What I’m reading: It by Stephen King

I never did trust clowns. Never did understand how anyone could find them amusing. Or fun. When I see a small child crying at the sight of a clown at a birthday party, I’m like, hey, I feel you. Now, after listening to the mega-long-and-worth-every-second-of-it audiobook for Stephen King’s “It” (over 30 hours!), I feel vindicated. About the clown thing.

I also feel inspired. And awestruck. Because King is truly the master. There is so much depth, insight, compassion, and food for contemplation along with the edge-of-your-seat thrills, that I will be pondering this book for a long time.

I’ve always believed that to write well, one must read. A lot. And reading Stephen King is not only engaging, it comes with a brilliant display of particularity and “show, don’t tell,” and best of of, insightful commentaries on human nature in all its flawed, many-faceted, and endlessly intriguing forms.

“It” deals a lot with childhood. The sheer hellishness of it–bullies, clueless and cruel adults, the phenomenal willpower it takes to withstand parents who are bent on crushing every bit of individuality and light from their children. “It” also sings of the magical power of childhood–the ability to see and sense what adults are blind to, the belief in the existence of magic and all the things, good and evil, that adults simply cannot or refuse to acknowledge. And the life-changing, dragon-slaying power that childhood belief can wield.


Now that I’ve read 11.22.63 and It, I can’t wait to read more. But which one to read next? Thankfully, there is much to choose from; the man is seriously prolific.

I’m thinking maybe Dolores Claiborne, since I saw the movie at least three times and couldn’t stop thinking about it for many reasons, including its echoing of the myth of Persephone, its themes of surviving trauma, and its multi-layered performance by the inimitable Kathy Bates.

About laurie viera rigler

Author of the Jane Austen Addict novels and other time-bending tales.

2 thoughts on “What I’m reading: It by Stephen King

  1. Hi Laurie. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on IT. This novel is a favorite of mine and when I read it, I lived inside these pages for a while. It was one of those books whose characters I missed when I was finished reading. I want to read Dolores Claiborne as well. I’ve read Misery a few times and I think Kathy Bates was fantastic in the film version. Enjoy your week!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Naida! I really relate to what you said about missing the characters when you finished. I love when I read something and the characters feel like old friends whom I hate to leave at the end. I read Stephen King’s The Stand when I was a teenager, and I feel like I am rediscovering him, or more accurately, it feels as if I am reading him for the first time. I just started the audiobook of Dolores Claiborne. It’s fantastic. Thanks for the recommendation for Misery–I will have to read that one, too.