IT by Stephen King | sometimes a problematic horror classic is something that can be so personal,

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IT by Stephen King

September 15, 1986
Adult epic horror
Goodreads | Amazon

Welcome to Derry, Maine …

It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real …

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.

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3 stars

Where do I even begin with this book? To say I have very mixed feelings is understating it. There’s a lot of things I love about this book and would give a full five stars, and a lot of things I hate about this book that would earn any other book one star. I’ve compromised for three stars, but that really doesn’t cover my feelings on this book. It is a horror epic that somehow manages to illuminate friendship and childhood while also exploring the hateful parts of humanity. Does it work? I’m honestly not sure.

A caveat: my perspective on IT is absolutely colored by spending time in queer fandom spaces, reading fanfiction, and movie canon. I don’t think that perspective can be discarded in this review. For some reason, a ton of queer people (me included) connect with this book that is by today’s standards, homophobic. There are queer implications in the movie, but it comes out of the queer subtext in the book that I am 80% sure Stephen King never even realized. I ended up drafting an entire post about this topic after it overflowed this already hefty review, so, um, stay tuned?

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