IT by Stephen King
I, Georgie, am Mr. Bob Gray, also known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
– Stephen King
My second-favourite Stephen King novel (tied with The Green Mile), IT tells the story of the cursed town of Derry, Maine, which is haunted by a supernatural eldritch being of pure evil, that terrorizes the town by playing on ITs victim’s fears and phobias. IT most often appears as Pennywise the Clown, which appears in the town’s history once every twenty-seven years, and is responsible for horrific acts of violence. The book follows two timelines of the group of social outcasts who call themselves The Loser’s Club, who fight back against IT when they are children, and again as adults. While King can sometimes ramble on a bit, the power of the novel comes with the accuracy and nostalgia with which he writes his child characters. We all remember being kids, being afraid of irrational things, but this novel takes that irrational thing and turns it into a very real danger. It deals with themes of abuse, the power of memory, fear, childhood trauma, and friendship.
My favourite parts of this book were the flashbacks to earlier times in Derry’s history, where people notice Pennywise the Clown before a cataclysmic or violent event occurs. The standout of these involves Dick Hallorann, a character that also appears in The Shining. The chapters where IT’s murders and terrifying forms are described are also extremely visceral and suspenseful.