There are few authors able to scare me out of my wits.
One of them is Shirley Jackson, as she did in ‘The Haunting of Hill House’.
Another one, you might guess. It’s Stephen King. The kind of author that makes you curse against his existence and praise the universe for having invented him, all in the same book.
During my teenage years, my mother was well aware of my great love for King’s books and got me ‘It’, nailing my Christmas present wonderfully (and traumatising me for life at the same time. Thank you mum, I love you too).
I have only one distinct memory of reading this book:
It was night and I was reading about this boy (Bill, I think) who was looking at a photograph that suddenly started moving. The boy got scared and threw the photograph in the closet. After that the scene finished and I had the brilliant idea to go to sleep.
I switched off the lamp and the room fell into darkness. I turned on side and I was suddenly very aware of the closet standing behind my back, the door slightly ajar.
It took me about ten seconds to turn the lamp on and start reading again. I knew it wasn’t the wisest idea, but reading of horrors seemed way better than turning off the light and having them lurking in the dark.
Of course, this was nothing like what ‘Cujo’ did for my fear of closets, but that’s another story.
As for the plot, I’ll keep it short.
Evil comes to the town of Derry under the semblance of a children-eating clown, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a sort of Ronald McDonald look-alike.
In Derry there’s also a group of children, misfits of the town, who call themselves ‘The Losers’ and who like to play in the barrens. When Pennywise comes to town, they take it upon themselves to destroy it, but only manage to send It away.
Twenty-eight years later, Pennywise comes back and The Losers are the only ones who know how to defeat It. Except, most of them seem to have forgotten everything about It.
With all the children this book (and its film adaptation) have scared and traumatised, it’s safe to say that this is one of the best books King has ever written.
After all, there’s a very specific reason why half the people you know are scared of clowns…
For more information about this book, you can visit It’s Goodreads Page.