We all float down here!
Author: Stephen King
First Published: 1986
My Rating: 1 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 4.12)
I would recommend this book to: No one
The Beginning: The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years – if it ever did end – began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.
Like all kids from the 80s, I developed a horrid fear of clowns after watching the mini series IT too many times. There’s something extremely horrifying about a human face absurdly painted in a big grin – especially if the person behind the paint isn’t grinning.
So I was quite excited about reading IT. It was my first Stephen King novel, and I settled deep into my couch ready to be entertained by the audio book. What a disappointment. The novel is almost 45 hours long (1300+ pages), and most of it is just filling. Now matter how marginal, every single character was introduced in depths with their entire life story. Some writers can pull it off: where insignificant characters become significant with their own captivating stories that make you forget the main story. Stephen King isn’t one of those writers. The stories were trivial. You’ve met the characters and heard about their problems many times before.
And I didn’t care for the narrator in this audio at all. He was one of the worst over-actors I’ve heard in a long time. He completely overdid it with stuttering Bill – it was almost painful to listen to. And if the text said that a line was yelled instead of spoken, he felt the need to yell the line with all his force. The result was that I listened to the story with the speed turned up to make up for the stuttering, and the volume turned very low so as not to go deaf from all the yelling. It was a relief to finally finish it. I actually wish I’d given up – but after listening for 10 hours, I just felt it would be a waste of time to let it go.
The biggest disappointment was that the novel wasn’t scary at all. It was just silly. This is one of those rare ‘the movie was better than the book’ moments that don’t come often. So that’s it: my first and last Stephen King.