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.
Posted by KHLchem