ILA – Period 6
February 9th, 2017
Letter Essay #5 – IT
You know your own limits…↓ (There’s no blood, by the way)
I have recently finished reading the long, mysterious, 1500 page novel IT, by the famous, the one and only, Stephen King. He is well known for his exciting, petrifying and complex storylines that go along with a crazy outcome. IT was published on September 15, 1986. My reason for reading this was mainly for opening up my complexity of books, and reading some true literature written by outstanding, well, what they really are is artists, such as Stephen King.
(As stated before…), out of all of Stephen King’s books, IT is his longest novel. It was his 22nd book and his 18th novel under his own name. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1987, and received nominations for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards that same year. Publishers Weekly listed IT as the best-selling book in the United States in 1986. It is widely known today for being produced as a horror movie that came out on September 8, 2017 which also got a high rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, a very excellent review company.
IT is a thrilling adventure, obviously being in the horror genre. It creates hair-raising, bone-chilling suspense, as well as scenes that will make you turn on the lights in your room (If not already turned on). The craft writing of Stephen King leads us down two similar, yet very distinct plot lines. Both star the members of the “Loser’s Club,” including the following: Bill “Stuttering Bill” Denbrough, Ben “Haystack” Hanscom, Beverly Marsh, Richie “Trashmouth” Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Stanley Uris, and Mike Hanlon. The difference between two is their ages. As kids at only the ages of 11 and 12, being scared of a clown was (somewhat) normal. But these kids, seeing the same clown, near the same places, during a killing spree in their town of Derry, Maine? Something was going on here, and they knew it. Linking it all together and figuring out how to stop It was only the first part. Executing the plan was the second. But, wait. Was stopping It enough? After recalling memories show up from a faded past, these friends are brought back together 27 years later (Except Stan, who It got to before they did), as they return to their past, right back into Derry. But now only to finish what they started…
I liked how the author included mini elements from points in between, before or even after their childhood and adulthood, such as in the beginning of the book, when it talks about the incident between, how two men accidentally killed two other men by pushing them off a cliff while they were fighting them. Off in the distance, under a nearby bridge, they saw a “man dressed in a clown suit holding a balloon” (It). When they went to look for their bodies soon after, they saw nothing but the arm of one of them, and a trail of blood leading into the sewers. “If you need help, Don,” the clown said, “Help yourself to a balloon.” And it offered the bunch it held in one hand. “They float,” the clown said. “Down here we all float; pretty soon your friend will float, too” (Page 44).
I wished the author, as many perspectives as their already were, had given more of a point of view on It. I feel like there was a lot more to It then we even knew, and towards the end we find out a bit more of what It truly is (It’s true form), but I feel It could have been an even stronger character if even only a couple page chapter was added describing the “creation of the universe.”
I noticed how the author, at the ending of the book, brought together the whole meaning of the story into the finishing act to the whole plot, which I thought was friendship is one of the strongest powers. Richie knew that as strong as Bill was, he couldn’t take It alone again. He stood up for his friend, faced his fears, and took on It alongside his lifelong pal, and never looked back. Whether it saved them all or not is up to you to find out for yourself. But it was a truly great wrap-up to this novel.
Finally, my favorite passage was, and will remain one of the first of the book. Right in the beginning, it sets this tragic, eerie, horrifying, complex mood right at the start that almost lets you know “Buckle up your seatbelt, because this is going to be one roller coaster of a ride.” The images you get and the vibes you get are most unimaginable, but because of the dialogue, because of the description; it is all too real:
“‘And a balloon? I’ve got red and green and yellow and blue….’”
‘Do they float?’
‘Float?’ The clown’s grin widened. ‘Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there’s cotton candy….’
The clown seized his arm.
And George saw the clown’s face change.
What he saw then was terrible enough to make his worst imaginings of the thing in the cellar look like sweet dreams; what he saw destroyed his sanity in one clawing stroke.
‘They float,’ the thing in the drain crooned in a clotted, chuckling voice. It held George’s arm in its thick and wormy grip, it pulled George toward that terrible darkness where the water rushed and roared and bellowed as it bore its cargo of storm debris toward the sea. George craned his neck away from that final blackness and began to scream into the rain, to scream mindlessly into the white autumn sky which curved above Derry on that day in the fall of 1957. His screams were shrill piercing, and all up and down Witcham Street people came to their windows or bolted out onto their porches.
‘They float,” it growled, “they float, Georgie, and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too-”
George’s shoulder socked against the cement of the curb and Dave Gardner, who had stayed home from his job at The Shoeboat that day because of the flood, saw only a small boy in a yellow rain slicker, a small boy who was screaming and writhing in the gutter with muddy water surfing over his face and making his screams sound bubbly.
‘Everything down here floats,” that chuckling, rotten voice whispered, and suddenly there was a ripping noise and a flaring sheet of agony, and George Denbrough knew no more….(p. 21-22).”
Overall, It was terrific, and I just can’t wait to pick up another Stephen King book. This is 100% going into my personal “Book Hall of Fame.” Therefore, I rate this novel a 10/10 for its outstanding hook, and crazy accounts in the World known as Derry, Maine.