Narrator: Steven Weber
Published by Penguin Audio on 13 May 2010
Length: 44 hrs and 57 mins
Genres: Horror, Paranormal
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They were just kids when they stumbled upon the horror of their hometown. Now, as adults, none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them all back to Derry, Maine, to face the nightmare without end, and the evil without a name.
©1987 Stephen King (P)2010 Penguin
IT is the quintessential coming-of-age book by Stephen King. I first read it during my formative years while skipping out on football practice after school. King has always had a knack for writing coming-of-age books, but IT is a cut above the rest. This is to teenage boys what Twilight is to teenage girls. Except the writing is good. And the story makes sense. And…
The story of IT revolves around Derry, Maine, where an evil presence, often taking the shape of an insane clown, is killing children. IT is able to take the appearance of the inner most nightmares of kids and then feeds off their fears before finally murdering them.
One of IT’s victims is George Denbrough, little brother of William “Stuttering Bill” Denbrough, who becomes the leader of the Loser’s Club, a group of middle school outcasts. The ragtag group has all of the typical, bullied children. They have the fat kid, the nerd, the stutterer, the perpetually sick, the minority, and on and on. It’s The Breakfast Club of horror novels.
Aware that something evil is lurking in the shadows of their town, the Loser’s Club bands together to fight against IT, otherwise known as Pennywise the Clown.
The strength of this novel is the incredible amount of character development and world building. King makes you truly believe these characters are real and you understand their fears and hang ups. The town of Derry feels palpable as he delves into its seedy past.
Of course, as with a lot of King’s work, the depth of his writing can also make him agonizingly long winded. Entire chapters and sections of this massive novel could have been cut out and nothing would have been missed. But, as this is my favorite book, and I’ve read it three times now, that obviously doesn’t bother me that much.
Steven Webber, famous for playing Brian Hackett in Wings, brings King’s prose to life. Having a famous actor breathing real emotion into these characters has to be heard to be believed. I swear, only King could have gotten someone of Webber’s stature to read such a long tome. Even the slow parts of the story are made riveting by the performance.
It’s crack for your ears.
Listening to the entire audiobook is an exercise in endurance as it weighs in at 45 hours long. That’s not a typo. I missed two presidential elections while listening to this book. Make sure to grab some PowerBars and cut a couple lines of cocaine before delving in.