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It


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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A world in itself
First of all, I would like to point out that I am neither an avid Stephen King nor a horror fan. I've read some of his books, and found them all fairly enjoyable. "It" is the only one of his books that enthralled, captivated, and mesmerized me. It is his absolute masterpiece and stands by itself. The story has already been abundantly described by other...
Published on 19 Sep 2000

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not his best!
I do enjoy SKs books and own many, my favourite being Christine as it was the first one I read! I found this book quite disappointing though.

It took a while to get into as a lot of things were so detailed, drawn out and sometimes seemed pointless! I carried on reading as I enjoyed the TV series and if I hadn't have already seen that I probably wouldn't have...
Published 4 months ago by Joanne


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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Powerful moments buried under mountains of flaws, 4 Sep 2011
This review is from: It (Paperback)
Difficult to write a detailed review of this book spoiler free. I'll try to avoid plot details but will give you clues to the type of things that happen.

Having grown up seeing the book covers, video covers, screenshots and clips of the tv version of this book for over two decades, I've had a lot of time to imagine what "It" might be like. The images of the clown and the eyes in the sewers got a lot of kids' imagination going. But it is not much at all like I had imagined. I thought most of the story would be scary encounters in the dark sewers, that the children would be playing in the sewers and then attacked various times but the majority of it is not spent there. I had always thought it would be a relatively low key supernatural story but it goes far more grandeur places than a lot of readers feel comfortable with. I had no idea the story would have so much about aging and that it would be a lot more important than the horror elements.

I'm amazed how well loved this book is, it was a major disappointment for me, it is my first King book but I was glad to hear that there are enough people who think this is one of his weakest books, I have a pile of King, mostly from someone who gave them away to me and I would be extremely discouraged from reading more if there was a wider approval of it. I still want to read King's short stories, Salem's Lot and Pet Semetery at the very least.

Although this is a well known horror book, I'm not sure how much of a horror book it was really intended to be. I'd say there are really only about 5 pages worth of effective horror in it (one or two incredibly scary moments) and this is a book of more than 1100 pages! A lot of the appearances of this shape shifting monster who takes on the appearance of what people fear most but most of the time looks like a scary clown are often surreal in a cartoonish way( sometimes the appearances are absurdly clichéd) and I wonder if King wanted absurdity and cartoonish surrealism more than he wanted terrifying.
I think the supernatural elements are some of the weakest things in the book, you are constantly reminded how powerful this shapeshifter is yet with all the talk of fate guiding the characters and all the encounters where you wonder why the monster is having so much trouble holding his own, you get the feeling King is just letting the main characters win; so all the tension there should be in those confrontations is not really there. One moment the monster is displaying incredible power, next moment it is being inexplicably restrained for a creature that is said to fear the main characters.
By comparison, the chases and fights between humans are extremely effective, some of them very exciting.

There is far too much detail that adds up to little or no effect, at several points I grew extremely frustrated how many paragraphs of pointless info I was reading. An example is there is a very detailed long gruelling scene of someone being chased and you are told that the man pursuing has keys that are shining in the sun, but why are we told this? What could it possibly add to make the story better? It might not seem bad by itself but it is very annoying when there are so many pointless details like this, some parts of the book are loaded with unnecessary info.
This book could have been a lot better at a third of the size it is. It reads like everything was written in one take with no thought of trimming or editing at all. No storyteller should presume that people have the time and patience to tolerate this amount of superfluous information. Storytellers and most species of artists should be keenly aware that they are asking people to give up their time for something a creator should hope people felt was not a waste or their time.

Another thing that adds to this length is the unrestrained conversational chummy tone of a lot of the narration, which often gets a bit too much. Sometimes the monster talks a bit like this and it takes away from the feeling that the characters are dealing with a very old evil. There is a scene in an epic situation with ancient supernatural beings that talk in this goofy manner that feels closer to humorous fantasy than it does to the rest of the book. It jars badly. Another thing that breaks the credibility and consistency of the story is the feeling that King was trying to keep up with the new extreme horror writers of the 80s. When the monster makes sexual threats it does the opposite of scaring or shocking, it feels like such a cheap way to shock and ends up ruining any suspense the scenes might have had because you are distracted by your questioning of the writer's intentions. So the supernatural aspect is continually weakened by these other intruding flaws.

There are some shocking taboo parts in the book that do work well enough but the major infamous controversial part of the book feels like another instance of shoehorning shock into a place where it really does not work. I had heard of this notorious scene before and I had assumed that the sexual act would have been something the characters needed to do to defeat the monster, like some ritual with a bizarre folkloric logic, which might have been a better way to incorporate the sexual taboo in the book, if King felt he really needed it. I would have kind of liked this taboo to work and be done really cleverly, but it is just done in the most unconvincing way.
It really is amazing when you think of how many things in this book would probably never be shown in a screen version.

There are too many instances where you are told that it was the very first time or very very last time a character would do something in particular.
There are also quite a number of awkward similes that try to compare things to something from horror iconography such as tombstones and pumpkins. It seems like an attempt to spread unease into more of the writing but since it was halloweenish icons it feels too cartoonish again.
One final flaw to discuss: One of the main characters does something nobody would ever do in the presence of the embodiment of fear, no matter how confident they got; and it has consequences that should have involved learning how the fiancé of this character reacted to the situation, but you never find out how they reacted. This is astonishing given how much detail every other aspect of the story is explored in and it really hurts since there are so many parts that really don't need that detail when this part really does!

Things I actually liked about the book: Aside from the aforementioned small handful of genuine horror moments and the good non-supernatural fight scenes, I thought some of the interludes with the history of the town were very good, especially the interviews and the parts about the black community of the town. I often found Richie funny and the descriptions of Eddie's mother feel very real. The aspect of traits in the main characters coming and going with them trying to overcome these personal challenges that keep resurfacing was good. It is an unpleasant idea that there are parts of your youth that you might never escape and might even kill you, things you thought were left safely far behind. There are quite a number of bits with very good lines or observations sprinkled across the book.
The last 20 or so pages are incredibly moving for a book that got worse and worse and I wanted over as soon as possible. I was amazed that after getting so fed up it actually made me cry and it is sad that there is such a powerful payoff to a book I would actually discourage people from reading. It hurts that this book didn't measure up in so many areas because I would have loved this to have a great duration to go with that great incredibly sad ending. I almost wish King would do a radical rewrite of the book to make it the great book it should have been. How can a writer be so good in parts but so bad in others? It annoys me that I get the feeling that King is perfectly capable of doing better finished work than this but gets too attached to his first drafts to change them.

I'm sure there are countless better books with these themes about growing up and also a good few better books about a living personification of fear, but I don't know any. I'm not sure how many good scary clown stories there are. But if you are looking for good horror, there are hundreds of better places to look.

((The star rating represents how much I want you to buy this item and should not be taken as a measurement of artistic merit))
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT, 19 Sep 2009
By 
Siobhan Pedder (inverness) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It (Paperback)
Theres only one thing to say about this book, King's finest book a must read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Oct 2014
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This review is from: It (Kindle Edition)
Great book make sure u got plenty of time to read it.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A decent story ruined by a stupid ending, 13 Jan 2014
By 
Rt Giles "RTG" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It (Paperback)
First I all I love Stephen king and have read many of his books and looked forward to this read as many people rave about this book.
Story starts of very slow but it good when it gets going until 80 pages or so from the end where 6 11 year old children have sex in a sewer with another 11 year old girl one after the other... What the hell is that all about adds nothing to the story and just ruins the last 1300 pages or so you have read. Totally unreal to think an 11 year old girl would willingly participate in such a thing. If we were talking about teenagers it would be bad enough but we are on about children here. I don't know what the hell Stephen King must have been on whilst Writing that part of the story and whats with all the 5* reviews did people just skip that part of the story? must have!BIG LET DOWN!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK!, 27 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: It (Paperback)
... As with most of Kings work the book will have you craving for more every time you put down. If you can try not to watch the rather poor film version before you read as it does spoil certain parts of the film. At times some of the characters seem a little extreme but this is a small price to pay for the blistering action and hair razing sudden plot twists. King also manages to tell the story of both the children and the adults at the SAME TIME even though they are 30 years apart. Some of the other reviews I have read discredit the ending and the final form of 'IT' but personally I think it is all in the mind. If you truly imagined your self in the situation of the characters then I'm sure they wouldn't be quite so flippant about the finale.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been better, 11 April 2007
This review is from: It (Paperback)
This is only the second stephen king book i have read and although i did enjoy it and didn't loose interest in the 1000 or so pages i have to agree that the ending is rather strange.

It left me feeling that there were alot of unanswered questions and a number of the solutions were unfeasible.

The ending felt rushed and considering how long the book is and how much the author went into the tiniest of detail in the first tree quaters i dont think it would really have hurt for the author to have added another hundred or so pages to explain the outcome and also why the horror was there and doing the things it was doing in the first place
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREATEST BOOK IVE EVER READ!, 28 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: It (Paperback)
THIS MUST SURELY BE ONE OF THE GREATEST BOOKS EVER NEXT TO THE HOLY BIBLE ITSELF! A WRITER OF PURE EXCELLENCE! THE CHARACTERS ARE SO "MOULDED IN" AND USED EXCELLENTLY, ESPECIALLY BILL DENBOROUGH. HIS BROTHER WAS MURDERED BY IT IN THE YEAR OF '57 HIS ARM WAS TORN OFF. THEN BILL AND A GROUP OF FRIENDS THAT PULL TOGETHER HELP KILL THE CREATURE THAT WAS SAID TO BE THERE BEFORE ANY MATTER OF THE UNIVERSE, WHIC KING CALLED THE MACROVERSE. A BOOK FOR ANY READER GOOD OR BAD. BUT I WOULD SUGGEST TO SEE THE FILM FIRST TO GET THE GENRAL VIEW OF THE FILM AS IT IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE BOOK!
A MUST READ FOR EVERY GOOD PATIENT READER!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Agreeing..., 25 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: It (Paperback)
I have to say I am a massive SK fan to the point that I not only have all his books but also the videos made from the books. IT I had trouble with. Never in my life has it taken me so long to read one book. Even at his greatest SK tends to waffle and at times you want to give up on this book (and with this finale you'd wish you had). He has an incredibale imagination and one that I personally could never dream of matching but by the end of this book I had to winder what went wrong here. Well on to the next book which i am pretty sure will be back to SK's brilliance.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 9 May 2013
By 
jfbear (Manchester, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: It (Paperback)
I have tried so hard to like this book.
Friends whose literary appreciation I respect told me that this was Stephen King's best.
I read two other novels by him, as recommended, to get into his style before I read it.

I tried for 1,376 pages, determined to see it through.
But I don't like it.
I understand Fiona Webster's comment above and wished I could have had to ability to "develop mental filters for King's sloppy storytelling to tune out the repetitions and silliness"

Despite the colourful language describing them, the monsters, human and imaginary, failed to scare me.
It wasn't boring - it was just ultimately...dull. Perhaps if it had just been one novel, instead of several rolled into one, it would have felt more worthwhile. But that is Mr King's style. And as the other reviews demonstrate, there are readers out there who love it.
Not this one, I'm afraid.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steve's in love with his charachters, 17 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: It (Hardcover)
In reading this book I found that SK's in depth analisyse of his charachters and their home town Derry, in Maine was much too drawn out, also he stereotypically views many races in this book. Mainly the local seargant who was described as the sterotypical Irish copper in the states, drunken and dreamin of the Emerald Isle and a pint of the black stuff. Otherwise the plot had a good foundation and the horror of the King legacy is there for all to view.
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It
It by Stephen King (Paperback - 12 May 2011)
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