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It (1986)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,844409182 (4.07)1 / 630
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.… (more)
  1. 180
    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 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. 50
    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. 30
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (Mannivu)
  7. 31
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  8. 31
    Stinger by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  9. 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)
  10. 21
    Straight on 'Til Morning by Christopher Golden (mniday)
  11. 10
    The Glister by John Burnside (Jthierer)
  12. 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.
  13. 32
    Floating Dragon by Peter Straub (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both are about a small town infected by an evil influence.
  14. 33
    Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2810michael)
  15. 12
    The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott (ShelfMonkey)
1980s (25)
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» See also 630 mentions

English (385)  Italian (5)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (406)
Showing 1-5 of 385 (next | show all)
I can’t remember what inspired me, but one day I just thought “I should re-read It“. It’s a defining book of both an author and a genre. Two two-part movies have been made about it. It’s an intrinsic part of the cultural zeitgeist. It was Halloween time. A good reader re-reads the classics every once in a while.

It’s been about twenty years since my first reading, back when I was just starting as a writer (lowercase w). This time I was able to read it with a more critical eye. The eye of an author, knowing what I know about good writing and about Stephen King’s writing. Looking at each sentence, seeing what it’s doing here.

King writes everything with a microscopic level of detail. Especially during this era when he was coked out of his gourd. I’m not sure if that’s what people were looking for in 1986, but that was when you only had three channels to watch or you could read. I do know that people don’t write like that anymore (I don’t think). They do write big books, but they don’t usually overwrite. It became King’s signature to write doorstoppers.

At a certain point, I was looking at the copyright to see if I’d accidentally picked up the special edition. It just wouldn’t end. And the fact is, there really isn’t much of a story to It. They’re mostly long vignettes about the kids getting scared or fighting their bullies or growing up in the fifties. That’s about 75% of the book. The other 25% is the adults’ storyline where they’re getting ready to return to It’s lair. That’s the actual plot. The other parts, the kids parts, just sort of meander or sit in the book statically, not particularly connected to a goal or event.

So the question is, like the Lord of the Rings, is the medium of cinema a better place for this story? Well, yes and no. You lose the detail and you lose the structure in the movie. In the book, the adult storyline is sprinkled throughout, not segregated between kid years and adult years, and I think that’s an important facet. On the other hand, movies are much better at scaring you. ( )
  theWallflower | Feb 5, 2024 |
This iconic King novel started out very strong for me, but it started to lull a bit, with extraneous details in the Derry Interludes. I was still, however, enjoying the novel. The ending dropped my rating a bit, however, as I was perplexed and disturbed at the ending. The sewer sex scene was gross, and the rationale for it fell flat to me. I am meant to believe that the Losers Club was not tight knit after spending 1000 pages with them, thereby necessitating such an act - I simply do not buy it, and it made for an extremely bizarre narrative choice. They all go separate ways again, forgetting, which I believe is meant to showcase the tragic way we can forget and leave behind close bonds in childhood - but the magic way it's done falls a bit for me and makes me not as fond of the ending of an otherwise solid King novel. ( )
  AmericanAlexandria | Jan 30, 2024 |
a monstrosity of a book ... both literally and figuratively ( )
  donhazelwood | Jan 15, 2024 |
I started this book with real enjoyment, but around 2/3 of the way through, I started having the same reactions that many others have said in other reviews.
- King is better at short stories, novellas, and short novels.
- This book could have been 200-300 pages shorter. Too many extraneous stories.
- King is a good writer with strong characters that grab your attention.
- Sort of spoiler. There was a disturbing scene near the end that didn't make sense to why it was added (in regards to 11 year old kids and sex). I am still a little perplexed at why.
- I ended up enjoying the book, but due to issues above (and too much cussing while listening to the audiobook), it just didn't earn anything above a 4 star rating.

Will I go back and read Stephen King again. Yes, but I think I will stick to the shorter stuff. ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Jan 14, 2024 |
As an avid Stephen King enthusiast, I typically immerse myself in "It" every Halloween. However, my annual ritual took an unexpected turn this year as I found myself unable to rate it the usual 5 stars, downgrading to a 3-star review. This marks my 17th reading of the book, and while I can't deny a certain level of enjoyment, the absence of that profound love leaves me disheartened.

The opening line, "The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years--if it ever did end--began, so far as I can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain," once held magical significance for me. This time, however, my initial enthusiasm waned. In a previous review, I defended the book's vulgar, vile, and horrific elements, asserting that they were integral to the narrative. Surprisingly, as a devoted fan, this is the first year the language didn't sit well with me. Despite my enduring affection for Stephen King and the story, perhaps a break is in order; skipping a year may reignite my passion.

Let's focus on the aspects I still cherish. Set in the summer of 1958, seven friends in Derry, Maine, confront a malevolent force preying on children. It manifests as their worst nightmares, often taking the form of a clown. The friends, having escaped It in their youth, reunite 28 years later when ominous events resurface in Derry. A seemingly straightforward incident involving a boy named Adrian Mellon takes a sinister turn with the appearance of a clown and a cloud of balloons.

"It" weaves two narratives simultaneously. One unfolds their childhood, featuring encounters with Pennywise the Clown, struggles with local bullies, and the profound impact of It on their lives. The other chronicles their adult return to Derry, fulfilling a blood-sealed vow made in their youth. Despite their individual success, facing the resurfaced horror proves daunting. Nevertheless, a promise is a promise.

While "It" demands patience initially, it becomes a gripping read once the narrative takes hold. Despite my personal struggle this year, I recommend it to horror enthusiasts. Click the link below and give it a try. I anticipate rediscovering my connection with it in the future. ( )
  b00kdarling87 | Jan 7, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 385 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adlerberth, RolandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dobner, TullioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giusti, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horsten, TheoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reinhardt, Alexandra vonÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, PäiviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wells, Erin S.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"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
Dedication
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

S.K.
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.
Quotations
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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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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.
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