1986 novel by Stephen King
It is a 1986 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It was his 22nd book and his 17th novel written under his own name. The story follows the experiences of seven children as they are terrorized by an evil entity that exploits the fears of its victims to disguise itself while hunting its prey. “It” primarily appears in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown to attract its preferred prey of young children.
The novel is told through narratives alternating between two periods and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes that eventually became King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma and its recurrent echoes in adulthood, the malevolence lurking beneath the idyllic façade of the American small town, and overcoming evil through mutual trust and sacrifice.
King has stated that he first conceived Guest Star On The Conners story in 1978, & began biên tập it in 1981. He finished biên tập the book in 1985. [ 2 ] He also stated that he originally wanted the tiêu đề character mập be a troll, lượt thích the one in the children’s story ” Three Billy Goats Gruff “, who inhabited the local sewer system rather than just the area beneath one bridge. He also wanted the piece phệ interweave the stories of children và the adults they later become .
The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1987, and received nominations for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards that same year. Publishers Weekly listed It as the best-selling hardcover fiction book in the United States in 1986. It has been adapted into a 1990 two-part miniseries directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, a Hindi 1998 television series directed by Glen Baretto & Ankush Mohla, and a film duology directed by Andy Muschietti. Muschietti’s It was released in September 2017 and It Chapter Two was released in September 2019.
During a rainstorm in Derry, Maine, a six-year-old boy named Georgie Denbrough sails a paper boat along the rainy streets before it washes lao dốc into a storm drain. Looking in the drain, Georgie encounters a clown who introduces himself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Georgie, despite knowing he should not talk bự strangers, is enticed by Pennywise Khủng reach into the drain và retrieve his boat. It then rips his arm off, and Georgie dies .The following June, an overweight eleven-year-old boy named Ben Hanscom is harassed by a bully named Henry Bowers và his gang on the last day of school, escaping into the marshy wasteland known as the Barrens. There, Ben befriends an asthmatic hypochondriac named Eddie Kaspbrak & ” Stuttering Bill ” Denbrough, Georgie’s elder brother. The three boys later befriend fellow misfits Richie Tozier, Stanley ” Stan ” Uris, & Beverly Marsh, và refer phệ themselves as ” The Losers Club “. As the summer draws on, the Losers each encounter Pennywise in terrifying manifestations : a mummy on a frozen canal Khủng Ben, a fountain of blood ( that only children can see ) from Beverly’s sink, a rotting leper béo Eddie, drowned corpses phệ Stan, & a frightening phantom of Georgie béo Bill. Meanwhile, an increasingly unhinged & sadistic Bowers begins focusing his attention on his African-American neighbor, Mike Hanlon, & his father. Bowers kills Mike’s dog & chases the terrified boy into the Barrens, where he joins the Losers in driving Bowers ‘ gang off in a rock fight, leaving a humiliated Bowers mập vow for revenge. Mike becomes a thành viên of the Losers Club after revealing his own encounter with Pennywise in the khung of a flesh-eating bird. From Mike’s historical scrapbook, the Losers realize that ” It ” is an ancient trùm cuối with a hold on the town. Following further encounters, the Losers construct a makeshift smoke hole that Richie & Mike use bự hallucinate It’s origins as an ancient alien entity that came phệ Earth, beginning a cycle of feeding on children for a year followed by a 27 – year-long hibernation .Soon, Eddie is hospitalized by Bowers & several of his friends, and Beverly witnesses one of the bullies, Patrick Hockstetter, kidnapped by It in the size of a mass of flying leeches. The Losers discover a message from It in Patrick’s blood, warning them that It will kill them if they interfere. In hopes that silver can wound It, Ben makes two silver slugs out of a silver dollar, và the Losers enter an abandoned house where Eddie, Bill, and Richie had previously encountered It Khủng attempt lớn kill It. They manage phệ wound It with the silver while It is in the size of a werewolf. Deeming the Losers a threat, It manipulates Bowers into murdering his abusive father & chasing the Losers into the sewers bự kill them, where his accompanying fellow bullies, Victor ” Vic ” Criss và Reginald ” Belch ” Huggins, are both killed by It. This leads Bowers lớn become lost in the sewers, traumatized .In the sewers, Bill performs the ” Ritual of Chüd ” in an attempt phệ face It in the Macroverse, the alternate universe where It is from, where he meets the monster’s antithesis Maturin, an ancient turtle that created the universe. Bill learns that It can only be defeated during a battle of wills, và sees It’s true size, the ” Deadlights “, before Bill defeats the trùm cuối with Maturin’s help. After the battle, not knowing if they killed It or not, the Losers get lost in the sewers. To try & regain a sense of direction, Beverly has intercourse with each of the boys mập bring the unity back lớn the nhóm. [ 5 ] Once they are safely out, the Losers swear a blood oath béo return phệ Derry should It resurface. Bowers, having lost his sanity by the giây phút he washed out of the sewers into a nearby river, is institutionalized after being blamed for the town’s child murders .In July 1984, three youths brutally attack a young gay man named Adrian Mellon và throw him off a bridge, where both a bully và Adrian’s boyfriend see a clown then appear. Adrian is found mutilated, và the teenagers are arrested & charged with his murder .When a string of violent child killings begins in Derry again, an adult Mike Hanlon, now the town’s librarian, calls up the six former members of the Losers Club lớn remind them of their childhood promise lớn return if the killings start again. Bill is now a successful horror writer living with his actress wife, Audra ; Beverly is a fashion designer, married Khủng an abusive man named Tom Rogan ; Eddie runs a limousine rental company và has married a hysterical codependent woman similar bự his hypochondriac mother ; Richie Tozier is a disc jockey ; Ben Hanscom is now thin & a successful, but lonely, architect ; và Stan Uris is a wealthy accountant. Prior Khủng Mike’s phone calls, all of the Losers had completely forgotten each other & the trauma of their childhood, burying the horror of their encounters with It. All of the Losers agree lớn return béo Derry, except for Stan, who kills himself in terror of facing It again .The Losers meet for lunch, where Mike reminds them that It awakens roughly every 27 years for 12 – 16 months at a thời gian, feeding on children before going into slumber again. The nhóm decides Khủng kill It once và for all. At Mike’s suggestion, each person explores different parts of Derry phệ help restore their memories. While exploring, Eddie, Richie, Beverly, và Ben are faced with manifestations of It ( Eddie as Belch Huggins & childhood friends in leper và zombified forms, Richie as a Paul Bunyan statue, Beverly as the witch from Hansel và Gretel in her childhood trang chính, & Ben as Dracula in the Derry Library ). Bill finds his childhood bicycle, ” Silver, ” & brings it lớn Mike’s. In the meantime, Audra, who is worried about Bill, travels phệ Derry ; Tom arrives as well, intending phệ kill Beverly ; & Henry Bowers escapes from the mental asylum with help from It .Henry confronts Mike at the library, but Mike escapes alive. It instructs Henry Khủng kill the rest of the Losers, but Henry is killed while attacking Eddie. It then appears lớn Tom và orders him bự capture Audra, bringing Audra lớn It’s lair, where Audra becomes catatonic, và Tom drops chết in shock. Bill, Ben, Beverly, Richie, and Eddie learn that Mike is near death và realize they are being forced into another confrontation with It. They descend into the sewers & use their strength as a nhóm Khủng ” send energy ” béo a hospitalized Mike, who fights off a nurse that is under the control of It. They reach It’s lair và find that It has taken the khung of a giant spider. Bill & Richie enter It’s mind through the Ritual of Chüd, but they get lost in It. Eddie injures It by spraying his asthma medication lao dốc It’s throat, but It bites off Eddie’s arm, killing him. It runs away Khủng tend mập its injuries, but Bill, Richie, & Ben chase after & find that It has laid eggs. Ben stays behind béo destroy the eggs, while Bill và Richie head toward their final confrontation with It. Bill fights his way inside It’s body, locates It’s heart, và destroys it. The nhóm meets up mập head out of It’s lair, và although they try Khủng bring Audra và Eddie’s bodies with them, they are forced mập leave Eddie behind. They realize that the scars on their hands from their blood pact have disappeared, indicating that their ordeal is finally end .At the same thời gian, the worst storm in Maine’s history sweeps through Derry, & the downtown area collapses. Mike concludes that Derry is finally dying. The Losers return trang chủ và gradually begin lớn forget about It, Derry, & each other all end again. Mike’s memory of the events of that summer also begins Khủng fade, as well as any of the records he had written lao dốc previously, much lớn his relief, và he considers starting a mới nhất life elsewhere. Ben & Beverly leave together và become a couple, & Richie returns Khủng California. Bill is the last phệ leave Derry. Before he goes, he takes Audra, still catatonic, for a ride on Silver, which awakens her from her catatonia, và they chia sẻ a kiss .The Losers Club is a nhóm of seven eleven-year-old misfit children who are united by their unhappy lives. They chia sẻ the same misery và torment from being the victims of a gang of local bullies led by the increasingly sociopathic Henry Bowers và band together as they struggle phệ overcome It. The seven children find themselves caught up in a nefarious situation, which they cannot quite comprehend but against which they must fight .
Described as a mysterious, eldritch, demonic entity of evil, It is a monster of unknown origin that preys on Derry’s children and humans every twenty-seven years. IT finds striking fear in children akin to seasoning or “salt(ing) the meat”, “You all taste so much better when you are afraid”. Among It’s powers is shapeshifting into a form that tricks its victims and induce fear, but usually It takes the form of a middle-aged man dressed in a clown costume, calling itself “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” and occasionally Bob or Robert Gray, modeled after Bozo, Clarabell, and Ronald McDonald. However, It’s truest form, as perceived by the human eye, is that of a giant female spider that houses It’s essence: writhing orange lights (termed “Deadlights”), looking directly into which can render a person catatonic or even kill them.
It can manipulate people and use them as pawns in doing its bidding, either by assuming a form familiar to them, promising them their desires or through subliminal influence. Because of this control over what happens in Derry, many of the child murders It commits are never solved; the adults of Derry act as though either nothing is happening or they have forgotten about It.
It’s awakenings from hibernation mark the greatest known instances of violence in Derry, such as the disappearance of over three hundred settlers from Derry Township in 1740–43. In 1957, It awoke during a great storm which flooded part of the city, whereupon It went on a feeding spree, starting by murdering Georgie Denbrough. However, the Losers Club forced It to return to an early hibernation when heavily wounded by the young Bill Denbrough in the first Ritual of Chüd. As the story opens, It has awakened approximately 27 years later and is first seen when three bullies beat up a homosexual couple, Adrian Mellon and Don Hagarty. It kills Adrian after the bullies throw him off a bridge.
When the adult members of the Losers Club gather, It recognizes them as a threat and resolves to drive them away both through illusions and by controlling Henry Bowers, the Losers’ long-time childhood bully. Bill, Richie, Beverly, Eddie, and Ben manage to confront It’s spider form after It possesses Audra. It is finally destroyed in the second Ritual of Chüd, and an enormous storm damages the downtown part of Derry to signify It’s death.
In King’s subsequent 2001 novel Dreamcatcher, Mr. Gray cannot put a worm in Derry’s water supply by use of the Standpipe, as it is no longer there due to the 1985 flood. In its place is a memorial featuring a cast-bronze statue of two children and a plaque underneath, dedicated to the victims of the 1985 flood and of It. The plaque has been vandalized with graffiti reading, “PENNYWISE LIVES”.
The character has been named by several outlets as one of the scariest clowns in film or pop culture. [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ tám ] [ 9 ]The Bowers Gang is a nhóm of seven twelve-year-old neighborhood bullies who attend the same school as và are the worst enemies of the Losers Club after It. The gang is led by the crazed & mischievous Henry Bowers, while also being co-led by Henry’s two best friends & sidekicks, the smarter & more moral Victor ” Vic ” Criss và the unusually larger, stronger, và more slow-witted Reginald ” Belch ” Huggins. Although the fates of three of them ( Peter Gordon, Steve ” Moose ” Sadler, Gard Jagermeyer ) were chưa bao giờ made official, it is stated in the novel that the remaining child murders during the summer of 1958 after that of minor character Jimmy Cullum were of all of Henry’s friends, creating the assumption that they were attacked và killed by It ( possibly as means lớn worsen Henry’s sociopathism ) .
In 1978, King and his family lived in Boulder, Colorado. One evening, King ventured alone to pick up his car from the repair shop and came across an old wooden bridge, “humped and oddly quaint”. Walking along the bridge caused King to recall the story of “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, and the idea of transplanting the tale’s scenario into a real-life context interested him. King was further inspired by a line by Marianne Moore—“imaginary gardens with real toads in them”—which in his mind came out as “real trolls in imaginary gardens.” King would return to the concept two years later and gradually accumulated ideas and thoughts, particularly the concept of weaving the narratives of children and the adults they become. King began writing It in 1980, and finished the book five years later. King found influence in the mythology and history surrounding the construction of the sewer system in Bangor, Maine.
It thematically focuses on the loss of childhood innocence and questions the difference between necessity and free will. Grady Hendrix of Tor.com described the book as being “about the fact that some doors only open one way, and that while there’s an exit out of childhood named sex, there’s no door leading the other way that turns adults back into children”. Christopher Lehman-Haupt of The New York Times noted that It “concerns the evil that has haunted America from time to time in the forms of crime, racial and religious bigotry, economic hardship, labor strife and industrial pollution”, and that the novel’s setting “is a museum filled with the popular culture of the 1950s: brand names, rock ‘n’ roll songs and stars, the jokes and routines of childhood in that era”. James Smythe of The Guardian opined that “Pennywise isn’t the novel’s biggest terror. The most prominent notions of fear in the novel come from the Losers Club themselves: their home lives, the things that have made them pariahs.”
On December 13, 2011, Cemetery Dance published a special limited edition of It for the 25th anniversary of the novel (ISBN 978-1-58767-270-5) in three editions: an unsigned limited gift edition of 2,750, a signed limited edition of 750, and a signed and lettered limited edition of 52. All three editions are oversized hardcovers, housed in a slipcase or traycase, and feature premium binding materials. This anniversary edition features a new dust jacket illustration by Glen Orbik, as well as numerous interior illustrations by Alan M. Clark and Erin Wells. The book also contains a new afterword by Stephen King discussing his reasons for writing the novel.
It received a mostly positive critical reaction when it was released.
Christopher Lehman-Haupt perceived a lack of justification in Stanley Uris ‘ death & the reunion of the nhóm. [ một ]Grady Hendrix described the book as ” by turns boring & shocking ” & ” one of King’s most frustrating & perplexing books “, và described the behavior of the child characters as idealized & unnatural. [ 12 ]The book’s sexual nội dung is controversial among critics và readers. [ 12 ] James Smythe considered the book’s descriptions of childhood sexuality lớn be ” questionable “, & was particularly ” shocked ” by a scene of the Losers Club engaging in an orgy. [ 11 ] Grady Hendrix identified this moment as ” in a sense, the heart of the book ” & a thematic demonstration of the crossing from childhood Khủng adulthood, & concluded that it is ” a way for King Khủng tell kids that sex, even unplanned sex, even sex that’s kind of weird, even sex where a girl loses her virginity in the sewer, can be powerful và beautiful if the people having it truly respect & lượt thích each other “. [ 12 ]
The novel has been noted for its exceptional length. Publishers Weekly expressed particular indignation: “Overpopulated and under-characterized, bloated by lazy thought-out philosophizing and theologizing there is simply too much of It.”
The character Pennywise has been named by several outlets as one of the scariest clowns in film or pop culture. [ 14 ] [ 15 ] [ 16 ] [ 17 ]
In 2003, It was listed at number 144 on the BBC’s The Big Read poll—one of three King novels on the list.
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