This review has spoilers – DO NOT READ any further if you do not want the ending spoiled.
I started reading It on September 26th 2019 and finished on December 17th 2019. It took me 3 months to read 1156 pages. I would read about 200 pages and then stop for about 2 weeks. Then I would read another maybe 300 pages and stop. The experience felt like reading 4 books in a series because I just felt exhausted after reading each chunk.
Everyone talks about 2 things when you bring up It. First thing being It is that is such a long book and the second thing being the ending. So what I have to say in this review on a book that is over 30 years old is first, I think the length of the book is intended to give the reader these maniacal feelings that parallels the character’s thoughts and emotions by the end of the book. You remember things that happened but you don’t remember all of it at the same time by the end and then BAM! all of a sudden everything is brought back to the forefront of your memory at the end and then it is over and you yourself feel a little bit crazy and a little bit like wait, am I done? Did I really finish the 1156 pages? It is over? For real? So that was pretty cool, I reallllllly enjoyed that feeling and experience that I have never had with a book before.
The second thing I want to talk about is the ending. And what I mean by the ending is the last 100 pages. I didn’t really care that it was a physical spider, that seemed pretty specific to the era to me. I honestly kept hearing the soundtrack to The NeverEnding Story as I was reading the parts with Bill and the Turtle and then with Richie. That was funny to me and soooo 80s. Not really that relatable to today. I do think that would have been pretty outstanding to read in the mid 80s though, however my opinion on those existential moments with the spider and the turtle didn’t stand up to the test of time for me.
What I was really really bothered by was Beverly’s key role at the end when she was 11 and how she brought clarity to the boys. The group of 7 kids think they destroy It and then lose their way in miles of sewage pipes trying to go back home and get lost. The only way for this group to come back together as one unit with clarity is for the one girl to sacrifice herself and give her power to the others by having each boy lose his virginity to her at, let me remind you 11. Then, following this in the later part of the books where they are adults trying to destroy It for good there was no real parallel with this like there were parallels with every other character. Beverly just hung out. Needless to say, I found the entire purpose meaningless and gross. I just did. It was uncomfortable. They were 11 you guys!
Another thing I have to say about the ending is actually a question. Bill’s wife Audra is catatonic and then they rescue her and he rides the silver bullet and he basically wakes her up out of this catatonic state and they all believe it is over and they killed It. But…Audra came out of the sewers with them in a catatonic state. Did It move itself out of the spider and into Audra? Does It survive??????
In conclusion: I would NEVER recommend this book to anyone. I would not feel comfortable recommending this whatsoever and I have no intentions of trying to watch the movie. I so enjoyed this book for the first 600 pages and was super gung ho and ‘I love Stephen King this is awesome, can’t wait to read more from him next year’ and then I read the last half of the book and all of my love and momentum crashed slowly face first and then died.
I do, however, feel very accomplished in reading a 1156 page book. My daughter saw the book and she says, “Mom that looks longer than the Bible!’ and I thought yea it felt like it too. But, I did it and guess what I have another bucket list item scratched off my list. So yay me for that.
Seriously though, I have so many thoughts towards whether I really enjoy reading Stephen King books anymore or if I just got and get caught up in the novelty of it. I have a post coming up soon about this and don’t want to spoil it but it will be about this idea and whether or not his books are still relevant today and that whole idea. I think this is a concept going around booktube right now and I will definitely be weighing in with my own opinion soon. I think that one will take a me a few drafts to really get it right.
Have you read It? Did you like it? What are your thoughts on the ending? I would love to know!