Friday, October 25, 2013
In 1958, seven kids took it upon themselves to rid the town of Derry of a child killer that took the form of a killer clown. In 1985, the clown is back and the kids return to Derry to finish what they started...
Yeah, I'm a couple decades late to the party on this one. So what? Some friends were doing a group read and I decided it was time to tackle this kitten squisher.
While it's a horror story, it's also about growing up and forgetting what it's like to be a kid. Stephen King does a great job at reminding me what it was like to hear noises in the night and fearing some monster is coming for you. In fact, It is the third Stephen King novel I've dreamed about while reading it, right up there with The Tommyknockers and the Dark Tower.
The characters play well off each other and feel very real. It was all too easy to imagine playing in the barrens with the Losers or running from Henry Bowers and his gang.
Having seen the mediocre TV miniseries from 1990, I was surprised by everything that was lost in translation. Lots more Pennywise in this, for one thing, and there was a lot more to the ending. As I've said in other reviews, even though I knew how things were going to turn out, King still had me on edge during some of the tense moments.
In some ways, It felt like a trial run of some concepts that found their way into the Dark Tower. The kids were definitely a Ka-Tet and felt Gunslingerish. Also, the Turtle of amazing girth upon whose shell he holds the earth.
My only gripe with the book was that I felt like it could have lost about 20% of the length and not lost a whole lot of story. There was a lot of extraneous crap. While some of it fleshed out Derry and made it feel real, some of it felt like no one had the guts to tell Sai King to cut it. In short, some places felt as bloated as a phone book left out in the rain. Was this the book where Stephen King went from "Stephen King, very successful author" to "Stephen King, no editor shall dare command me!"?
This is either a high 3 or low 4. This King guy might have a future in this business.