(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Download It Study Guide

Subscribe Now

In the spring of 1985, It has returned. Every twenty-seven years since the dawn of time, It--an unearthly creature who lives in the unmapped labyrinth of sewers beneath Derry--comes back to murder and mutilate small children and adults. Only seven people have faced It and lived to tell the tale: horror novelist Bill Denbrough, architect Ben Hanscom, Derry librarian Mike Hanlon, radio disc jockey Richie Tozier, limousine driver Eddie Kasbrak, fashion designer Beverly Rogan, and accountant Stan Uris. Twenty-seven years ago they formed the Losers Club, bonded by their physical and social differences and by their terrifying encounters with the many different forms It can take.

The book tells two parallel stories: what happened in 1958 when the children first faced It in its true form (that of a fifteen-foot-long spider) and nearly killed the monster, and of their reunion in 1985 when they band together once again finally to vanquish It from the face of the earth. Although each character is well-drawn and there is background aplenty on Derry and its history of horror and tragedy, the reader is some four hundred pages into this massive novel before all of the lumbering exposition is out of the way and the story really gets moving. Only then do King’s sprawling themes of childhood, adulthood, good, evil, and eternity come together to form the type of gripping narrative that has made the author so famous.