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It by Stephen King

It (1986)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
13,234231166 (4.08)456
  1. 151
    Summer of Night by Dan Simmons (amyblue, msouliere)
  2. 101
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (Locke)
    Locke: Both novels deal with themes of childhood horrors and coming of age. Both have a subtle melancholy tone!
  3. 70
    11/22/63 by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: A section of 11/22/63 is set in Derry and features characters from It.
  4. 60
    The Guardians by Andrew Pyper (lippylibrarian)
    lippylibrarian: Both books feature a group of childhood friends returning to face the horrors of their small hometown after the suicide of a close friend.
  5. 61
    Phantoms by Dean Koontz (caimanjosh)
    caimanjosh: Koontz's take on the shape-shifting monster is more scientific, less epic/supernatural, but entertaining too.
  6. 20
    NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Malevolent entities that prey upon children are the driving force of these creepy, suspenseful horror stories. In both novels, only adults lucky enough to escape the villain's clutches in childhood are later able to battle the evil when it returns.… (more)
  7. 31
    Stinger by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  8. 31
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  9. 21
    Straight on 'Til Morning by Christopher Golden (mniday)
  10. 21
    Floating Dragon by Peter Straub (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both are about a small town infected by an evil influence.
  11. 10
    Vigilantes #1: Het teken by Gaudin (comtso)
    comtso: Des amis d'enfance, devenus adultes, se retrouvent pour affronter un ennemi de leur passé. Pour réussir, ils doivent retrouver ce en quoi ils croyaient enfants.
  12. 10
    The Glister by John Burnside (Jthierer)
  13. 33
    Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2810michael)
  14. 12
    The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott (ShelfMonkey)

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» See also 456 mentions

English (215)  Dutch (4)  Italian (4)  German (2)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Norwegian (1)  All (230)
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
I guess this book can be seen as a companion piece to The Body - published in [b:Different Seasons|11569|Different Seasons|Stephen King|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1247012607s/11569.jpg|2248680] and filmed as 'Stand by Me'. Both are about a childhood summer, and a group of friends going through an experience that both bonds them together and, as it marks the point when they begin to leave childhood behind, forever separates them. The two stories share the same themes: the loss of childhood and the gaining of something else, the strength of friendship and promises, how children live in an entirely different world to adults, full of horror and wonder - and, of course, the setting of a small New England town and the dark secrets that lie beneath its surface.

There is a great deal of discussion about whether King is a 'great' author, but I do think that this is a great book. The horror here isn't just to give us the thrill of fear - although it certainly does that - but serves a purpose. IT, the evil that lives under the town of Derry, Maine, is pure evil. It feeds on children and kills wantonly. It encourages violence and even enters people's minds to make them its puppets - but with Stephen King, as with all great horror, these are never simply the evil acts of the devil made me do it, we see how evil is bred by weakness and intolerance, by selfishness and fear rather than being imposed by an external force, but that there are always powers that are ready both encourage and use the small evils in people's hearts.

And while King does not give us an ending of entirely unspoiled happiness, it is perhaps all the sweeter and more hopeful because it is not wholly without darkness. ( )
1 vote Pezski | Jun 8, 2017 |
So, yeah, I’m 30 years late to the party with this book. But the trailer for the new movie came out, everyone in the world watched it, and I thought “damn, I really should read the book.”

So, I haven’t read a lot of Stephen King - I’ve enjoyed his short stories, but couldn’t get into his novels, though I guess I was just picking the wrong ones, because IT grabbed me from the very beginning and didn’t let go. Even though the book is over a thousand pages, it doesn’t feel like it at all. The pacing is so tight with suspense and nightmare imagery and the mysterious nature of “It” that you just want to keep going, propelled along faster and faster (like an old bicycle picking up speed…) Also, I love the structure of this novel - the two intertwining timelines running throughout, constantly flipping back and forth between 1958 and 1985. The large cast of characters and constant swapping of perspectives - in other novels this probably would have irritated me, but here I was so engrossed, I really did want to see the story from all these different viewpoints, and I came to love each of the seven members of the “Losers Club” very much.

Bill Denborough, afflicted with a terrible stutter, who’s kid brother, Georgie, is killed by the monster in the opening pages of the novel, and despite the stutter becomes the iron-willed, confident leader of the group, the one the others always turn to and admire. Overweight Ben Hanscom, who can build anything and is sweetly smitten with his love for Beverly Marsh. Beverly, a terrific aim with a slingshot, but poor and friendless with an abusive home life. “Trashmouth” Richie Tozier with his constant stream of different Voices. Eddie Kaspbrak, aspirator clutched in one hand, kept fragile by his overbearing mother. Stan Uris, able to hold his bird watcher’s book like a talisman. Mike Hanlon, the group historian (and later, librarian.) In 1958 the kids are brought together, in part, because they are all outcasts and targets of Henry Bowers, the local bully, and his gang of juvenile thugs. The bullies are genuinely disturbing and terrifying in their own right and its interesting to see how easily “It” crawls inside their minds and turns them to it’s own ends.

As the seven members of the “Losers Club” come together they realize just how dangerous Henry is becoming, and that something even worse is preying on the children of Derry, Maine. They’ve each had profoundly scary, but seemingly impossible, encounters and although whatever is killing kids in Derry has looked different to each of them, one of its preferred shapes seems to be a clown, Pennywise, a being that they even see in old photographs of Derry from a hundred years earlier. As the story unfolds, you learn that this malevolent entity has existed for a long, long time, under Derry, that it goes through cycles of activity and hibernation, but every quarter of a century or so it slaughters and eats a ton of people (mostly children) and things always culminate in a staggering explosion of violence with a high body count.

In 1985, each of the kids has grown up and moved away from Derry (except for Mike, who has remained as the town librarian) and they are successful in their careers, have forgotten their childhood to an eerie, unnatural degree. When they each get a phone call from Mike, telling them they have to return to keep an old promise, they are hit with terror without really knowing why. As they head towards Derry, they begin to remember the events of that long-ago summer when they were only kids of eleven or so . . . and it’s a terrifying, immersive experience.

I feel like I should have started my King-reading with this book, since this one actually makes me want to go out and get more of his stuff. I did have a couple problems with the book, mostly related to the ending (Like many people I found the Pennywise the Clown form much more scary/intriguing then the space spider at the end, although I enjoyed the novel’s climax quite a lot regardless, but why did they all have to lose their memories again?? Also, was the little-kids-having-sex thing really necessary in the 1958 storyline? I mean, come on, you could have cut that scene out and it would have made no difference, so why have it in? Ugh.) but I really did love a good chunk of this 1,000+ page tome and it has made me enthusiastic about reading more Stephen King. ( )
1 vote catfantastic | May 7, 2017 |
"They all float..."
— Pennywise

IT is without a doubt one of the most extraordinarily horrifying novels that I've ever read. Sheer terror. It—uh, IT—only served to make me even more leery of clowns than I had already been.

I owned IT when the novel was published in its first edition cover (Bob Giusti, illustrator), and I can remember the cover art creeping me out before I'd even gotten started on reading the book.

Great, great plot, and fast-paced for a novel over one thousand pages long. Also, the fictional town of Derry (Maine) is the perfect setting for a novel of this like—meaning eerie.

In a brief nutshell, the plot centers around seven children who find themselves terrorized by an otherworldly being appearing in the form of a clown, which harnesses the phobias of its victims (always young children) in order to impersonate itself while stalking its potential quarry.

Told in alternate narratives over two time periods (always seven years), IT is one of the most frightening novels to ever be published, and one of King's most unnerving masterpieces. ( )
1 vote CatEllington | May 5, 2017 |
Challenging on many levels and loaded with memorable monster moments, "It" is a complex tale of horror, trauma, and the power of friendship...even if King has a difficult time capturing believable child voices. ( )
  Birdo82 | Mar 21, 2017 |
I have been listening to this book for a month. I have to say, now that I'm finished, I really miss Bill, Ben, Bev, Richie, Eddie, Mike & Stan. This book is creepy and touching. It is a beautiful story that will scare the pants off you. It examines the differences between the way children see and process things and the way adults do. It shows the incredible power of belief and love.

I enjoyed this book, as I do every time I read it. It affected me differently at various stages of my life. I felt the biggest impact the first time I read it - which I suppose is always true with books like this.

This is my first time listening to a Stephen King book and Steven Weber did a great job. I was immersed in their world every time I listened. Now that it's over, my walks, car rides & house cleaning seem empty. I will need to find another audiobook soon. :) ( )
1 vote Jadedog13 | Mar 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dobner, TullioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giusti, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, PäiviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Related movies
It (1990IMDb)
It (2017IMDb)
Awards and honors
"This old town been home long as I remember, This town gonna be here long after I'm gone. East side west side take a close look 'round her, You been down but you're still in my bones." -- The Michael Stanley Band
"Old friend, what are you looking for? After those many years abroad you come With images you tended Under foreign skies Far away from your own land." -- George Seferis
"Out of the blue and into the black." -- Neil Young
This book is gratefully dedicated to my children.
My mother and my wife taught me how to be a man. My children taught me how to be free.

Naomi Rachel King, at fourteen;

Joseph Hillstrom King, at twelve;

Owen Philip King, at seven.

Kids, fiction is the truth inside the lie, and the truth of this fiction is simple enough: the magic exists

First words
The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years - if it ever did end - began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made out of a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.
Be true, be brave, stand. All the rest is darkness.
We all float down here.
If there are certain preconditions for the use of magic, then those preconditions will inevitably arrange themselves.
“A child blind from birth doesn't even know he's blind until someone tells him. Even then
he has only the most academic idea of what blindness is; only the formerly sighted have a
real grip on the thing”
“We lie
best when we lie to ourselves.”
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Seven children band together to fight a creature that has been feeding off the fears of the people in the small town of Derry for generations.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451169514, Mass Market Paperback)

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name. What was it? Read It and find out...if you dare!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:29 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

It began--and ended--in 1958 when seven desperate children searched in the drains beneath Derry for an evil creature, but in 1985, Mike Hanlon, once one of those children, makes six phone calls and disinters an unremembered promise that sets off the ultimate terror.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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