Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Book Report: "It"

ItIt by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"It" is a young Stephen King's sprawling treatise on the connections between youth and middle age, the fragility and power of friendship and sinister monstrosities that lurk in the hearts, minds and imaginations of men.

King shows off his ear for the way the kids of the 1950s spoke, acted, played, hid and fought, as well as the ways yuppies of the 1980s schemed, maneuvered, bonded and bickered. The parallelism he uses to spin the tale is so elegant and rhythmic that it would be just about impossible for a movie to simulate. Maybe a 10-hour miniseries could do it justice, but we'll probably never see a better telling of the tale than in these pages.

The only flaws come in the scattershot nature of the antagonist's methods and origins. Awkward attempts to rationalize and explain the creature's nonsensical modus operandi just cause more confusion. He would have better served the mystery by avoiding the half measures and just leaving It as an unexplained entity.

"It" is a beautiful, dark, challenging and occasionally frustrating novel that lets King strut his stuff as a master yarn-spinner. Thought-provoking and resonant, it sticks with you like lingering memories forged in youth and saved to serve you in adulthood.

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