It: a Stephen King novel

From a drainage grate, claws reach for a paper boat
Paper boat is fragile

It, Stephen King’s 1986 addition to his portfolio of horror fiction, packs a double whammy.

Not only is it about one of childhood’s nightmares—the hidden, devouring creature in the drains—but its 1100+ pages embody one of older adults’ nightmares: sprained wrists from extended periods holding a heavy object.

It contains a two-part story set in Derry, New Hampshire, in 1958 and 1985.

In 1958, the Losers, seven 11 and 12-year-olds whose backgrounds and interests isolate them, investigate the evil creature they believe has lived for decades in the town’s drains, emerging about every 27 years to lure children to their deaths.

After battling, but not killing It, the Losers break up.

In 1985, the Loser who stayed in Derry calls the six who have left Derry and become highly successful, reminding them of their promise to return if It emerged again.

It has.

As in many of King’s stories, the truly evil thing is human nature. Many of the incidental stories within the main narrative are about abuse of power—fraud, kickbacks, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, incest—and failure to fight those abuses.

The novel’s focus swings from 1985 to 1958, diluting the horror of both the fictional monster and the human ones.

It by Stephen King
Viking, 1986. 1138 p.
1986 bestseller # 1; my grade: C

©2019 Linda G. Aragoni