My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.
It has been on my list to try for a long time. I love Stephen King and I remember watching the TV miniseries when I was in high school. However, the length of this book was always the thing that prevented me from picking it up. The book is 1,093 pages and the audio at 44 hours and 57 minutes, it is not a light read/listen. However, when I heard they were remaking this into a feature film, I decided I had to read it before it hit theaters. I’m so glad that I did. It was such a fun book.
This is the story of friendship above all else. It goes back in forth in time between when these seven kids were about eleven years old and twenty seven years later as middle aged adults. It starts with Bill’s little brother Georgie building a paper boat that he sails down the flooded storm gutters in the streets. Georgie does not survive his encounter with Pennywise the Clown. Georgie isn’t the first or the last child to go missing or be killed in Derry, Maine.
If you haven’t read the book, but have watched the miniseries, there is a second prologue that is in the book that was completely left out of the show. It is basically the preamble to how the killings start in Derry for the adult years. It also shows that Pennywise doesn’t do all of his own killing. Here, he starts a mob going after a gay couple coming out of a gay bar in the homophobic town. One of the gay men ends up dead. The clown is there, but he didn’t do the deed himself.
We learn about each of the seven members of the “losers club”, both as children and as adults. We see how all the ones who left Derry become very successful at what they do, while Mike Hanlon stays behind as the town’s librarian. It was a good thing that he did stay in town. It seems that he is the only one who remembers anything. All the others pretty much forgot everything that happened while they were in Derry. Even to the point that Bill didn’t tell his wife that his brother was murdered, just that he died. He had forgotten that his brother was murdered.
While this was a long story, I was entranced the entire time. There is not a single section of the book that I wish was shorter. Not a single part that I wish I could’ve skipped or sped through quicker. I loved learning about each of the characters, as both children and as adults. I loved watching their friendship build. Like I said, this is the story of a great friendship. Without that friendship, they never would’ve survived or won in the end (either as children or when they came back together as adults).
This story is also very, very creepy. It is a Stephen King book, after all. This book is full of some pretty creepy things. I won’t go into details, one, so as not to spoil any surprises for anyone who decides to try this book, two, so as not to gross out anyone who maybe isn’t much of a horror fan. Let’s just say that King didn’t pull any punches.
This is the first books that I’ve listened to with Steven Weber. I have to admit, he did an amazing job. I don’t know if you could’ve found a better person to narrate this book. Not only did he have to voice these characters as eleven-year-olds and as thirty-eight-year-olds. He also had to handle the many different voices from Richie Tozier, who was constantly making different voices. While there was only one girl in the “Losers Club” there were mothers and other women that he had to navigate including the mother of Eddie Kaspbrak, who sorta reminded me of Howard Wolowit’s mother (from the Big Bang Theory). Another thing that I really liked was how he would change his pace to help set the scene. There are several scenes where the kids are really scared and they are maybe running from Pennywise or something else (he didn’t always appear as a clown). He would start talking much faster as the scene intensified and then would come back to a normal pace once the scariness was over. I think he really helped me get through this book. As much as I loved the story, it would be very hard to get through a story of this length reading, but listening to it really helped bring it to life. I didn’t want it to end.
“Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!”