June/July 2010's SK Flavor of the Month - It

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June/July 2010's SK Flavor of the Month - It

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juny 1, 2010, 10:54pm

Okay guys, it's summer time and appropriately enough the book for the summer is It.

I've really been looking forward to rereading this one. For me, It is Stephen King's pinnacle. I won't be starting it until the middle of June or so. I'm taking a vacation to Mexico and I think I'll read it then.

juny 1, 2010, 11:25pm

I love It. Can't wait to read it again.

juny 2, 2010, 7:25am

My lame quotient appears to have gone up to such a degree that I have a few books I need to finish before I can even think of cracking this one.

juny 2, 2010, 7:25am

Have a good holiday, jseger :)

Started It a couple of days ago. I last read it 8 years ago and that was the third read, so I thought I might struggle with it still being so vivid in my mind. I polished off 100 pages in a sitting! It's as good fourth time round. My only complaint is that it isn't my first read. It blew me away first time round (well it pretty much does each time).

juny 5, 2010, 8:04am

Does anybody know what the relevance of the Turtle is? I never quite got it (unless I forget it everytime I read it).

juny 6, 2010, 6:51pm

Moomin, have you read any of the Dark Tower Series. This book ties in with that series. I don't remember what is mentioned about the turtle in IT but I know it's a DT tie in. I'm not going to spoil anything for you if you haven't read it yet, but that may be why you feel like you're missing something.

juny 6, 2010, 7:13pm

Thanks, Raychild. I think It mentions the Turtle later on and the losers or It itself know what it is (in some way at least), but little Georgie recognising the Turtle from the Turtle Wax in the first chapter always throws me off, as I've never understood how he would know. I guess that's where the Dark Tower series comes in.

There are so many nods to other King books in It. It enriches the book and adds to the idea of It being a much bigger, Lovecraft-like evil (for me anyway).

juny 6, 2010, 7:25pm

I need to make a run to the library to pick up IT again. I just read it last summer but it was my first time around and sometines I don't retain things very well, especially in the summer when life is busy.

I had a copy of my own but my mother-in-law has signed me up for The Stephen King Library so I gave my copy to my sister since I'll be getting another one. I feel like I have so many King books, yet I'm nowhere near finished collecting them all! :)

juny 6, 2010, 11:26pm

>8 Raychild:: How do you like the Stephen King Library? I've toyed with the idea of joining a few times over the years but never have. It looks like a good way of collecting some of the newer books I don't own and swapping out some of my old mass market paperbacks for new hardbacks, but I'd love to hear some feedback on it.

juny 9, 2010, 9:54am

I love it!!! I'm not sure how much it costs, but I think it's only $15-$20 a month or every six weeks and you get a book every six weeks. I love it because when I started I hardly had any King books, mostly just '80's and '90's paperbacks with bent spines and very worn pages, and now I have a very nice collection. I'd recommend it. Just a heads up, you may need to buy another bookcase. lol

juny 9, 2010, 7:19pm

I'm a current member, and it's pretty great. When you join up, (or at least this is how it was when I joined about 5 years ago), you pick from a list of every book he's written as to which ones you'd like to receive, then they send you one about every 6 weeks. You also get a nifty desk calendar every year with facts and cool info in it. And if any new books come out, you'll get them of course automatically. The books normally cost $18 and some change, with the exception of a few. (Blockade Billy just arrived, and it was $13). I love it as a longtime member, and don't plan on cancelling anytime soon. Hope this helps.

juny 9, 2010, 8:32pm

Thanks, guys, I am definitely glad to hear from a couple members of the Library! Sounds like it's an all-around positive experience. I will likely be signing up soon.

juny 9, 2010, 11:43pm

BTW-Raychild, I completely agree about getting a new bookshelf. I had 7 or 8 SK paperbacks and one hardback copy of Eyes of the Dragon, but now have hardback copies of all of his books. My old bookshelf was passed on, and I had to upgrade.

juny 10, 2010, 7:44am

King's work takes up the most room of any author in my library. I've been buying hardcovers for 25 years and they take up 3 shelves of 3 foot width, plus assorted paperbacks and calenders shoved horizontally on top of them. I'm not complainin' though.

But back to the book - I plan to hit it some more today, but I'm at the point where each of them (except Stan) is heading back to Derry. I had to skim Beverly's escape because it was just too much...I've had a stressful week.

juny 10, 2010, 10:45am

I've reached the part where they've flooded the Barrens. I'm not picking it up too often, as I find I can't put it down again and I want to make it last a bit - hardly anyone's started it yet.

Fourth time round and I'm still gobsmacked at how good it is.

juny 12, 2010, 10:27am

I finally finished Skeleton Crew and will be starting It in a few days. It's nice to be caught up with the group again!

juny 13, 2010, 6:53pm

I'm with cal--just finished The Bachman Books, now I can get started!

Editat: juny 15, 2010, 12:40am

I'm reading through F. Paul Wilson's Midnight Mass, which I should finish this week. I should be starting It after that (in the airport on the way to Mexico).

This will only be my second read through. It's funny, because last time I started it was in an airport. I have a vivid memory of reading about the guy at the carnival in the top hat with the flower while I was on a plane. It will be something if I read that same scene on another plane.

juny 15, 2010, 7:14am

Jseger, that scene really threw me off first time round - it intrigued me but made me think I'd be getting a different story altogether. I think it sets the scene brilliantly, you get a look at the way the adults and police (those in authority) are dealing with the murders, then you are taken into a story of how a group of kids deal with it in a world where they won't be believed, in a town that seems to turn a blind eye.

It's only one chapter but it's vivid enough to stand up as a contrast to what follows through the rest of the book. Reminded me the beginning of The Exorcist, but much more effective.

juny 15, 2010, 12:15pm

They are all back in Derry and others are hot on their heels - Audra, Henry and Tom. I forgot about their involvement. As if the Loser's Club need any more to deal with now. Again, I had to skim Kay's treatment at the hands of Tom. I really want that asshole to suffer. Badly.

juny 15, 2010, 1:23pm

Just have to mention that I love the way King spins up hints about what's to come by having the adults remember bits of their shared past. I'm up to the apocalyptic rock fight now.

Editat: juny 20, 2010, 12:28pm

I'm coming into the home stretch now. Both battles with It are coming one after the other, individual scenes, alternating between 1985 and 1958. I like the sections from It's perspective as well.

juny 20, 2010, 5:23pm

Am done. Was strangely moved when they started to forget each other again. After all they'd been through to have it just go up in a puff of synapse seems unfitting somehow.

juny 20, 2010, 8:06pm

I'm trying to spread the book over the two months, Bookmarque :)

Is this your first read of the book?

I always find the ending desperately sad. So much loss - friends, childhood memories and youth. The idea that the children made the best friends of their lives only for the purpose of defeating It is awful. If that Turtle thing was a force for good then it seemed a selfish sort of good. It felt to me that the Losers and their friendship were dispensible, which is a real tragedy. I was particularly struck by them having no children, which gave them no ties or responsibilities getting in the way when they were needed again. Their lives, successful or not, were held in limbo until an age where they could no longer be called young.

I've gotten to the second Derry part. I only seem to find the clown incarnation of It scary, although I'm aware It is just tuning into individual fears. I find Mike Hanlon's diary particularly creepy, the development of his thoughts and fears, the build up to his decision to call everyone, and the history of It and Derry.

juny 20, 2010, 9:22pm

No, it's either my 3rd or 4th read since it came out. Yeah, the dissolution of memory and friendships is sad, but I had to step outside the selfish world of the average human for a sec and think of it as a much larger cycle or saga if you will. That they 'sacrificed' these things for the greater good. That individual lives don't really mean that much except up close (for the most part).

Editat: juny 27, 2010, 5:49pm

I've finally started It! (A few days ago. I'm in Mexico and internet is sorta spotty.) I forgot just how good the book is.

I've read up through the first Derry Interlude. Spotting all the offhand flashbacks, I'm really impressed. I wonder what a bear this book must have been to edit when he was done, or if maybe he had written out all of the 1958 sections first and then wrote the 1985 sections.

Did you catch the name checks of Gaitlin and Hemingford Home?

At first I thought it was a little corny that all of the adults hewed so closely to their traits as children (Ben Hanscom built a dam, so of course he became an architect; Michael was a bookish kid, so he's a librarian). Real life rarely works out that way.

But then MoominMama's post #24 made me think differently about it. I suppose the Turtle (or whatever guiding force it is) in many ways kept them from growing up. They are like older, more successful versions of the kids that managed to take on It. Perhaps there would have been a danger in letting them change too much in the twenty seven years.

juny 29, 2010, 2:59pm

I've also started It! After a few werewolf themed novels lately I need a little change in my reading habits. It seems like It could be a fun way to break the pattern. I'm just a few chapters in and I love it so far!... :)

juny 30, 2010, 1:31am

Welcome aboard!

I've convinced my better half to start reading It as well by picking up a second copy at Half Price Books. I have the original, 1986 paperback edition with the newspaper boat on the cover (it is older than one of my brothers-in-law!) while hers has Tim Curry as Pennywise.

While I always will prefer the original cover art for It, that Pennywise face sure is creepy!

juny 30, 2010, 4:29am

>27 Locke::
First read of It? I'm jealous :)

>28 jseger9000::
I couldn't have Pennywise's face hanging around. I'd have to put the book face-down after my night-time reads! Does anyone remember the cover to Salem's Lot with all the grinning vampires, or the really bloody Carrie cover? Both really freaked me out as a teen. I couldn't have Salem's Lot on my shelf because there was a vampire on the spine too. Such a wuss....

juny 30, 2010, 7:25am

It's been a couple weeks since I finished It and for the first few days I actually missed Mike and the crew. They were like a gang I was hanging with and then suddenly stopped. Very few books have made me feel like that.

juny 30, 2010, 9:24am

#29 - I was unfamiliar with both. I had to go to the LT cover section to check them out. That vampire one was pretty creepy.

#30 - I guess it was obvious, but It reminds me *a lot* of The Body. I had as much fun reading about Richie, Ben and Bev at the movies as I did reading about Bill and Eddie on Neibolt Street.

juny 30, 2010, 10:15am

yeah, a few of the characters were mash-ups.

Richie = Teddy
Bill = Chris/Gordie combo

jul. 1, 2010, 6:43pm

No good can come of this.

jul. 2, 2010, 9:23am

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

jul. 2, 2010, 9:30am

> I thought I was the only person that keeps that bookstore in business. jsepger9000 where are located? I am here in Kansas City. I have just found half.com (I know I am behind) and I have to say I love that place also if I can wait long enough to get the books I ordered in the mail. But I always like hitting the garage sales to stock pile for the winter.

jul. 2, 2010, 11:51pm

#36 - Oh! Half.com is awesome! Their combined shipping always gets me to order more than I was planning.

I live in Houston (actually in a weird preplanned community called The Woodlands that is both a beautiful place and Stepford with rednecks) and there are a number of Half Price Books around. I always say I'm going just to get a couple of things and wind up with about ten times more than I planned.

#33 - I'm not sure of the wisdom of an It movie, but I would think it should at least get a two and a half/three hour running time. Since a page of script equals about a minute of screen time and that article mentioned a 120 page limit, I guess that won't happen.

jul. 3, 2010, 10:52am

Yeah, I'm also not a fan of cutting out large chunks of the book in service of a two hour movie. If the choice is between a crappy two hour It movie, or no new It movie, I'll choose the latter.

Editat: jul. 4, 2010, 6:35am

I'm sort of in the middle of Part 2, just before »The Dam in the Barrens«. I'm really enjoying this book! Last night I read the scene that takes place in the park at night time, the scene with Eddie Corcoran. It was quite scary and actually made me check that the bedroom windows were firmly closed before I went to sleep (even though it was hot as h... and I really needed the night breeze to cool things down a little)... :)

jul. 4, 2010, 8:34am

The death of Eddie Corcoran is horrible. King might not be thought of as a particularly sick writer but his best book is about a sadistic child killer, and you never forget how awful that is, especially the way the murders contrast with the Losers' memories of building dams and the like.

jul. 8, 2010, 11:23pm

Just giving the thread a little kick. I've just about hit page 700. The Losers are now complete. Building their clubhouse and looking through Mike's album.

I've remembered that scene forever. Then when Bill and Richie were looking through Georgie's album I thought maybe I had remembered it wrong.

jul. 9, 2010, 1:43am

I'm right behind you (p. 630) and the weekend is coming up. I hope for bad weather!... :)

Mike is telling the now reunited losers about his findings during the present cycle of It's return to Derry (if it ever really left in the first place)! Liked Bill's cab ride through the developed and modern Derry on his way to the Jade of the Orient. Got a little nostalgic there...

I really think reading Stephen King is like peeling onions. There is always another layer. Some is hard, some come off easily. At this point I guess we are about to learn more about the main characters and why they have become who they are today!...

Editat: jul. 9, 2010, 6:36pm

Page 750. Eddie just had his run-in with Henry's gang.

I'm definitely getting more out of the book now than when I first read it 20+ years ago. My memories from the original read were all the scary It parts.

However, this time around, I'm more interested in the kids, how they turned out as adults and their day-to-day activities in the fifties. The creepy moments are sort of the icing.

The structure of the book is very impressive too. King knows you are waiting to hear about certain parts. When the characters foreshadow something (like Bev thinking about what happened to Patrick Hockstetter) only to then say something like 'But I don't remember that part yet', it's like King is winking at me. Saying 'You'll get to that part when I'm ready to tell you about it!'

Also, I like all the allusions and references to Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Sorry. This post is sorta all over because I waited so long to contribute.

jul. 9, 2010, 6:37pm

Locke, I'd challange you to a race, but I have a feeling you will stomp me this weekend.

jul. 9, 2010, 6:38pm

It's funny, the bits that stayed with me most from my initial readings were all the kid scenarios, especially the bullying. I didn't get a lot of it, but enough to resonate.

Editat: jul. 10, 2010, 11:24am

#44: Locke, I'd challange you to a race, but I have a feeling you will stomp me this weekend.

Challenge accepted!... :)

After a huge brunch and a brisk walk in Frederiksberg Park I'm now back in my apartment about to engage in the Apocalyptic Rockfight (p. 793). Plan to read through Part 4 - July 1958 - today. Can't really wait to get back to present time (that is 1985) to find out what is going to happen with the now reunited adult losers and the three uninvited guests...

jul. 10, 2010, 1:44pm

Can't really wait to get back to present time (that is 1985) to find out what is going to happen with the now reunited adult losers and the three uninvited guests...

It's amazing. I have (almost) three hundred pages left, yet I'm wondering how King is going to wrap up all the threads in such a 'short' page count!

jul. 11, 2010, 10:42am

I'm way behind!... :)

The sun and heat has ruined every attempt of getting some serious reading done this weekend! I haven't even got to Part 5 (The ritual of Chüd) yet but am only about to learn more about the life and death of Patrick Hockstetter...

I like this book - and the various concepts it deals with - so much that I have decided to do a little thematic reading after this one. I found Boy's Life and Summer of Night lying about. Both have been on my TBR-list for a while now and both will be the first novels I'll read by Robert McCammon and Dan Simmons.

jul. 11, 2010, 12:10pm

You've crept ahead of me! Eddie just squared off against his mom and confronted her about his asthma medicine.

jul. 11, 2010, 12:22pm

I liked that scene, but not the overall treatment of asthma in the novel. As a kid I was truly sidelined by asthma a lot of the time. As I got older it got worse and hospitalizations went up. Respiratory arrest. Intubation. No more real Christmas trees allowed. It sucks. Not everyone who has it is a hypochondriac or a nutcase.

jul. 11, 2010, 1:11pm

#49: It must have something to do with the different editions of the book we're reading. I'm at page 1053, in the middle of Chapter Eighteen: The Bullseye! Is your book set with a very tiny font?...

#50: I really liked that scene as well. I kept thinking Eddie's mother maybe suffered from some kind of münchausen-by-proxy syndrome...

Sorry about your asthma!

jul. 11, 2010, 1:24pm

thanks. It's almost non-symptomatic now thanks to good meds, but up until about 6 years ago I was hospitalized frequently and it sucked. I just really resented King's portrayal of asthma in this novel; as if it were something just made up. Like it was with the kid in the Goonies - when he just threw away his inhaler I wanted to scream. If I'd done that I'd be dead.

And yeah, Eddie's mom definitely had Munchhausen by proxy.

jul. 12, 2010, 12:10am

#51 - Is your book set with a very tiny font?

Yeah, I have the original mass market paperback from 1986. It's downstairs right now, but I wanna say it runs a total of... 1,070 pages?

#50 - To be fair, King wasn't making a blanket statement about asthma. I never read the book and thought he was saying all asthmatics are psychosomatic. Just Eddie is. to me he went out of his way to show that Eddie never had it. That his mom bullied his weak willed doctor into diagnosing it.

Now The Goonies... yeah, that was pretty bad. No defense there. That's a classic kids movie full of terrible images for kids. God bless the eighties.

Editat: jul. 12, 2010, 1:53am

#53: That explains it! Mine is the UK Hodder Paperback edition from 2007. It runs a total of 1,376 pages.

I've just started Chapter Nineteen: In the Watches of the Night. The young Bev has come home to find that her father worries about her - a lot! This can be really nasty I think...

#52: Yeah, I know that asthma can be a serious condition. However, I also don't think Eddie was having the disease himself or any other diseases for that matter. The only thing he suffered from was a mother that wanted to keep him in a cage with germ bars!

Hmm, I remember from my own childhood that I - like Eddie - was very afraid of rusty nails because you could get tetanus if you cut yourself (I wonder where that anxiety came from)...

jul. 12, 2010, 7:02am

It just seemed all of a piece with everyone telling me I'd grow out of it as if it were some phase I could control if I wanted to, right? I love The Goonies except for that bit. Funny stuff and holds up well despite the Cindy Lauper soundtrack.

jul. 12, 2010, 11:38am

#55 - Despite? Despite? I loves me some Cyndi Lauper!

As for being annoyed by King's treatment of asthma, I get annoyed by King's gay characters/references to gays. I mean, did he have to be a mincing guy in eyeshadow? But then I tell myself that a) these books tend to be twenty years old and b) it is what he needed for his story.

#54 - I've finished Eddie's days in the hospital and am about to find out what Bev has to say about Patrick Hockstetter (I remember a little bit of this section).

I had a birthday party and we went to a comedy club, so I knew I wouldn't get enough reading done this weekend.

Editat: jul. 12, 2010, 2:11pm

#56: I had a birthday party and we went to a comedy club, so I knew I wouldn't get enough reading done this weekend.

If it happened to be your own birthday party, then Happy Birthday to you!... :)

Right know I'm reading the most fantastic chapter yet; Chapter Nineteen. In this chapter we are bouncing back and forth between present time (1985) and 1958. Every section is told from a different persons point of view, it's pure action and one section flows seamlessly into the next one. Very impressive...

One thing I've noticed when reading this huge novel is that Stephen King is using a lot of references to other of his works, including some that was not written at the time (I guess). Also, I think I noticed a tribute to The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (well, I haven't read that particular book myself, but I have read Dance Macabre and therefore know about that famous first paragraph).

jul. 12, 2010, 3:34pm

It was a three year old's birthday. We bought him the noisiest toys we could find!

I'm on page 797 and Patrick Hockstetter just opened his fridge. I have to say that I was happy to see that little bastard get his.

What are some of the self references you've noticed? I've only caught Gaitlin (Children of the Corn), Hemingford Home (The Stand) and Haven (The Tommyknockers). I know there's some Dark Tower stuff (the dead lights) and of course Derry shows up again in Insomnia and Dreamcatcher.

There's references to Three Billy Goats Gruff aplenty and I like all the offhand references to old TV shows and songs that were popular at the time.

Editat: jul. 12, 2010, 6:06pm

#58: It was a three year old's birthday. We bought him the noisiest toys we could find!

I do this too when my friends and family throws birthday parties for their children. And christmas, that's a ball. Plastic Robots with vocoder like voices, a set of huge laser guns and maybe a drum kit... yeah!...

What are some of the self references you've noticed?

I knew I should have marked them down when I first began to notice! They are really not so easy to find again when you are skimming back through the last 1000+ pages you've read. Besides some of your findings I'm pretty sure I also found one or two references to Desperation... Tak!... and Christine. Also, I was wondering if Henry's knife (the way he got it) was a reference to Needful Things, but I'm not really sure about that one...

As for references to other writers works, I think Henry at Juniper Hill is some kind of reference to that Renfield character in Dracula. And of course The Haunting of Hill House I mentioned before...

However, I don't really get the refs to the TV-shows and songs. I'm too young for the music, I guess. And the TV-shows have probably not aired in europe in recent times...

I'm on page 797 and Patrick Hockstetter just opened his fridge. I have to say that I was happy to see that little bastard get his.

I didn't care too much for him either!...

I'm at page 1,220 going »Under the City«. Looks like I'm about to finish the book tomorrow or the day after. But first a good nights sleep and a hard days work...

jul. 12, 2010, 8:37pm

Oh! I missed any references to Desperation and I love that book (regardless of what folks here think of it)!

I don't remember Needful Things enough to catch references.

I hadn't noticed Henry at Juniper Hill, but now that you mention it, yeah, the older Henry is Renfield-like.

I need to read The Haunting of Hill House. A classic that would also enrich my reading of other horro. Yet I've passed it by so far.

jul. 13, 2010, 9:05am

#60 You haven't read Haunting of Hill House ? I'm shocked!

jul. 13, 2010, 9:14am

jseger9000 dont feel to bad I just got around to reading The Haunting of Hill House earlier this year and of course LOVE IT.

jul. 13, 2010, 9:21am

I've read it, but prefer We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I also like Hell House by Matheson even though it's a bit overwrought and zany.

jul. 13, 2010, 9:57am

Loads of information about the references in It on the Wikipedia page - worth a look.

jul. 13, 2010, 12:47pm

#64: Loads of information about the references in It on the Wikipedia page - worth a look.

Definitely worth a look! Best to wait until after you've read the novel, though. Just to prevent any last minute spoilers!... :)

jul. 13, 2010, 10:49pm

#64 - Thanks for the info. I'll wait to go to the wikipedia page until I've finished the book.

I did get to the quote from The Haunting of Hill House. I'm not sure why I haven't read that yet. The only Shirley Jackson I've read has been The Lottery, but it was a brilliant story.

I've just gotten to Bev preparing to tell her story about returning home to find that her dad is waiting for her.

Can I say that the showdown on Neibolt street was AWESOME?

Editat: jul. 14, 2010, 11:41am

Okay. Read up through Bev being chased down to the Barrens. She's given Pa the slip, but who is that creeping up behind her?

What I'm really posting about is that I think the inference that It had possessed her dad was a mistake. I think her dad's... obsession with her was creepy enough and having It be involved beyond perhaps telling him where she was.

The whole book was hinting at some sort of incestous desire on his part and having it finally come to a head, but with Pennywise injected made it feel sort of like a cop out.

Anyone else have a different opinion?

jul. 14, 2010, 11:41am

I think that like Patrick H and the other tormentors, each of the controlling influences for the kids are IT influenced. Eddie's whacko mom, Bill's brother being killed, Bev's dad - they're all part of the sickness of the town that IT causes. Mike, Stan and Ben weren't touched so directly, but they got their share. That's the way I look at it. Maybe in another town, Bev's dad wouldn't have been so evil, who knows.

Editat: jul. 14, 2010, 4:42pm

After 1,376 pages... I... Am... Done!

I'm really not sure what to say just yet because this story has soooo many layers and story lines within story lines, only that the melancholy tone in final chapters very much reminded me of the feeling I had when I read Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Also, I must admit that the last quarter or so of the novel was quite weird and psychedelic and thus very hard to get (but man, did I love the parts where we learnt what It was experiencing). I might have missed half the meaning when it came to It, The Turtle and The Other, but that only leaves something for the next time I pick up It. This could very well be the summer vacation book of choice (as Something Wicked This Way Comes is the all-time book for october)!

I think this "Childhood Horrors" is a theme I like to pursue in the near future. Now I just have to make up my mind whether Boy's Life or Summer of Night should be my next read!...

Thank you Stephen King and y'all on King's Dear Constant Readers. This june/july group read has been a great experience!... :)

UPDATE: wrote a little review here.

jul. 14, 2010, 3:34pm

Locke I know I am in the same boat has you are I just finished my book and now what to read next. I have Black House, Salem's Lot, then The Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Man dont you just hate when that happens.

Editat: jul. 14, 2010, 4:07pm

#70: I'd take 'Salem's Lot if you ask me! This novel has some of Stephen King's finest writings in it! Oh, just came to think of it; I haven't really read Black House or anything from Joe Hill (yet) so maybe you shouldn't really put too much weight on my recommendation...

As for my own 'paradox of choice' I think I'll go with Summer of Night as I kinda' have promised someone to give some feedback on how I find this one!...

jul. 15, 2010, 7:43am

Locke and Jseger, I only skimmed the Wikipedia page, didn't want to ruin anything :)

I don't remember it being mentioned in the book, but the huge amount of references, even for a King book, really added to the big, outside horror theme. Does IT's influence spread outside of Derry at times, or are there other ITs out there? Why would IT set Henry Bowers off in Christine, for example?

I had no problem with IT working through the adults. Bev's dad had problems anyway, but IT knew just how and when to utilise these. He did the same with the kids, tapping into their individual fears. IT had a long relationship with the town of Derry, feeding their fears as well as feeding off them.

jul. 15, 2010, 7:54am

I just started and I have to say It is creeping me out more than any other SK I've read so far.

Editat: jul. 15, 2010, 9:11am

For some reason I associate IT with The Library Policeman, one of the stories in Four Past Midnight. I haven't read the latter in ages, but I seem to recall the same idea of an ancient evil, living in cycles of active and dormant, tied to a community or maybe just humans in general for its sustenance. When I first read IT when it came out it reminded me of Phantoms by Dean R. Koontz. That novel features a shape-changing entity that is also also old as dirt and feeds on humans while in the guise of someone they trust. It's not nearly as good as IT, but touches on some of the same ideas; an ancient evil that will be with us always.

jul. 15, 2010, 4:50pm

#72 - I just got to the part where Henry got a ride in a '58 Fury! That was so neat.

I do agree that all the references add to It. They make the book seem more... comprehensive, if that is the right word. All the refernces work in It because they are handled with such a light touch. If you'd never read Christine and didn't get the ref to a Fury, no biggie. If you got it, it just added a layer to the story.

When I read Insomnia (another big Derry novel that I didn't like so much) it felt like if you missed the references, you also missed the story.

#73 - Welcome aboard. You are in for a treat. It is one of Stephen King's best.

#74 - I keep thinking of The Library Policeman as well, though I barely remember the story. All the visits to the Derry Public Library are giving me flashbacks.

jul. 15, 2010, 4:58pm

I think I might crack it after the semi-wretched Early Reviewers book I have to get through.

jul. 16, 2010, 11:58am

I'm up to 'The Circle Closes'. I'm curious about what part Tom and Audra are going to play. I've read the book before, but just don't remember.

I wish I were able to sit in a nice sunny room (or a not too well lit room during a storm) and read the last hundred+ pages of it in a single sitting. The writing of the book and structure of these last chapters certainly calls for it.

Why oh why must I work for a living?

jul. 16, 2010, 1:27pm

So we can buy more books.....

jul. 17, 2010, 8:47am

I'm aiming to finish the last 200 pages this weekend, as I've got nothing better to do (make that loads of things I can put off for a weekend).

What's great about having read it a good few times before is that I'm remembering the book as the Losers are remembering events, almost like I'm joining in :)

The constant references to kids being killed in their midst (the boy sliding out of the storm drain not far from the hide-out - horrible) reminds me of something that happened when I was about 8. A girl, not much younger than me, went missing. She lived VERY near us. All of our parents told us to be careful and stick together when we were playing. A babysitter of ours took us out to the local park and because she didn't want to come across as creepy herself, she got us to look in bushes and overgrowth as we went along, to see if we could spot a body. She told us kids that disappear always turn up dead, and it's the first time we'd considered this, although being a teenager we weren't sure whether to believe her or not, but what with the adults telling us to be careful, I thought maybe there was something to it.

Anyway, the missing girl was discovered in her own home, in bin bags, and her step-father was arrested (or that's what I was told). It never made the national news either, which freaked me out as I'd assumed the murder of children was so unusual that it was always newsworthy.

I don't know if the outcome was exaggerated by local gossip, but the feeling over that week or so reminds me of It, and the way kids deal with things like that. The way the Losers talk about the deaths, but carry on playing uninhibited by fear, is very realistic.

Editat: jul. 18, 2010, 10:11pm

I just read The Library Policeman over the weekend and the ties to It are there, but they aren't as parallel as I thought. Yes, the creature in TLP is old, but it isn't as stationary as It. This creature moves from place to place, taking over the body of an unsuspecting victim. In between there are periods of 'hibernation'. I don't think this creature is as evil or as calculating as It, but this one definitely is cunning and does plan to a certain extent. There are children made vulnerable in this one, but it is the adults who fight it. There's more of a thread of triumph over personal demons in this one, too. I was also reminded of Ghost Story by King's buddy Straub. Not only in the sense that it was a woman in the lead role of shape-shifter, but that she seemed to want to 'belong' to her community at first. Too bad she didn't have a M last name.

jul. 19, 2010, 6:56am

I'm about halfway through and dang, King sure does keep things intense, doesn't he?

jul. 19, 2010, 9:40am

I finished It yesterday ('We Are the Champions swells in the background). I'm going to miss reading about The Losers.

I was never too sure about the... uh... way the kids found their way out of the sewers. But I noticed that as Bev was thinking about how Greta and the girls at school talk, they always refer to it as 'It'. Gave me some thinking to do. I don't want to say too much since Morphidae is still in the middle.

By the way, I was trying to remember, the presence in Dreamcatcher... didn't he call himself Bob Gray?

jul. 19, 2010, 9:49am

I don't mind spoilers. I read the overall plot at Wiki already. :)

jul. 19, 2010, 10:20am

Hey Locke, very nice review. I had put off on checking the work page until after I had pieced together at least a rough draft of my own review (I posted it, but think I'll have to tinker with it some).

jul. 19, 2010, 10:24am

I thought the villains in Dreamcatcher were aliens more newly arrived, but I could be mistaken having only read it once.

Yeah, the little orgy (I hesitate to use gang bang, but it sort of fits better as it seems Bev did this willingly albeit as a last resort) at the end is strange and I don't know how well it fits. I mean, is that the only reason for the token girl in the Losers' Club? If it had been all boys, how would they have gotten away then? It seems a shade misogynistic, which is weird for King whose respect and love for women often shows in his work. So he made her the marksman of the group, so what? I'm not sure it levels anything with an ending like that.

Still, overall I do like the story and what he accomplished with it.

jul. 19, 2010, 12:07pm

#84: Thank you very much! I like your review as well; I'm looking forward to see the final version... :)

Actually, I find it very hard to do reviews as we have no formal training in school on the subject (no tradition for book reports and such) and then there's also the language barrier thing when I have to write in english. However, this one was a little easier to do because I have jotted my thoughts down while I was reading (as a matter of fact I did a "copy & paste" of all my comments in this thread to a blank document and then performed a complete rewrite to bring the various sections together as a whole).

Editat: jul. 19, 2010, 1:33pm

#85 - In the end (of Dreamcatcher), didn't the character who had been possessed realize that whatever possessed him was just a force in his head and that ultimately he was stronger than that force? I don't remember all the details.

At any rate, I know that the alien called himself Mr. Gray and then I thought he called himself Bob Gray, though my memory is hazy.

I do remember that he gets to Derry and the sign by the old standpipe has some grafitti saying 'Pennywise Lives!', though that could have just been King having a goof on his readers.

I for one am looking forward to that book coming up for a read. I know it's not a favorite of many readers, but I remember liking it a lot.

If it had been all boys, how would they have gotten away then? It seems a shade misogynistic

I got that feeling too. I was thinking how many references there were to childhood sexuality in the book and how Bev keeps thinking that when Greta and the other girls talk about sex they think it is so nasty and will only refer to it as 'It'. I figured he was making a point in there.

I don't think he was being mysogynistic, but the way it was written could feel that way.

Also, I never really felt like Mike got enough screen time.

#86 - Yeah, I often go through my posts in these threads to help me gel my thoughts into a review.

jul. 20, 2010, 6:00pm

>87 jseger9000: Yeah, I made the Mr. Gray/Bob Gray connection too, although I forget a lot of the details of Dreamcatcher...I'll look forward to reading that one and refreshing my memory.

This is my second time reading It, I'm somewhere in the 700-page range and enjoying it very much. I'm reading the massive hardcover version, so it's not easy to lug around--it's been strictly at-home reading! Hopefully I can finish it up by the end of the month so I can dive right into The Eyes of the Dragon, which was always a favorite.

jul. 20, 2010, 7:09pm

Regarding the 'bonding-session' - it was made clear that something extreme was needed, and I can't think of anything else personal and taboo-breaking that kids of that age would think of. I thought of the act as Bev, with her awareness of her early stage of puberty, using that awareness to call IT's bluff (or whatever power was at work). Girls at that age are a little bit more advanced, what with the changes to their bodies coming earlier than for boys (in general anyway).

It doesn't seem right until you try to think of an alternative act that could have taken its place. They'd spent all summer fighting together, hugging each other, crying together, and were clearly willing to risk dying for each other (or for Bill at least). What else was left? More hugging? Holding hands?

jul. 20, 2010, 7:16pm

I noticed that for such a gigantic book, as I neared the end I wasn't wanting to hurry up and finish it.

I actually kind of miss the book now that I'm finished and in some way envy you for being in the 700's. Still plenty to go.

jul. 22, 2010, 5:48pm

>90 jseger9000: Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying every minute of it. I do want to hurry up though and see how it all plays out in the end, because with that part I can only remember the TV movie version, with that fake-looking spider thing and Bill's bike ride, which struck me as being very cheesy. I'm sure the book does it better!

Plus, there's so much foreshadowing throughout, the adults will start to think of a traumatic event and then say, "nope, it's not there yet." It really makes you want to keep reading! I'm now getting ready to start the death of Patrick Hockstetter chapter.

jul. 26, 2010, 10:44am

I'm only about 300 or so pages in and I'm loving it! It is so much better than when I read it 20+ years ago. As an adult the parents' fears and anxieties are easier to understand. I didn't remember It being such a nerve wracking, look over your shoulder book but King is freaking me out!

jul. 26, 2010, 11:01am

>91 LibraryLover23: Even though I think they did a really good job with the movie nothing can compare with the book at the end. But yes Stephen King does a really good job at freaking you out with It and Needful Things.

oct. 15, 2011, 8:59pm

I just purchased an old, paperback copy of IT. The one with the claw coming out of the sewer. I kid you not that when I went running tonight, I kept glancing at sewers. Now, I do live in Florida, so there could be alligators there, but that's not too likely.

I'm in the process of reading all the SK books in chronological order, but I am most afraid to reread this one. It was seriously traumatic for me, I was terrified for months (maybe years) when I first read it--I was 12 at the time, so it was a very impressionable age for this book! I'm starting to wonder if I don't have some kind of PTSD or something from the experience....I've been creeped out just having the copy of it back in my house with that freaking cover.

I had to hide it in the back of my bookshelf where I couldn't see it because it was covered by other books when I was a kid. No joke.

oct. 25, 2011, 11:16pm

#94 - I just purchased an old, paperback copy of IT. The one with the claw coming out of the sewer.

Same copy I have. Of course, I bought mine when it was a newly available paperback. I think that original cover is one of the most iconic of any of King's covers.

feb. 29, 2012, 12:51pm

I just finished my second time through of It (first time was 20 years ago!) I agree with most of the comments here about how wonderfully layered the novel is, the creepy factor, and how King makes you feel like the Losers Club is your group of buddies. I also caught many of the references to other King works and was a little surprised that nobody mentioned my personal favorite, the appearance of Dick Halloran, the cook from the equally creepy Overlook Hotel! The Shining

All in all, one of my favorite overall King novels!

des. 23, 2017, 1:36pm

I originally read It over 20 years ago. I'm going to start rereading It in January!

des. 23, 2017, 6:57pm

Hi PaperbackPirate - -- I started reading IT a few day ago, after finishing Firestarter...

des. 24, 2017, 12:21pm

Hi mainrun! I'm thinking of taking a before and after pic of my arms for reading It. I'm pretty sure I'll be ripped by the time I'm done!

des. 25, 2017, 8:42pm

I am slow reader, so will be working on this 1,000+ page book for a while. Right off the bat read a cool Dark Tower reference! First time through, so am going to be avoiding spoilers.