I bought this monster of a book quite a while ago and finally decided to get my act together and read it on my two week holiday. I have read some of Stephen King’s books before and really enjoyed his writing style, especially Carrie. I would cautiously label his style ‘intellectual horror’. It did not disappoint. Clown disquiet aside, the idea that It could take on the shape of any of the children’s fears was fascinating. I loved the line drawn between adult and child – the idea that believing in the impossible as a child is considered a strength in the book, and what ultimately leads to the gang’s defeat of It was thought provoking. I’m paraphrasing but the scene where Bill doesn’t try the skateboard because his adult brain happily informs him of all the horrible things that might happen if he tries really resonated with me; as a child we are so much more fearless when it comes to the mundane – and yet so much more fearful when it comes to ‘monsters under the bed’ – that we’ll try things our adult selves would be to fearful of trying.
I loved the way King jumped between the past and the present, linking chapters with a run on sentence that led you straight into each time period and I’ve always enjoyed his prose.
Now for the less enjoyable aspect. As a feminist (I can hear the groans from here), the book lacked a certain amount of representation for me. We had Beverley Marsh who was an amazing character, the best shot of the gang and a kickass female, but ultimately King still put her in the role of the ‘lover/mother’ both in the past and present time periods. Although it didn’t ruin the enjoyment of the book for me, it did put a damper on my reading.