They were just kids when they stumbled upon the horror of their hometown. Now, as adults, none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them all back to Derry, Maine, to face the nightmare without end, and the evil without a name.
©1987 Stephen King (P)2010 Penguin
"The amazingly prolific King returns to pure horror, pitting good against evil as in The Stand and The Shining. Moving back and forth between 1958 and 1985, the story tells of seven children in a small Maine town who discover the source of a series of horrifying murders. Having conquered the evil force once, they are summoned together 27 years later when the cycle begins again. As usual, the requisite thrills are in abundance." (Library Journal)
Those familiar with Stephen King's work already intimately know the talent, depth, heart, and passion that King puts into his works. Those that dabble in his stories, or know of his genre as "horror" (and sadly shy away from these works) should wait no longer to listen to this novel. Earlier I fell into the latter group, only reading my first King book in the 1990's when I was in my 20's.
To this point I have read over half, including the Dark Tower stories. I am glad that I waited on this book, for one simple reason: I would NOT have appreciated this book as a younger man. This will make sense to you in the rest of this review...
Yes, this book has a Monster. A terrifying monster that does horrific things which It enjoys doing, and relishes in the torment of It's acts. This book has other antagonists, a town (Derry, Maine), numerous peripheral characters, and our seven main protagonists. This alone is not enough to fill the 48 hours' worth of listening. What King does is interweave decades (and eventually centuries) of historical events in Derry throughout this book. This is still not enough. What King captures ultimately is childhood, how large (small) our childhood worlds are, the misunderstanding of our parents, how growing older (and with a less "magical" view of the world) causes us to forget, the struggles to remember, and how remembering is so bittersweet.
Throughout this book, I remembered many things I forgot about those years so very long ago. They came in flashes, sometimes just staying as that, sometimes leading to more memories, almost all leaving a slight smile on my face. The reason for this is simply that King paints it all perfectly from the mind of a child of eleven. I did not grow up in a small town, nor have a tight group of friends like brothers (and sister), nor encounter bullies the likes of one of the antagonists, Henry.Bowers, nor encounter a terrorizing clown-monster.
King does this all by showing how malleable a child's mind is, how every decision can be a penultimate decision, how belief in something relies less on logic and just, well, belief. Make believe, the fantasy of re-enacting stories with your friends, the freedom of riding a bike at high speeds without fear, explorations of neighborhood locations, and many more... King brings all of this to the table with such sweet admiration, love, and remembrance, that you feel connected to each character in some way or another deeply. This is what this book is about for me mostly, not the monster. I would not have seen all of this when I was younger, not by a long shot. Most likely not even before I had my own children, with my oldest being eleven now.
As for King's storytelling, this book has jumped near the top of my list because of how King pulls all of it together and tells the stories of our child protagonists, the same as adults, both in incredible circumstances, and even both of these simultaneously at times. It is done in a way that makes you not want to stop listening, because you want to know what happens to young Bill, or Eddie, Richie, Ben, or Bevvie, at the same time adult Bill is doing something integral. You have the need of knowing how the children arrived at adulthood, as well as the need of knowing how the logical adults, thrown back into extraordinary circumstances again, will deal with a fear beyond what any have dealt with.
I fell in love with this book and the protagonists, for the way it made me feel, for the way it brought happiness and sadness to me, for the way it brought me back to a childhood long gone, and for the thrill of rooting for these kids and adults all the very best of friends no matter what.
The presentation? Steven Weber was not short of amazing conveying all of this with great voices, impersonations, and inflection that was very expressive without being overly-dramatized. Excellent job.
I don't want to forget... but I can feel myself doing so already. (The great thing is, I can listen again some day.)
This book has been hard to come by in audio for years now. I've been a member of national library services for the blind for a decade or so but those books are available only to rent and not to own. So when audiobook readers were treated to a literal onslaught of King books back in 2010, I was thrilled to learn that It was being released on audio to the public for the very first time. I snapped this one up among 6 or 7 others but this one was the first one I read.
Sure I'd read it a number of times before buying it but I never get tired of this story. Some of King's critics will complain about his novels being too terribly lengthy, but that's never bothered me. I always find myself in the grip of a brilliant storyteller from start to finish, and I always feel a bit sad when reaching the end. So don't hesitate to grab this novel due to the length. It is not at all boring. This is one of Kings most suspenseful novels. And if you're looking for a good scare, you won't want to pass this one up.
I love the performance of the narrator. Steven Weber is a wonderful actor. He seems to enjoy playing the villain. Be he Pennywise in this masterpiece or Norman Ozborn in Disney's Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. He's certainly got a voice worthy of narrating a Stephen King novel. I hope he decides to revisit King's universe again in future readings. Although It was quite an undertaking, lasting several thousand print pages, and maybe everyone's favorite evil clown traumatized him too much. But here's hoping readers hear Weber again some day.
As for the book itself, what can I say? It's Stephen King, people! Pennywise the clown was the first King villain I was introduced to as a child in movie form and this monster has certainly withstood the test of time in book form. I won't spoil this epic for those who haven't read it yet, but allow me to say that I don't think first time readers will be disappointed. Give it a go. You'll be glad you did. Just try not to read this close to any drains or sewers, ok? You never know what lurks down there... in the dark.
I like my horror, techno-thrillers, and science fiction. Which is why Jurassic Park and The Lost World are 2 of my favorite books ever!
Finished IT! Finally! This is a LONG audiobook, but is almost always entertaining. There are some fantastic backstories fleshing out the story, and some welcome crossovers from earlier King novels. I read this in the 80's, forgot about it, then recently listened to King's '11/22/63' , which crosses over into this story. So I had to listen to this one and return to Derry one more time.
Steven Weber is one of the best narrators around. This novel sure needed one! Countless characters to keep track of, and one of the main characters likes doing his own impressions for the other characters. Mr. Weber made it VERY easy to follow. And when a character yells, Weber YELLS! No whispers made to simulate a yell. KUDOS!
The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 for the story? The climax, while fairly satisfying, felt a bit...anticlimactic. I can't say more than that, or I may spoil the story for those about to take the ride. For the most part, IT is Stephen King at his bloated, filled-to-the-brim best!
As always, Stephen King delivers a great horror story in "It." I love how he is able to capture the opinions and emotions of so many different lifestyles and personalities. Each one thinks differently and has a different life experience, which keeps the story fresh. He goes into a very interesting history of the town and people that live in it, and the stories are very entertaining. He also has quite a few disturbing images that will stay plastered in my mind for a long time, such as the dog incident. However, it does get a little weird when the adults are battling "it." The plot kind of goes way off in a weird direction and talks about some turtle and other dimensions. I'm not big on sci-fi, so that was too much for me. However, if you like that kind of thing, you would enjoy it. It also gets a little weird with an approved group gang bang by 11-yr-old children. I have no idea why that is even in the story or why it was something "that needed to happen." Even so, it is a book I am glad I read.
The performance was good. The narrator does different voices very well and even stutters for lines by "Stuttering Bill." I was not disappointed at all by the performance.
Voracious reader. Mom. Wife. IT Grrrl.
No spoilers here--Steven Weber is a most excellent narrator. I know the story of It backwards and forwards, as I've been reading and re-reading it for years. Listening to it with this narrator was like hearing it for the first time, and it scared the bejesus out of me!
Phenomenal narration of a great story--cannot stress that enough!
The way the narrator read the characters, it was more like hearing them in person than listening to an audiobook.
I love Stephen King, the movie doesn't have anything on this audiobook. I could listen to Steven Weber all day, he brings the book to life. Great combo, truly a favorite. If you are on the fence about this book, come on over...we all float.
What I liked most was Steven Webber's narration. What I liked lest was the story itself.
Cut about 500 pages of it.
He preformed it not just read it. He emotes very well.
Yes because I would imagine they would cut the useless stuff that did no more then bloat this book.
I have listened to a handful of audio books. This is the best narration I have heard yet, I wish I had enjoyed the story more. I hope to hear more audio books narrated by Steven Webber in the future.
I have no idea what was going on. My husband says that I need to read 'the tower' first and it will all make a lot more since. If that's the case then I like the movie better (heaven forbid). If I need the dark tower series to make parts make since then it's not a stand alone. But it had its moments, and thats all they were.
And here is my husbands part. He has this as a paper back and you should see it, covered in duct tap to the point that you don't know what book it is any more. He loved this book to death and I would send his book to Mr. King to see if he'd sign it but I'm afraid I wouldn't get it back. I love him for loving it.
I will continue my search for a Mr. King book that I like. Not like its a wast of a credit. At least one of us will like it :)
My lasting impression of this book is that, while it was engaging on one level and while I did listen to the whole thing, it really was a stupid book and a waste of 30 some-odd hours. Too many rambling side stories and seemingly self-indulgent and long-winded character descriptions. I think this book is best for a young adult or a 20-something. And, spoiler alert, what's up with the 12-year-olds gang bang near the end of the book? Didn't see that coming and found it really weird and inappropriate.
I really enjoyed this book. It made me think beyond this world. Sometimes as adults we get caught up in our little box of routine. I liked this story because it showed the lives of some adults that had to break that routine. I'm a very spiritual person and I thought that my beliefs would prevent me from listening to this story, but that was not the case. I was able to get into it and somewhat relate it to my own personal beliefs. Sometimes the themes and story did get a little heavy, but I knew my time limit for listening each day. I would recommend this book. Also Steven Weber did an outstanding job!
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