The year was 1986 when Stephen King published this truly terrifying novel. This writer was only 4 years old at the time, and of course my parents didn’t have me reading Stephen King when I was 4. Though I remember when I was younger I was not allowed to watch rated R movies at all. The few times I talked my parents into letting me rent one from the local video store (yes there was videos back then, not DVD’s), they fast forwarded through all of the good parts.
When I realized that my parents did not care or even pay attention to what kind of books I read, I knew that was my shot to start reading some good stuff. Once when Pet Semetary was on the USA network and my parents wouldn’t let me watch it, even though it was on cable tv I tried reading the book. While I never was able to get into that book the way I did IT, I certainly tried. Soon after that when my family and I were about to leave on a camping vacation in Kentucky, and I knew I would need a good book to get me through that week with my less than favorite side of the family.
I grabbed IT from my uncles bookshelf and I don’t think I put it down until it was done. I was able to relate to the 1957 versions of the seven kids so easily. There was a spot in my hometown that I always pretended was just like the Barrens in the book. Time and time again, I saw a little Ben in myself because I was a tad overweight and was constantly picked on. Not to mention I could always think of a little poem about the girl I wanted, but never got the girl. There were times I could even see a little Bill in me. Whenever my friends and I played games or hung out or did anything of the sort, I was always the one that everyone looked at to be the “leader,” and plan what we did next.
The made for TV movie version of IT came out in 1990. I don’t remember when I watched it, somehow someway I was able to do so though and I haaaaaaated it. i watched it after I read the book for the first time and could not believe how much stuff was taken out. The one nice thing though, was being able to put a face (a creepy as hell one too) to Pennywise the clown. I must say even on the rare times when I go back and watch this film, I think Tim Curry did a fantastic job of bringing to life the terrifying clown we know as Pennywise. Not to mention it is rather funny to see a young Seth Green playing Richard Tozier.
As an adult I can certainly relate to the 1984 versions of our 7 (or 5) heroes. i often drive by things in my old town and get sad as I realize that they are now shut down. Not to mention I think there are times in which all of are thinking that our childhood boogeyman has come back just to ruin our adult lives just as they did when we were children. I often find myself going back to the house I lived in as a child, as well as the spot that was my own person Barrens. It is very heart aching to drive past things that you cherished as a child, only to find out that they put a gas station over it. I think that is something that we can all relate to as we get older.
I think in the book Derry was made to be a small town that we can all relate to our own hometown. Those that did grow up in the big city often wish that they had come from a small town I have heard. Derry could be your hometown or the town you always wish you would have grown up in. The point is, that King made the book so that so many people could relate to it, young and old.
Even from watching the poorly done movie you can identify that it is an absolutely terrifying topic. What 12 year old boy wasn’t terrified of the werewolf they saw at the movie theater late at night. Who hasn’t had to run and hide from bullys.(though hopefully not as bad as Henry Bowers was)
What makes It completely memorable and loved by me is that like I said briefly before, every time I read it I am able to identify myself with a different character in the book. There are lots of other books that could easily take this spot for me as my favorite novel. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card was a very close second. It came down to the fact that I have read IT at least half a dozen times, and every single time I do, I love it for a different reason. It is defiantly one of those books that once you pick it up you cannot put it down. So if you are in for a scare, this is the book to try.