in the very fine detail of the town and the landmarks - I understand that Derry is integral to the story and has as much meaning as the kids themselves but to interrupt a passage of thrills to spend many pages explaining the surroundings of the library just sent me nuts - like when you're getting to the good bit of a movie and an urgent news announcement/ advertisement cuts in.

Is there anything worse?

Another big problem for me was the rather horrific moments involving not the monster but the children of Derry, more importantly Henry and Patrick. Henry callously murders and harms people and nothing upsets me more than a person who is quite content to feed a dog poison and taunt and watch as the dog slowly dies. The same for Patrick who has a lovely little interval written about how he murdered his brother - harm towards animals and babies just isn't cool.

In depth, description of these moments aren't any cooler.

Overall I'm completely satisfied with this novel. King has created an epic story about a group of social pariahs and abused children overcoming repression from adults, bullies and monsters.

He's captured the innocence and weight that children carry and in it has given us, the reader, a place to go and change a world and do the things we wish we had only the chance to do as children.

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