Heffalumps and Woozles: A Review of Stephen King’s book, IT

     32 years ago, a book was released by a pretty well-known writer. The book was called IT and the author is Stephen King. Maybe you heard of him? Stephen King is the guy who wrote fantastic books like Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shinning and The Stand. When it comes to his early professional works, 1974-1980, King really knew what he was doing. He developed great characters, top tier concepts, vivid but accessible prose and took on subjects like an author of Literature.

     I’m not quite sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, a young Maine teenager was no longer Stephen King, but now STEPHEN KING, AUTHOR PAR EXCELLENCE! After Carrie and the absurd amount of money no other author had ever brought to a publisher with their novels, the accompanying clout of being STEPHEN KING, AUTHOR PAR EXCELLENCE turned this writer into quite the monster that he himself wrote about, but with quite a blow habit and an inability to write until the early 90’s, after sobering up.

     IT seems like a testament to a time period where, provided the company could make absurd bank, no one could edit his manuscripts, save for typos, and even then, IT has plenty of that too. I wonder if anyone even bothered to read IT before it was published, because it is basically a bloated A Nightmare on Elm St with bad prose, errors and a story that could of used some chopping down.

     Now, I imagine the letters, remember kids, this is prior to e-mail, sent between Stephen King and the publisher look something akin to this:

Publisher: This is a great idea, but it is slightly long winded and with a whole lot of build to nothing. The prose is sub-par, the characters boring, save for the really cool Black dude who talks to godly turtles, he was righteous, but it could be trimmed to flow better.

Stephen King: I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY.

Publisher: Yes, Stephen, I know and we really appreciate a writer of your caliber at this publishing house, but well, even George Orwell, a certified legend, had 1984 cut down and edited, so we were hoping, maybe, you could play ball with us here, and make your book the best version of itself that it can be.

Stephen King: I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY. I’M STEPHEN KING, WRITER PAR EXCELLENCE, GIVER OF MONEY.

     Eventually the publisher got tired of his bullshit and just published as is, without much of a bother to really edit the damn thing. Which is a shame, because it could have been a far better book, had someone done their job and not been a lousy sack of shit, because Stephen King was Stephen King and one does not simply ruffle Mr. King’s feathers with the frivolity of editing.

     Much like the editor, I couldn’t be bothered to finish this damn thing the second time around, before reviewing it, since how I review is different from others and doesn’t require me to finish this pile of shit to do so! Why? Because I’M XAVIER KAGE, WRITER PAR MEDIOCRITY, POORER THAN SHIT, MY TIME IS VALUABLE!

     While I still intend to finish, having read up to page 648 has given me more than enough to criticize, as no new criticisms will come from finishing the book at the moment. I’ve read longer books, faster and with less pain than IT is currently giving me. IT is driving me crazy. I’ve taken breaks from reading IT, just to rest, because of how poor the book is! It has now passed the one year point since I started reading IT and is has never taken me more than a week to read any size novel, but not this one, oh no, this one has to test my mettle as a fan of his work, as a writer, as a reader, as a critic, as an analytical person and just as a human being in general. It’s more akin to a Saw trap than a novel, in that regard.

     Do I like reviewing before I have finished the work? No, but once you sit down to IT, you might agree with me. I’ve looked up professional reviews of his book from 1986 until now and I was shocked, for someone who is so famous, to have so few reviews in regards to a beloved novel, that his fans hold in high esteem. This book has almost no positive professional reviews, few negative reviews and almost all five star reviews from your everyday fan. I could never allow fandom for anything to blind me so badly, that I would be afraid to say, hey, this shit sucks and here is why. I even do the same to myself, so why would I not do it other things as well? While I’m not going to say you couldn’t enjoy this, I enjoyed plenty of bad things that do not hold up as a kid, most of the enjoyment came from ignorance to the art form, or something else. I really enjoyed Jurassic Park as a child, but having re-read it a year ago, it doesn’t hold up, but was still a good story.

     IT was one of the least enjoyable reads as a child and is even more of a chore as an adult and I cannot say anything more on the subject, except for this fan theory, I think Pennywise is an analogy for cognitive dissidence and that the Loser’s Club is really a group of child murderers who have come back to Springwood, er, I mean Derry to reminiscence about their murder spree back in 1958. Pennywise is a projection, not of their fears, but of their motivations for doing so. Each child has a pretty horrific background and any and all could be a potential killer waiting to happen. Since childhood criminals weren’t really a thing back then, not like now, where we treat them as adults, they all got away with murder and had to do so again, just to quench their blood lust.

     That is my personal thoughts on the story and with luck, maybe a school shooter or another Loser’s Club type of murderer will see fit to put this crap into his backpack before his massacre, prompting Stephen King to push for its removal from store shelfs, to never harm another reader or cause a massacre ever again, like he did with Rage. All we can do is hope, anyways.

2 1/2 stars out of five

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