By Stephen King.
I decided to give Stephen King a second chance and he failed so spectacularly I shall NEVER read another of his books again. And no, I’m not talking about his over use of extra words.
PLEASE NOTE: This ‘review’ will contain spoilers, because I am unable to get the level of my disgust across without them.
Yes, this is pretty much a rant.
I bought this book at the NSPCC book fair last year, with the vague plan to read it through October, for Halloween this year. The ‘Reading IT in 24hrs’ readathon video that Read by Zoe put up on youtube last year solidified my plan and I was really pleased to find a ‘challenge’ on Instagram that told you what page you needed to read up to each day to read it all in a month so I was ready to go on the 1st of October!
Now, I am so ANNOYED that I dedicated October to reading IT by Stephen King. There were several other books I sort of hoped to have the time to read too but I only just held onto keeping up with the challenge of however many pages a day – until I pretty much threw it across the room.
I went into this expecting to struggle with the frankly ridiculous overuse of words and I was also pre-warned about the vile, racist and antisemitic language from several sources.
I also thought that I’d have trouble with this book because I wasn’t confident Stephen could actually write female characters in anything other than the stereotypical male way (Spoiler alert – he can’t) which is something that will now make me put a book down so fast it gets whiplash – because if (mostly men) can’t be bothered to write actual human females, why should I, a human female, bother to give them my time?! But I had decided to go in with an open mind and give it a good go even if this was the case, because I was challenging myself. This determination is probably what carried me so far through the book to be honest.
Because what I was NOT warned about was the intensity of the over-sexualisation and paedopilic descriptions of an eleven year old girl.
Yes you read that right.
It was not necessary to mention her “yellow cotton panties” if your were not also likely to be mentioning the boys “Orange cotton briefs” or whatever it was that they were wearing – we don’t get to find out.
It is also unlikely that she would have literally been growing out of her clothing, especially as they were only a year old. Certainly her parents would have noticed at some point and bought her more! Actually, SHE would have done something I’m sure, even if it was telling her mother or only to buy something from the charity shop.
And if her ‘nipples are getting hard in fright’ why the fluff are the boy’s ones not doing the same?!
This extra wound me up because I was actually getting along quite well, despite not having ACTUALLY got to the point of the story yet and having to skip chunks of extra words, (and there was that one confusingly badly written passage because he’s not exactly a bad writer so where did that come from?!).
As I said, I intend to never read another Stephen King book again and I’m really frustrated that some really great films are based off of his work.
And even though I didn’t finish the book, I did get most of the way through it and I’m still writing a review about this because I am actually quite livid and grossed out.
AND it turns out I didn’t even get to the worst part. No I don’t mean the clown.
Apparently they all have sex with the girl. That is the whole reason there is one sole female character in the group of 6 boys. (Which I actually thought bizarre as key numbers are often some multiple of 3.)
How can people give this book 5 stars, complain about the racism and antisemitism and not freaking mention the fact that there is a very underage ‘gang bang’??! Was that part acceptable to them? Are they desensitised to the fact they just read some form of paedophile porn?
Or didn’t they mind because basically for the whole book they’ve been reading about the girls panties and legs?
My mind is completely blown over this.
Also, yes, they were reading about 11 year old boys in the same situation – but their actions were ‘justified’ by the way she was described through the book and they weren’t sold to us as walking sex, because that would be creepy…
But it’s no better from that point of view either.