Cakes Takes on IT (Book Review)
'IT' Book Review
So I finally finished this long work late last year and I felt like it took me as long to read it as it took the author to write it. It literally took me about 2 years to finish this book and made me feel like I was a slow reader, but that is not the case. I think it is the way the book is written that made this a slow read for me all that time. This book is a classic horror novel of the great Stephen King and I had always wanted to read it so I started out hot when I picked it up. I decided that when they announced that they were remaking the old tv mini series and the book into a new movie that would be cut into two parts, then now was better than ever to check out the story or at least start it. Even from the beginning of the book, I could tell there were going to be a few reasons why this book took a long time to write and to piece together as a story.
The characters do feel a bit dated with this book being a period piece taking place throughout the late 1900’s and into the 1980’s, with time hops and flashbacks throughout each chapter almost. That already creates a complex timeline to work with. When you’re making a long story that has those components things are bound to either get confusing and messy, just plain weird, or boring. This book managed to do all of those. It is a work of art, but a very strange one. The flashbacks and time hopping really does accomplish the task of making sure that the character of IT (Pennywise the Dancing Clown) is set in stone, his lore, and making sure he is seen as a force to be reckoned with for years that have past and years to come. Although it does this well it also muddies up the waters of the reader’s head when they’re in their mind picturing the story and being taken from the 80’s to the 20’s and back again every other chapter. The way the chapters are all set up, it makes it hard to follow along sometimes. You never know where you, the reader, are going next or how it connects back to the main plot of the kids and the clown.
However dated the dialogue or the characters may come across, the kids who make up The Losers Club do a great job of making me feel like a kid again. Felt like a great coming of age story because of the different life experiences they go through that almost all teens have to deal with in their lifetime at some point. The good, bad, bullying, sexuality, and things that no child should ever have to go through. Everything about this story, even though it is fiction/science fiction, feels humanized and real. The feelings, emotions, and situations all seem very real no matter what time frame. In a town that is plagued with a killer clown that feeds on fear and children every 27 years, that isn’t the only thing the Losers have to worry about. The citizens of Derry, the racism, and the terrible things that happen in the book are just as terrifying as Pennywise the Dancing Clown unfortunately for these kids. This all begs the question to me: what is more scary? Fear itself or the dangers around you in the town? The psychology and many metaphors of the story and the characters, as well as the villains, are some of the more interesting parts of the book to me.
Mr. King takes SO much time describing the town of Derry, Maine, that he makes the town its own character sometimes. There are many chapters and sub-chapters of this text dedicated to worldbuilding, creating the town and its residents, some of which don’t even matter. However, some chapters just reiterate and over-analyze exactly what was expressed in the previous chapter, and it leaves me feeling as a reader that less is more sometimes. This book is, though, one of the most spine tingling books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading! Most of what freaked me out in the story were the people and the different chilling characters in the town of Derry and the things that they’re willing to do or let happen in town.
‘IT’ isn’t the longest book that I’ve ever read before but it sure felt like that sometimes as I made my way through. Some chapters were rather large and others really small and unconnected to the plot. Reading it was painfully slow sometimes and felt like I was going in circles at times, however if you like the changes in time, bouncing around in story and things of that nature then this might be the read for you, but for me, I’d prefer a more linear reading experience. I’d say read this book when you have time to, because it is very large and a long story and you might have to really pay attention to understand some parts. I would also say to read it alone for the best experience if you like horror. This novel will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end if you can bear through the occasional slower paced sections of the 1,000+ pages of the book.