Friday, June 17, 2011

IT by Stephen King (GRADE: B)

I just recently finished IT by Stephen King.  Overall, I liked it.  Even though IT is a long book (my copy had about 1100 pages), the fast pacing made it feel like a much shorter book.  I grade this book a B.

IT is about seven children who were terrorized by an inter-dimensional alien that feed (I think) off of the fear of people.  This alien frequently takes the form of a clown named Pennywise.  The story is told in two time periods: (1) a before time period when the children, about 12 years of age, first meet IT and first confront IT and (2) a later time, about 27 years later, when these kids, now grown up, reunite to attempt to confront IT again.

The writing is good.  I enjoy reading Stephen King (well, most of the time--some of his stuff is disturbing) because I feel that it is both literary enough to be worth the time reading and accessible enough so that I don't feel exhausted after reading 10 pages.

The pacing is fast.  I was amazed at how fast this book read.

The story itself was written in an interesting way.  Half of the book is set in 1957 when the 7 children are 12 years old.  The other half of the book is set in 1984, when they are adults.  The scenes between present and past are shuffled together; in other words, he switches back and forth between present and past.  I really liked this.  Both resolutions to the story, both the past story and the present story resolve at the end of the book.

I especially like the very ending of the book.  I liked the bit with the bike.  That's all I'll say.

Stephen King is very good with character development.  I think that this is his strongest writing attribute. At the ends of his books, I feel like I know the characters and I always feel a little sad at the end of his long books because I feel like I have to say goodbye to an old friend at the book's end.

A weakness in this book is (1) his use of Tom Rogan.  I just thought there would be more to him with respect to the climax at the end.  And (2) I really really really didn't like the discovery about Bev as they began remember more and more of what happened in the past.  I just thought it was too much.  I just didn't think it added much to the story and it tainted Bev as a character...actually, I think it tainted all of them as characters.  You'll have to read it to know what I'm talking about.  I hate reading spoilers in other people's reviews and so I won't include them in this one.

Overall, the book was well written, the story was very good and the pacing was neck-breaking.  I liked this book.  There were some weakness but I felt the good outweighed the bad.  I grade this book a B.