Somehow I never read this one as a kid. I think I recall my brother reading it and being super scared by it. Which is strange, because it IS terrifying, but I don’t think kids would be particularly vulnerable to it, as opposed to like It or The Stand. And then as an adult, I avoided it because I figured it would be outdated or cheesy (blaming the outdated and cheesy movie for that), but since they are thinking about remaking the movie, I figured why not. Oh! And this version was read by Michael C Hall, which sure, Dexter and all that, but given how much of this novel deals with mortuary terms, Six Feet Under.
Stephen King tells us in the intro that this novel scared the shit out of him, and I get it. It’s about the death of a kid (and kids) and that’s truly more scary than anything else. And because he based the house here off of a house his family actually lived in and the boy who dies off of Joe Hill, I get it. And it’s bad.
But this book, while very scary, is also just very good. It’s a fully fleshed out story in a small town, about a young doctor struggling with a marriage, a father-figure neighbor, and the nature of death and dying.
In addition, in a way the movie cannot possibly capture, and to assuage your fears…this is NOT a story about a haunted Indian burial ground. It’s about cosmically and preternaturally evil place that the ancient Indian tribe knew about, revered, and warned against being used for petty human conveniences. And it’s about the touchedness of things that do come back. In the same way as here, IT is not about a clown, but about a place (why it should be four movies or a tv show).