Another one completed on my Stephen King quest and what a book to start the year on, a relative monster at 1376 kindle pages taking me just under two weeks to read and another one that will stick in the dark recesses of my memory for quite some time.
Pretty much everyone's read this book so this is potentially a spoiler laden trip encompassing the things I enjoyed most about this journey to Derry and a 'Look Through Hell’s Back Door'.
Now IT is a cleverly laid out story in probably my favourite method of literary craftsmanship, simply put, we follow two time lines 27 years apart that shadow an almost identical path fraught with a monstrous menace and a demon that prays on children.
Seven young friends come together in the late 50's and face a little more than the usual growing pains of childhood, a promise is made and years later they come back to Derry to face a horror all but forgotten. Yanked back by the, whatever that makes you wince the most, but this is a hell of a lot more than the story of six boys and one girl who stumbled into a nightmare one hot summer.
There's so much to love in this story, characters that you watch grow, characters you can't help but care deeply about and a gripping story that remains that way for the vast majority off it.
Stuttering Bill, ‘beep beep’ Richie, Ben ‘haystack’ Hanscom and Beverly Marsh were my favourites and whenever the story cuts to the friends as adults, you just can't wait to get back to the stories of the youngsters. Their altercations with the bullies, Henry Bowers getting Bev’s boot right where it hurts the most, Eddie lying in that hospital bed and finally giving his mother what for. There's just so many stand out moments with these kids and the trials and tribulations they faced, it's just too much to mention them all.
Richie with the mouth that simply decided on its own to cut and run instead of stopping too think 'Richie could hold back no longer; his mouth simply fell open and then ran away like the gingerbread man, as it so often did'.
The Patrick Hockstetter chapter, a sociopathic kid that while not as disturbing as Shelley from The Troop, was just creepy as fuck.
'While he was beating frantically at it and watching the bloodstain spread above the place where it had taken its hold, another settled on his right eye. Patrick closed it, but that did no good; he felt a brief hot flare as the thing’s sucker poked through his eyelid and began to suck the fluid out of his eyeball. Patrick felt his eye collapse in its socket and he screamed again'. Just fucking Woah is all I can say.
Beverly a witness to it all, the sink and the blood, her escape from the manipulative partner and the belt. Ben chased by the clown at the bridge over the canal, it's all just fried within an inch of its life with the fattest side salad known to man, a delicacy in fine dining.
The kids going back into the basement of that house and Ben struggling through that little window 'He started to pull himself out and realized, horrified, that he could do it, but was very apt to yank his pants – and perhaps his underpants as well – down to his knees when he did. And there he would be, with his extremely large ass practically in his beloved’s face'.
Henry Bowers 'edging steadily out over some mental abyss, walking on a bridge that had grown relentlessly more and more narrow. On the day when he had allowed Patrick Hockstetter to caress him, that bridge had narrowed to a tightrope'.
Bill on his return to that sewer.
'I guess this is what we mean when we talk about the persistence of memory, this or something like this, something you see at the right time and from the right angle, image that kicks off emotion like a jet engine. You see it so clear that all the things which happened in between are gone. If desire is what closes the circle between world and want, then the circle has closed'.
And finally IT, a thing that changed and fed on your worst fears, a fuckdoer of pure evil.
'The fears of children were simpler and usually more powerful. The fears of children could often be summoned up in a single face … and if bait were needed, why, what child did not love a clown'.
So 'Stop now before I kill you all, A word to the wise from your friend Pennywise'.
Awesome, Awesome and yeah a little bit more Awesome to finish off.