Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Power of IT

As of this morning, I finished my reread of Stephen King's epic magnum opus, near 1,200 page horror classic, IT. Took me over 2 months to complete, but mainly because I was reading it in the afternoons and evenings (I read ebooks only in the mornings, don't ask, it's my weird reading habit) and savored every word, sentence, chapter of this sprawling wonderfully dark yet hauntingly magical tome.
I'd initially wanted to reread IT because of the forthcoming remake due out next year as two films, part one featuring the main characters as kids (but set in the 80's instead of the late 50's  in the book and tv mini-series), and part two taking place in current day with them as grownups.
We all float down here...

And it would be extremely remiss of me not to mention the memorable and altogether chilling (and darkly humorous) performance by Tim Curry as Pennywise. He nailed it. While the miniseries missed some things from the book, and some things they simply couldn't do given the constraints of network tv in those days, it still did a decent job. Even the supporting cast was pretty good, in my opinion. I'm very excited for the big-screen two-film adaptation, and from the officially released cast and set photos a few months ago, this has the potential to be amazing!

The New Pennywise  

Some of my favorite  horror  stories  have  been  coming-of-age tales, and  IT is the ultimate. But it isn't just the sheer, sinister horror of the thing that feeds off fear and cloaks itself in the form of the evil clown, among  other  things. It is the powerful way King unfolds the story, weaving the narrative between the late 50's and mid-80's, introducing us to each member of the Loser's Club and hearing their story, and the horror that stalks them and finally, the horror they have to confront. What resonates so clearly is that King makes you, the Constant Reader, care about each of them so clearly that you feel that you know them. In a way, we were them as kids.

Ironically, as I was reading IT for what I thought was my third trip to Derry, Maine (but maybe only my second read, time has a way of blurring some memories), it would be nearly 30 years since I last cracked open this massive horror novel...which was the time span for Big Bill, Ben aka Haystack, Beverly, Richie aka Trashmouth, Stan, Eddie, and Mike in between their childhood battle with It and their return to Derry as adults to stop It once and for all.

If you enjoy these types of horror novels, I'd also highly recommend two other favorites...GHOUL by Brian Keene and CHILDREN OF THE DARK by Jonathan Janz. Both are extremely worthy of your time and money.

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