As you may know, I read Stephen King’s It during the month of September. This was my main focus for the month, though I did read some of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (I just haven’t finished it yet). Because of this, I don’t have a huge monthly wrap-up, so after the jump I’ve included my short discussion on It. If you haven’t read It, you may want to avoid the discussion as there may be spoilers.
- Deep Dark Fears by Fran Krause
- Rating: ★★★★★
- Poe by J. Barton Mitchell & Dean Kotz
- Rating: ★★★★☆
- It by Stephen King
- Rating: ★★★★★
I also posted an unboxing for Horror Block’s September Stephen King-themed box.
If you’re interested in reading my short discussion on It, read more.
Though I should have known, since It is a huge book, that this book and storyline would be much more than I anticipated, it was still even more than what I ever could have expected. I don’t have much to say for an actual review without going into spoilers. I absolutely loved the whole novel, and there are just some points I wanted to bring up that aren’t necessarily a review. If you also participated in @redstarreviews‘s read-along of It on Instagram or have previously read the book, please feel free to comment below on anything I’ve mentioned here (or haven’t mentioned!).
Even a week after finishing the book, I can’t stop thinking about it.
One huge theme that I’ve noticed (also present in The Shining) is the idea of vulnerable humans, usually the ones seeming the toughest, allowing a supernatural entity to take over them or control them in some way. Just like how Jack Torrance is consumed by the Overlook Hotel, It controls the violent men in It (Henry, Bev’s father, and Tom). This could say a lot about the characters actually being weak, but I think it also shows the quick jump to violence that may have not surfaced like it had without Its influence.
This book, as I was extremely happy to find, has King’s well-known and successful style of writing. The way I can most easily sum up his writing style is a mental jumble. Not to say that it’s messy, but that’s how it makes the brain feel as one is reading. With his use of parentheses (as a character’s subconscious or other influence “speaking”) and his quick jump to a horrific event after mundane ones, my mind feels like it’s going crazy as well. This writing style is one of my favorite things about King, and I was glad to see it appear in this novel.
Later in the novel, as It reveals itself through flashbacks to eons ago and during the confrontation with Bill, the influence of H.P. Lovecraft’s work is incredibly noticeable. I really enjoyed how King played off of Lovecraft’s ideas of ancient beings playing their own part in our world. In a way, the idea of other, older dimensions and beings is a somewhat comforting, though slightly existential, thought. Thinking on an individual’s insignificance yet also how humans can be powerful in their own ways is comforting as we try to figure out our own meaning of life on this giant spinning orb.
One thing I did, and definitely suggest to others, after reading It was to read H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.” This short story has similar themes, and I could definitely see King’s inspiration for It and Derry. King took this influence and brought it to such a huge development, and I can’t help but think Lovecraft would be proud with what he’s done with it. If you haven’t yet read “The Dunwich Horror,” I highly suggest you check it out. You can read it here or find it in many Lovecraft anthologies.
To wrap this up, I’m excited to finally watch the movie version of It, which I do now have. I’m extremely curious as to how they interpreted the ending scenes with It, especially with how these scenes translate to a visual medium. In this case, telling seems easier than showing, with there being so many emotions and that deep-chilling fear that can’t be as easily perpetuated through just a visual, rather than words that creep into the reader’s mind. The ending of It is more than just the material and visual world, and concepts like this can be done successfully in film. Since It as a movie is so highly popular and terrifying, I can only assume that the filmmakers succeeded, and I can’t wait to see how.
If you read It, what are your thoughts on what I’ve discussed? I dreadfully miss college literature courses, and I wish I could get a group together to discuss this in person, but at least we have the Internet.
I hope you enjoyed this new kind of format that I’ve done for this post. I knew just a regular review wouldn’t do all of my thoughts on this book justice, and I just had a lot of ideas to get out of my head.