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It by Stephen King

It (original 1986; edition 2005)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,242296214 (4.08)1 / 536
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Debolsillo (2005), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

It by Stephen King (1986)

  1. 151
    Summer of Night by Dan Simmons (amyblue, msouliere)
  2. 111
    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: A Novel by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: A section of 11/22/63 is set in Derry and features characters from It.
  4. 61
    Phantoms by Dean Koontz (caimanjosh)
    caimanjosh: Koontz's take on the shape-shifting monster is more scientific, less epic/supernatural, but entertaining too.
  5. 51
    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.
  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
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  8. 32
    Stinger by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  9. 22
    Floating Dragon by Peter Straub (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both are about a small town infected by an evil influence.
  10. 22
    Straight on 'Til Morning by Christopher Golden (mniday)
  11. 11
    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. 11
    The Glister by John Burnside (Jthierer)
  13. 34
    Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2810michael)
  14. 13
    The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott (ShelfMonkey)
1980s (37)

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English (278)  Italian (5)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (295)
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
When reading this in my teens and early twenties, I remember being nervous walking past sewer pump houses and grates, speeding my pace as I did so. I recall a sensation verging on panic when I would close my eyes to rinse my hair in the shower. At least once I made the choice to wait for a housemate to get home rather than taking an after-dark shower in an empty apartment. It was the most terrifying thing I had read. It being terrifying enough to leave me unnerved for months after I'd finish it.

Yet I kept picking it up again.

At 41, the human monsters within these pages are far scarier than It is. What remains true, however, is the depth and humanity of his characters. I know these kids. Mike, Stan, Eddie, Bev, Ben, Bill and Richie have had a place in my heart for over a quarter of a century now, and there will always be space for them there. In this book above all others, he surpasses himself in the reality of the people who dwell within its pages. This is what kept me coming back when reading it meant experiencing months of low-grade fear. This is what will keep me rereading its 1100 odd pages in the future - the sensation of revisiting old friends. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Mar 23, 2019 |
Original Thought 12/19/11: Rating still in flux...still trying to process that "bonding moment" Bev and the boys shared.

After reading the scene in '11/22/63' where the main character spends a brief time in Derry, Maine I had the strong urge to read 'It'. I'd seen the movie/mini-series with Tim Curry and John-Boy Walton many times, but I'd never felt the urge to pick it up until now. Stephen King is infectious, in part because of how he's linked his books together, but also because he is a genuinely engrossing storyteller. His easy and natural style is what makes (most) of his mammoth titles successful. 'It' adds more complexity to the formula (which is the wrong word, because it makes what King does sound easy) and says a lot about that hazy period that makes children into adults, and the inevitable changes we undergo and the betrayals we commit to get there.

The narrative switches easily between the present of the 1980s and the 1950s childhood of seven outcasts who band together one summer to face an evil being that preys on fear. Between sections of the book the peculiar back history of Derry is revealed through the working notes of one of the grown-up children giving added depth to the character of the town and the poisonous influence of Pennywise.

Derry comes off as the best setting-as-character King has produced since The Overlook in 'The Shining', the pace is kept up and, thanks to the collective amnesia that shrouds Derry and its residents, the double-climax of the book is preserved until the end. It is everything you want from a King novel.

The only issue I had was the controversial scene hinted at on top between the seven children while they were lost in the tunnels beneath Derry. Huge, huge ick factor. Thematically I can understand it as these kids have been forced to "grow up" early and have already faced a dramatic loss of innocence in other ways....I just can't believe there wasn't another option. It's been a couple weeks since I read this so my initial reaction has settled a bit, so 'It' can go back up an arbitrary star, but of all the unsettling and creepy scenes of the book I think I know which one will come back whenever I see this book on a shelf somewhere. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
There are some good things in It. They outweigh the bad. While it isn't a very good book, I'll grant that it is worth reading (until someone eventually does it better - Summer of Night by Dan Simmons took a stab but failed to do significantly better).

The things about it that are good will hopefully be distilled into the upcoming movie release. I'd read this as a kid (12ish), and just reread in my early 40's. I thought it would be particularly cool, b/c that's the age King was when he wrote it - and he also had kids around the ages of my own. Instead it reinforced my memory of it having been overlong and ultimately poorly put together.

The very last thing he does in the book is point out that it took him over 4 years to write. It shows, in that the themes, protagonists, antagonists, and plot are all seriously inconsistent when you get right down to it. Huge chunks just flushed down the toilet at times. One of the main characters dies and not a single character remembers that the guy was married.

Your antagonist is a malevolent creature that can appear as whatever a particular child fears, but has a habit of appearing as a clown. Except when It doesn't - like when It uses intermediaries. Or when it's an extradimensional light being. Or a big spider. The mechanics are messy. The time jumping becomes a substitute for creativity and does less to compare/contrast aging and maturity, and more to serve as a way to double the length of the book while asking you to eat the same meals twice with a little bit of changes to their seasoning.

King was especially weird about women and sex at this time in his writing career. He's very rarely depicted sex, sexuality, or non-heterosexual non-male characters particularly well (he's done this better in the last decade or two) - - but when he stooped to having his preteen cast of 7 all take turns having sex with the only girl in their circle of friends, in order to help them find their way out of the sewer... you have one of the biggest facepalms of a very long and wordy writing career.

The stereotyping cliches are played for laughs... then the laughs start to sound forced and awkward. They're supposed to show you that humanity is the real monster (when aging isn't the real monster)... but it happens in a cartoonish and heavy-handed way that feels embarrassing to me today.

There are hundreds of pages that add nothing to the story. Nothing. Anyone who can read word for word when he's knocking down the town (for no discernible reason) in a fireworks display intended (it seems) to distract from the disappointing non-ending (doubled-down with a shmultzy little ditty involving Bill's non-character of a wife whose involvement is never not awkward).

He does most of this story better later on in the book Insomnia (underrated to It's overrated). Go there for the story of aging, memory, friendship, invisible worlds, and personal quasi-supernatural empowerment against a dark quasi-supernatural influence.

Then, at the end of the day, you have the 1/3rd of the book that was genuinely fun to be in - and even spooky at times. Why he abandoned Robert Gray, (initially established as an alien that crash landed in prehistoric times) for the likes of malevolent lights from beyond space and time (complete with Doctor Strange scenes of astral stretching), is the hard question I think readers are left with. Maybe after the first 3 years he thought he had to try something different. It's a shame. All the tropes (dirty clown, silver eyes, orange pom-poms, balloons, child endangerment) are *completely* thrown out the window for the last 20% or so of the book. That this doesn't leave more people asking "WTF?" either illustrates that they didn't really read the book, or that after they've invested in 700 pages or so, the next couple hundred aren't going to be scrutinized - they're going to be plowed through for the relief of escaping out the other side.

As negative as a lot of this has got to sound - I'm way more critical of things I like, and I've always liked Stephen King. His heavy borrowing (from better stories) and usual failure to close the deal are just things you have to accept if you're going to bathe in his frequently wonderful characterization and atmosphere building. Every once in a while, especially in his longer works (I feel this way in spades about The Stand, but I've only read the unabridged version - also in Wizard and Glass), that atmosphere stops working too. ( )
2 vote Ron18 | Feb 17, 2019 |
What a crazy ride. It took me way too many months to read this book. I picked it up in October with all the best intentions to read it during that month (the perfect month for horror), and here we are in January (almost February) and I finally finished It. This one was a good one. Classic Stephen King writing, and I think my favorite parts were the connects he slipped in to other books (11/22/63 made a lot of connections to It that I was finally able to recognize now that I've read It). While it wasn't as horrifying as you'd expect for a 'horror novel,' it was still full of all sorts of eerie situations and creatures. And if I'm honest, I can't step into my pitch black garage without having a basement moment. I thoroughly enjoyed it. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Feb 8, 2019 |
This review may contain spoilers, but I'll mostly refrain for referring to the story directly. You'll find spoiler tags when I won't.

I finally finished this book and I can't remember another book that I've struggled with as much as I have struggled with this book. Nor can I recall a book I was more happy to be done with than this one.

Is it a horrible book? Not exactly. It is well written and at certain times certainly creepy. However I've never had to work this hard to finish a book. I had to force myself to read on and have thought of giving up all together at multiple points.

The story is about 7 kids who are fighting a inexplicable power. A power that enjoys killing children - well.. slaugthering them is more like it. Stephen King goes in to great details and this is book is therefore not for the faint-hearted. The book is also about these 7 kids as adults as they are once again faced with this terrible power. These two storylines intertwine - which results in many, (too) many time jumps. But on top of that you also keep jumping van character to character which can make it difficult to follow at times.

I enjoyed the parts where things were actually happening and these parts of the book were certainly interesting. I never found it to be really scary, but I did become a little creepy at times. However, after these moments absolutely nothing happens for over 400 pages and it gets very dull and hard to read. The book could miss at least half of the pages and the story would remain exactly the same. I understand that this excess of pages was mainly to give a backstory to the story and it's characters However relaying the contents of ones medicine cabinet for 15 pages seems very excessive to me. This was the reason I kept putting it down and wasn't all that excited to pick it back up again.

As mentioned before, the writing itself isn't horrible. Though for me it didn't always had to be quite so... crude or explicit. The story itself wasn't bad, although really far too long. I was waiting for the story to get better. But is just never did. I only got worse and worse and than the ending is rushed in a small portion of the pages. I've heard about the horrible scene where the little kids have sex with Beverly before and was just as appaled as they were when I read it. It didn't add anything to the story at all.
I though the way they killed It was just... too simple for such a powerful and great creature. Also, after everything they've been through together, they just forget all about it and each other? I find that hard to believe and swallow.

I did like the kids and you really do get to know them all very well. There is a lot of character development in this book.

I think for me, the problem with this book is that it's just not my kind of book. I realize many people adore this book and I really wanted to like it. Somehow I just couldn't, no matter how hard I tried. Maybe I'll try another one of his books in the future, but for the meantime I think I've had my share of King for a while.

So all in all, not a horrible book and I did enjoy parts of it, but not a book I think I'll read again or would recommmend to someone else, unless I really though they would like it. So I give it 2 out of 5 stars, since it was just that: 'Okay'. ( )
  CielCat | Feb 6, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dobner, TullioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giusti, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reinhardt, Alexandra vonÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, PäiviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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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.)
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

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