Guest Post: Review of Stephen King’s “It”

Written by Donna Hardy Johnston

#1 on Amazon’s “Books from Hell – The 25 Best Horror Books Ever Written”

It by Stephen King (who else) is in the top 50 of almost every ranked list of horror books. For those of you who are King fans, It was published between the Shining and Misery and, in the same time period, King was publishing under the name of Richard Bachman. At any rate, it is Stephan King horror at its best. If there is something/someone that scares the hell out of you, it is in this book: from werewolves to clowns to mummies. And it comes at you from every direction, including through the sewer and up the toilet!

As with all of King’s stories, It is a battle between good and evil. In this horror classic; it is the positive synergy of the 7 main characters that provides the shining, white strength of the good guys. While, it is the sewer odors and the creatures you fear most – those that hide under your bed or in your closet or under the grates in the sewers—that define the shifting image of evil that is It/Pennywise.

This story opens in 1957-1958 with the 7 as children, and closes in 1984-1985 with the 7 as adults. The timeline shifts back and forth between the two periods, as the adults return to Derry, Maine, to finish what they started as children: destroy It/Pennywise.

The 7 totally baffle, which results in It/Pennywise fearing them. It is a study in horror, fear and what King is best at, an accelerating spiral into madness. It/Pennywise brings out the worst in the not so good characters that surround the 7. He feeds the small kernel of evil in the bullies/antagonists and drives them until they are walking automata of hate. King is one of the best at twisting, turning, and growing evil to the point that it (It) becomes the single minded, demented drive of a character. There is no one better at describing the descent into hell.

In It, no one is safe from dismemberment and death in the most horrible manner. So, even if you follow the 15 Rules to Stay Alive, in a King story you could still die in a chance encounter.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you want a good scare. It is the stuff of good nightmares, of creeping claws from under the bed, and gooey monsters watching from the closet. I found it a good read… as long as the lights were on.


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