Review: IT (Audio)

IT

IT
By Stephen King
Read by: Steven Weber
(Penguin Audio, 44 hours, May 2010)

The Short of It:

Entertainment at its best! Gripping with moments of terror but at its heart, a story about friendship and the battle of good over evil.

The Rest of It:

I first read IT years ago. And by “years ago” I mean…maybe 24 years. That’s a lot of years! I remember loving it to pieces. I’d stay up all night to read it and let me tell you, it was a full immersion experience. Once you opened the book, you couldn’t help but fall right into the story.

Recently, I decided to re-read it as part of the IT Along which was a read-along hosted by really cool (and fun) people. I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I had participating. The Twitter conversations (#ITAlong) were a hoot. The clown noses and the pictures that followed were too much. Seriously, clown noses?? I laughed and then I got really creeped out.

The point of all of this?? To distract the hell out of you. Why? Because the book can be terrifying. Well, the images that King paints are terrifying on their own but Steven Weber, the guy from the TV show Wings, reads for the audio version and even though I had read the book and experienced its horror once before, Weber took it to a whole new level. It was like IT on crack.

The story takes place in the fictional town of Derry, Maine during the late 1950’s. A shape-shifter comes to life and consumes the small children of Derry. One by one the children disappear. Lured by the promise of balloons and sweets, Pennywise grabs them, does terrible things to them and then drags the remains down under the streets of Derry, via the gutters, drains, or whatever else he can find. His constant chant of “They all float down here!” is a reminder that for this town, hope hangs by a very thin thread.

One day, little Georgie Denbrough takes his paper boat out for a run but when it’s swept into a storm drain, Pennywise the clown pulls him down into the sewer and murders him. George’s older brother Bill, is never the same but when he and his group of rag-tag friends figure out what is really going on, they take matters into their own hands.

Many of you have said that you will not step foot near this book because you are totally freaked out by clowns or don’t want to drink the horror Kool-Aid that King is serving up but at the end of the day, the guy can tell a story and it would be a shame if you overlooked this book because of that.

Due to the age of the characters, and the fact that they band together, I was often reminded of the movie Stand By Me, which was based on a novella King had written called The Body some years priorThe innocence of children and the sweetness of their friendship is what makes this novel special to me.

If you decide to give it a go, the audio was brilliantly done but it’s long (44 hours long) and it is hard to work other books into the mix while listening to it. I don’t recall that being a problem with the print version. Maybe because in print, you could easily put it down and come back to it. On audio though, I FEARED losing my place on my iPod as it happened to me twice and I could not for the life of me figure out where I was in the story when it happened.

Anyway, give it a go. You won’t be sorry.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post does not contain Indiebound affiliate links because they don’t have it listed! I guess it’s too old.

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33 thoughts on “Review: IT (Audio)”

    1. There was a period where I didn’t like anything King had written. It was during his recovery from his accident (when he got hit by a van). He was in excruciating pain while writing those books and I felt that he lost his knack there for a while. BUT…then he started writing in his old school style so I started to read him again. IT is from way back. I love his earlier books the most.

  1. I bought this one in print to join the readalong, and then got derailed. I think I am going to see if audible still has it on sale, and grab it if I can. It sounds like an amazing audio experience. I am glad it was scary. I can’t imagine King not doing a good job with a menacing clown! Nice review today, by the way!

  2. Ti, you are making me want to put aside The Twelve and pick this one up ASAP! I’m really considering kindling it and trying to read it for RIP VII. Hmmm. It just sounds so good! Can’t believe I never read it before. I’ve read some King books, but never this one. I think after I saw the movie I got spooked by Tim Curry’s Pennywise. I know, I’m a wimp 😉 Anyhow, you make this one sound unputdownable and I’m in the mood for one of those.

    1. I can’t believe you haven’t read it either! Finish The Twelve first though. I think I’d lose my momentum if I put The Twelve down and tried to pick it up again.

  3. I read this as long ago as you did I think. And I too was completely immersed and really sorry when it ended. Natalie said the audio was phenomenal, but I have a hard time squeezing in 44 hours! I’m definitely in on The Shining next year.

    1. My commute is about an hour long each way so I got through it, but there I did feel as if it went on for a really long time. All good, but with American Psycho on the other side of my reading I felt as if I wanted to speed it up a bit.

  4. Serena made me read this book even though clowns totally creep me out. I’m glad I did, though I still can’t forget that library scene. That scene and the shoot out in the middle of town were the scariest. Until I read this book, I mistakenly assumed King’s writing was light reading. Boy, was I wrong. I knew these characters better than myself by the time I finished the book; he’s a great storyteller.

    1. King is really good with characters and working in multiple story lines. He is a phenomenal writer but it’s so hard to convince folks to read him sometimes because of the whole horror thing. He plays on internal fears so it’s like taking a good look at yourself when you read one of his novels. A lot of people can’t handle it.

  5. Tried to read it a while back and then tried again for the Italong…couldn’t do it. I think you’re absolutely right about King hitting a nerve. I was a classic King reader as well, and none of it ever bothered me, but It freaked. me. out. It’s still on my Nook though so everytime I turn the blasted thing on, I get to see Pennywise’s spooky self staring back at me on the book cover :/ I’m in on The Shining as well though…it’ll be my 2nd read so I hope we can find a good audio 🙂

  6. Can I just tell you that this has been one of my favorite Stephen King books for a long time, even though I read it at the inappropriate age of a pre-teen. You have me convinced that I have to find this Weber audio version and listen to it. IT on Crack sounds perfect for me.

    1. I couldn’t believe how good the reading was! I had to look the guy up and when I realized it was the guy from Wings, I still couldn’t believe it.

  7. IT on crack. Yup, totally agree. I really did NOT want to use my audible credit to get IT but I’m so glad I did–Weber did such an amazing job bringing this one to life.

    I was also reminded of Stand By Me a bit and one of the kids reminded me a bit of Richie (or maybe I’m confusing The Goonies). Was fun reading this one with you!

    1. Yes, the one kid from Stand by Me, with the burned ear reminds me of Richie. Corey something. I loved reading this with you too! I always knew you in the blogiverse but I never KNEW you. Now, I feel as if we are blood sisters or something.

  8. Aww, glad you had fun with our craziness!

    And I am so tempted to listen to this, just to experience Steven Weber and see just why you all are raving over the audio!

  9. I remember reading this huge tome years and years ago. King has the most vivid imagination around. And is one of the most adventurous and talented writers as well. Loved it.

  10. I feel hopeful that you still liked it even after all these years. I also read it long ago, about the same time as you, probably 22 to 23 years ago, and I was also immersed in it like you. It scared me to death but also immensely enjoyed it. Don’t know if I’d like to reread because I tried reading him again not too long ago and find that I do not enjoy him as much anymore, except for a couple of his books that I think are pretty fantastic still and I keep rereading still (The Eyes of the Dragon and The Gunslinger). But, like I said, you made me hopeful!

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