It is a sprawling horror novel by Stephen King that masterfully weaves together the coming-of-age story of a group of friends with their terrifying encounters with a shape-shifting, malevolent entity that preys on the town of Derry, Maine. Through its intricate narrative structure, chilling atmosphere, and exploration of themes such as friendship, fear, and the power of collective memory, It has become one of King’s most iconic and celebrated works.
version: CLASSIC, EBOOK, AUDIOBOOK
number of pages: 1138
literary movement: CONTEMPORARY
literary genre: HORROR, THRILLER
1st edition: 1986
years of writing: 1981 - 1985
The novel alternates between two time periods, 1957-1958 and 1984-1985, following a group of seven children known as the Losers’ Club. In the late 1950s, these outcast kids, each with their own personal struggles and vulnerabilities, are brought together by their shared experiences of being tormented by the terrifying creature known as It. This malevolent entity takes on various forms to exploit and feed on the individual fears of its victims, most frequently appearing as the sinister Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
As the Losers’ Club members delve deeper into the history of Derry, they uncover a pattern of violence and death that spans centuries, with It resurfacing every 27 years to terrorize and feast on the town’s children. United by their determination to put an end to the creature’s reign of terror, the friends confront It in its lair beneath the town, seemingly defeating the monster and vowing to return if it ever resurfaces.
Fast forward to the 1980s, when the now-adult members of the Losers’ Club are called back to Derry after a new string of child murders suggests that It has returned. As they reunite, their buried memories of the past come flooding back, forcing them to confront their own fears and traumas once more as they prepare to face the monster again.
Throughout the novel, King skillfully explores the nature of fear, the power of memory, and the bonds of friendship that endure through time. The characters’ individual and collective struggles with their fears serve as a powerful metaphor for the broader challenges of facing and overcoming childhood trauma, while the enduring connection among the members of the Losers’ Club underscores the importance of friendship and loyalty in the face of adversity.
The unofficial leader of the Losers’ Club, Bill is a brave and intelligent individual. He becomes obsessed with defeating IT after the creature kills his younger brother, Georgie.
A kind and resourceful member of the Losers’ Club, Ben is initially an overweight and lonely boy who faces bullying. He has a crush on Beverly Marsh and becomes the group’s primary strategist and engineer.
The only female member of the Losers’ Club, Beverly is a strong and independent character. She faces an abusive home life and finds solace in her friendships within the group.
Known for his quick wit and humor, Richie is the class clown of the group. He often uses humor to mask his fears and has a talent for impersonations.
A hypochondriac and germaphobe, Eddie is raised by an overbearing mother who has convinced him he has numerous health problems. Despite his fears, Eddie shows courage in the face of danger.
The only African-American member of the Losers’ Club, Mike is a kind-hearted and intelligent individual. He becomes the group’s historian, researching Derry’s dark history and IT’s involvement in it.
A logical and methodical thinker, Stan is a Jewish boy who struggles with accepting the supernatural events happening around him. Despite his doubts, he remains a loyal member of the Losers’ Club.
The primary antagonist, IT is a shapeshifting creature that feeds on fear and human flesh. It often takes the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown to attract and terrify its young victims. The creature has various other forms, each tailored to exploit the individual fears of its victims.
These are the main characters in Stephen King’s IT, each with their unique personalities and struggles that contribute to the overall story.
TOP 10 POINTS
- Genre: IT is a horror novel written by Stephen King, blending elements of psychological horror, suspense, and supernatural terror.
- Publication: The book was published on September 15, 1986, by Viking Press.
- Setting: The story is set in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, a recurring location in King’s works, and takes place in two separate timelines – the 1950s and the 1980s.
- The Entity: The titular creature, IT, is an ancient, shapeshifting monster that awakens every 27 years to prey on the town’s children.
- Pennywise: IT often takes the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown to lure and terrify its victims. This character has become one of the most iconic and frightening figures in horror literature.
- The Losers’ Club: The novel focuses on a group of seven misfit children who call themselves the Losers’ Club. They are the protagonists of the story, battling IT in both timelines.
- Themes: IT explores themes of childhood trauma, the power of friendship, the loss of innocence, and the struggle against evil.
- Structure: The novel alternates between the two timelines, revealing how the events of the past impact the characters in the present as they confront IT once again.
- Adaptations: IT has been adapted into a two-part TV miniseries in 1990 and a two-part film series released in 2017 and 2019, both of which have been well-received.
- Success: IT is one of Stephen King’s best-selling novels and has been praised for its storytelling, character development, and ability to evoke fear in readers.
In conclusion, It is a gripping, unsettling, and profoundly resonant novel that offers a masterful blend of horror and coming-of-age themes. With its intricate narrative structure, chilling atmosphere, and exploration of universal themes such as friendship, fear, and the power of memory, the novel has become a beloved classic within the horror genre and a testament to Stephen King’s extraordinary storytelling abilities.
British Fantasy Award
IT has been adapted into a two-part film series directed by Andy Muschietti. The first part, IT (2017), follows a group of young friends in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, who are terrorized by an evil shape-shifting entity known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The children come to realize that they are the only ones who can see and defeat the monster, and they form a bond known as the Losers’ Club.
The second part, IT Chapter Two (2019), takes place 27 years later, with the Losers’ Club now grown up and living separate lives. They are called back to Derry when Pennywise resurfaces, and they must face their fears once more to defeat the monster for good.
Both films were well received by audiences and critics alike, with praise for the performances, direction, and the balance of horror and humor. The movies were also highly successful at the box office, with the first film becoming the highest-grossing horror film of all time (unadjusted for inflation).
Explore the life and work of Stephen King, one of the most prolific and successful authors of our time. With a career spanning over four decades, King has terrified and captivated readers worldwide with his chilling tales of horror and supernatural suspense. This comprehensive biography covers King’s early life, education, career, top books, interesting facts, and his numerous awards and honors.