12 May 2012

IT - Part One

Stephen King
Grade: TBD

So I'm going to try something new (to me) for this review. The thing is, I've never read IT. It's just not something that ever crossed my radar as a book I might even in the slightest bit be interested in. I know everyone else in the world has read it, but I haven't for two reasons.

1) I loathe being scared.
2) Everything scares me.

I have no reason why I decided, a couple of weeks ago, that I should read the most famous horror novel of all time (is that even up for debate?) - but here we are.

So what I'm going to do is liveblog reading this. I'm a fairly quick reader so even though this books is 8,000 pages long I will likely finish it tonight. Right before I go to sleep. I put no thought into this whatsoever, obviously.

Disclaimer (ie What I already know about this book)
Truthfully? Not a lot. There are some kids being attacked by a monster, that is sometimes a clown. I think maybe theirselves from the future come back to try and save them at some point. OMG, does this mean this book has time travel in it? That would be awesome.

I know there was a movie with Tim Curry that scared the bejeezus out of pretty much everyone and that I haven't seen because see point 1 above. And for the record, I do not have coulrophobia (the irrational fear of clowns) but I do have curryphobia (the irrational fear of Tim Curry eating your face off). Although on second thought, the definition of a 'phobia' is an irrational fear and fear of Tim Curry is a totally rational thing as he's a scary scary man.

Anyways, after my long lead-in, let's get cracking.
4:02pm - Five Guys Burgers
Chapter 1
I decided to start this book over my late lunch, thinking to myself how gory and/or scary could this book possibly be in the first 50 pages or so? The answer is very and all. All of the fucked up belongs to this book.

King doesn't even try to hide that Georgie is going to bite it. The whole chapter is filled with "And that was the last time he was seen alive" and "He'll always remember that his mom played that the day Georgie died."

What the fuck dude?

And who talks to a clown in a stormdrain?!? I blame the parents. I would never have talked to anything in a stormdrain. Certainly not for a boat. He could have been holding my damn mother hostage and I'd have run away. (Sorry Mom. Happy Mother's Day!)

And then he rips the kid's arm off. Okay, that's... not cool. On the plus side, at least he didn't eat the kids face - proving my point that Tim Curry is much scarier than anything else out there.

Will continue into next chapter from home.
5:39pm - Home
Chapter 2
Okay... So the clown eats armpits? I maintain that's still not as bad as face-eating but I'm willing to recalibrate my standards if this book keeps on like this.

Also, I understand that the whole fear and hatred of gays was totally a thing. But as has come up in recent conversations as much as you can defend yourself with "That's just what the character what have done" deep down it's you who wrote the character. You made that choice, not him. And I'm not sure I'm comfortable with how casually King can throw that out there (even if presented in a way that is not in itself homophobic and does no condone the action in any way.)

Moving on, I feel bad for the homophobes because, yes they're bad people, but they didn't genuinely kill that guy and I'm willing to bet that the monster goaded them somehow into throwing the guy off the bridge. Just so he could eat him.


7:15pm - Home
Chapter 3

I take it back, I don't think I'm finishing tonight. But I'm also not sure I'll be able to stop myself either. Because surely this book has a happy ending. Don't all books have happy endings?

You guys, it's just now occurring to me that this book might not have a happy ending.

I'll be over here quietly freaking out for a moment.

So we've met our main cast of characters and I have some comments here but let's rollcall first:

Stanley Uris - His reaction to the phone call is a great start, as it sets the tone for everyone else. Stanley would literally rather die than to go back to Derry. And I cannot fathom an event so horrible I wouldn't rather risk a chance, even a small one, at life. His exit, so quick and final, scares me more than anything else in this book thus far. Oh Stan, we hardly knew ye.

Richard Tozier - Eh. Whatever. Is he going to make crazy people voices through the whole book? That will get old fast. But we have the first indication that whatever happened to these people back in the 50s might have supernatural repercussions. I mean, if the amazing stormdrain clown didn't clue you in.

Ben Hanscom - I really want to try his get drunk fast method of squirting lemon in your nose. Otherwise, I'm only moderately intrigued by this character.

Eddie Kaspbrak - This subchapter really bothered me, but I'll get back to that. The idea that the world has convinced him he's weak but in reality might be as strong or stronger than everyone does interest me.

Beverly Rogan - So. Much. Hate. I hate the characterization, I hate the idea that King has one woman in this book so far who has more than one side and she willingly walked into an abusive relationship. But I do think that there is some reality here, that it take something like remembering the events in Derry - something that soul-shattering - before she could walk away.

Bill Denbrough - Maybe because he was in the first chapter, but I feel he is our main character. Maybe eventually our POV character. I'm laying odds he survives.

The only person I still know nothing about is Mike Hanlon, who I can only assume is still in Derry against all rhyme, reason and good goddam sense. (Was he mentioned in the last chapter? So many names came in so quick I lost track of them all.)

And we can add Jews, fat people and women to the list of people King treats with backhanded disdain. As though it is expected - and in this case maybe even okay that they are set out as subhuman. Again, these are characters with backstories and motivations that maybe feed into why they are this way - but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth, much more so than the monster does at this point.

Onwards into Part II, which seems to take place back in 1958. Dare I hope for time travel?

7:51pm - Home
First Interlude

Well, that was unexpected.

I'm not sure what I'm more unnerved by. The crazy guy ramblings told in first person, or the idea that this whole ridiculousness has been going on for some time in Derry and people know about it.

And still live there.

People! There are cities everywhere. Big ones, small ones - I hear Portland's nice.

Why are you living in the backdoor to Hell?

IT Part Two
IT - Intermission 
IT Part Two (redux)
IT Part Three
IT Part Four
IT Part Five

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