On Reading IT for the First Time

I’m finally reading Stephen King’s IT. Yes, aged 39, I have finally decided to dip my toe in Pennywise the Clown’s rancid world.

Although, it should be said that I no longer have one foot poised precariously over the swamp that is the town of Derry. I am now fully submerged, head and all.

Stephen King’s novels were not part of my childhood. I’m quite sad about that, especially when I hear people I love talking excitedly about his stories and how they built a foundation for their love of horror during their formative years.

I was more of a Jackie Collins’ kind of girl, getting all my sex ed from Hollywood Wives. As I developed a love affair with books, my tastes became much darker and I read a lot of Dean Koontz, Shaun Hutson (Slugs, anyone?) – Stephen King style writers, basically. But not actual Stephen King. Where’s the sense in that?

I watched a lot of his films though (including 80’s IT) and maybe there’s a clue there. Maybe watching was easier for me, so I didn’t feel the need to pick up the paperbacks. I’ve corrected that in adulthood but I’ve still only read a handful. It was running joke in our house for years that Glynn would always ask me, “Have you read Pet Cemetary/Thinner/Dark Tower?” and I’d be all, “You know I’ve only read Needful Things.” Now I’ve added Rose Madder, The Shining, Doctor Sleep and almost IT to the list.

(So far I think IT is the most powerful, though I loved The Shining too. Oooweee!)

Back to this story though. IT is the tale of a maniacal clown sure, one who can manifest himself into anything horrifying that frightens a person (there’s even a shark in the novel, who swims serenely up the river past a terrified secondary character). It’s about a rotten to the core town where things turn evil and twisted, every 25 years or so.

But at its heart it is also about friendship, grief, letting your freak flag fly, overcoming fear and bullies – about getting out of an awful situation and then going back because you made a pact when you were twelve.

It’s about hope for a better day, one without evil. Man, sound familiar?

Movie-Cast-2017
I wanna be in their gang
This is not a review. I haven’t finished the book yet, and I dread the day I do. I’m 800 pages in and there are nearly 1400. It’s a wild, detailed terror ride, for real. Like, who knew your own imagination could be churned into such a frenzy by a few words?

I’m beside myself for the new film adaptation and Pennywise but more importantly, I can’t wait to meet the kids. I’m getting major Stranger Things vibes from the trailers, not least because of Finn Wolfcastle’s involvement. And that can only be a very good thing.

I can’t wait to hang out with Ben, Stanley, Mike, Big Bill, Richie, Beverley and Eddie again, and I haven’t even left them yet.

So, please excuse me while I go back to my book and my new friends. Damn I wish I’d known them when I was a kid.

Remember the curfew 🤡🤡🤡

7 thoughts on “On Reading IT for the First Time

  1. Well, this certainly makes me want to read some more King. It’s years since I have read much horror. I’m cruising through Victoria Hislop’s The Sunrise presently, because it’s set in Famagusta, where my husband’s mum.was born before her family fled to England to escape the war. It’s all about the events surrounding the conflict between the Cypriot people and mainland Greece and Turkey, a much more nuanced situation than I had realised. I love learning a bit of history as I read. I’m reading a Jo Nesbo novel too, one is my upstairs book, one my downstairs book, which tells you something about how lazy I am… Anyway, The Robin, has brilliant, but harrowing descriptions of life in the trenches and in the military hospitals of WW2 intertwined with a fairly modern police procedural/ mystery with Harry Hole, a flawed policeman with alcoholic issues but a sharp investigative mind.

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    1. Oh that sounds amazing, Jos, to have a personal connection to the material must make it feel even more magical. I love that you keep a book on every floor! I don’t know how you can read two at once though, I don’t have the brain capacity to switch! I’m a bit crime/murder fan and a sucker for a flawed protagonist with a sharp investigative mind! Thanks for sharing, I love knowing what people are reading. I think I’m going to be immersed in this book for a long time yet! xoxo

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  2. Yeah, I’m a book floozy, often do more than one at a time. However, really good books deserve exclusivity and I recently gave that to all of the JK Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith novels. If you like crime and haven’t tried them, do it soon because they’re making the tv version now and I have a feeling they’ll ruin the books. Cracking plotting and characters, excellent central relationship between a detective and his temp. Also I’d love to have someone to moan with when the tv adaptation doesn’t live up to our imaginations 😁

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    1. Oh yeah I love the Robert Galbraith books, I really enjoyed the central relationship, I was thinking of Cormoran Strike when I wrote my last comment! I didn’t know they were adapting it though, should be interesting. But I hear you, somehow they rarely live up to expectation xoxo

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  3. Yay!! So glad you’ve read them too! My book reading friend here hasn’t tried them, she thinks they’re men’s books. My Dad, who I thought would like them was put off by the level of violence in the second book, the publishing world one (which he had on audiobook and tried before the first one). I adored them and felt bereft when I finished the last one. One of the blokes from the tv Three Musketeers is playing Cormoran Strike in the adaptation, he doesn’t look right to me but I’d like to be wrong. Happy IT-ing xx

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  4. I think I have to accept that I will never read IT…I just don’t think I have the willpower to read it when there’s a movie.
    Great for you, though! I’ve never read a book that long, but I would probably find ways to work it into casual conversation if I did.

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    1. I think I’d be inclined to agree with everything you say there, except Glynn won’t let me get away with it, and I’m glad about it. IT has been an amazing reading experience so far and I have all the feels. Like, I want to be in the book, in The Loser’s Club, up against a killer clown, risking life in the name of dead children everywhere. It’s magical. Scary AF but also magical!

      Can’t wait for the film and to re-watch Tim Curry’s version too xoxo

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