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