For my Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge, I chose “IT” by Stephen King for the category A Book Over 500 Pages. This book is definitely over 500 pages, and because of my limited time due to work, I decided to listen to this on audiobook rather than read the entire book on my own.
Welcome to Derry, Maine …
It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real …
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.
I had chosen this book for the reading challenge, but it’s not the first time I read it. When I was in 8th grade, I decided to begin reading this, but I never finished it. I had an even more vivid imagination when I was younger, so whenever I rode the bus to school, I always thought I saw a clown in the woods we passed by or I would leap over the sewer grate when I would get off the bus.
I don’t know what my younger self was thinking, but reading it back over as an adult revealed so many problematic aspects of the novel. I know that Stephen King was attempting to stay true to the time period it was set in, but that doesn’t mean I want to listen to all of the racial slurs that occur throughout the novel.
It doesn’t help that I listened to this on audiobook, so a lot of this became annoying. For example, Richie, one of my favorite characters in the movies, easily became my least favorite due to his multiple voices. In particular, he likes to use a “pickaninny” voice, which is one of the most racist depictions I have heard.
One of the main saving graces of listening to the novel is the narrator, Steven Weber. He does an amazing job in bringing these characters to life, especially Pennywise.
Despite the many issues I found with it, I liked the concept of the story. I actually loved when King focused on how the entity of Pennywise affected the town. Everything else, especially the infamous scene between the kids that people always mention, could have been cut down or done away with. This is one of those cases where I would rather watch the movie again than read the book.
Overall, I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. Again, there were some concepts that I actually really enjoyed, but there were way too many unnecessary scenes that were graphic just to be graphic.