As soon as I saw the first trailer for the IT movie, I knew I wanted to read the book as well as see it. I’ve already seen the film and reviewed it: you can find my review here.
IT tells the story of the Loser’s Club both in their childhood and adulthood coming together to fight an evil force, aptly nicknamed It, that is sucking the life out of their hometown of Derry, Maine. At the same time as fighting It, the Losers are dealing with their own personal issues that are typically commonplace in a child’s life: bullying, parents, crushes, den building and other more significant issues such as racism and bereavement.
This is possibly the most detailed book I’ve ever read. Harry Potter is significantly detailed but spread out through 7 books whereas IT is one colossal book. The amount of detail has both a positive and negative impact on the book. Stephen King goes into so much detail about each character it’s hard to continue to think of them as just a character. They are entirely brought to life, with even the most seemingly insignificant details mentioned and then called back on throughout the book. The level of detail into each character clearly defined each of their motives and the reasons behind the things they said and the expressions they pulled.
While I loved that part of the detail, some parts were just too long. I found the ending descriptions of the Turtle, Chud and the Deadlights quite hard to get my head around, not because they were too long but somewhat short. I’m not sure if I accidentally skipped over some parts earlier on in the book that explained it or if the ending was perhaps lacking in the detail that the beginning of the book had. I did feel the ending was somewhat rushed, it seemed to only cover a smattering of pages whereas the beginning covered tiny details over what seemed like hundreds of pages. Either way, I resorted to Wikipedia to help me figure out the ending when I was finished with the book!
Because reading relies so heavily on imagination, I found that the book freaked me out significantly more than the film. The amount of detail and extra content probably had something to do with this as well. During a few scenes – ones I will not spoil – I found myself nervous looking out of windows and going downstairs in the dark a struggle. Which is troublesome because my house has only one toilet and it’s downstairs! Also, I bought a book not even remotely related to It and there was a red balloon on the front cover which I only noticed about an hour after it arrived. Safe to say I wasn’t 100% convinced it had been there the whole time…
Another aspect of both the book and film that made me particularly paranoid was the fact that as adults and children other people outside of the Loser’s Club couldn’t see the horrific things It had left for them. All I could imagine is what it would be like if I started seeing the same terrifying things and how I would cope if nobody else could see them.
With some books, flashbacks can get a little confusing, especially if they’re used frequently. Stephen King, however, is some kind of flashback wizard as even though they’re used all the time, they flowed perfectly. This is something I feel the film may have struggled with as it’s impossible to get actors who look exactly like the child actors but in the book it works perfectly.
There is one infamous scene in the book that made me a little bit uncomfortable. I won’t spoil it for you here, I will say that someone spoiled it for me and I’m really glad I was prepared for it. So, if you want to know about this scene that binds the children back together before you read it, Google can help ya out.
I think the main thing I took away from the book is to not let your fears control you and that nothing lasts forever, even the relationships that seem like they will go on for life. I seriously enjoyed It, I was talking about it non-stop the whole time I was reading it. If you enjoyed the film, definitely give it a shot!