As I wrote about a little while back, I am attempting to make my way through Stephen king’s IT for the first time, and this is my fifth attempt. The previous four have all ended somewhere between the 500-700-page mark, if I remember correctly.
So, I read through the first 120 pages or so, which, according to my Kindle, is approxiamtely 11% of the book. I just finished being introduced to Beverly, the sixth of our seven main characters. Her introduction was arguably the most jarring, as we are given a very close (and graphic) look at the abusive relationship that Beverly was in.
Beverly’s introduction puts an exclamation point on the fact that we are over one hundred pages in and are not yet done meeting our main characters. For many horror novels, we would be one-third of the way donee with the entire story already. Here, we are essentially still in the prologue.
In my previous attempted readings of IT, the book was already starting to lose me by this point. The amount of time King spent on the introductory scenes for each character was way too much, in my opinion.
This is my first time reading IT as a writer, and it has really changed my feelings about the book so far.
I still feel like some of these introductory scenes are unnecessarily long and over-indulgent, but I can completely recognize and respect this choice by King. We are seeing just how much the events of their childhood affected these characters in their adult lives, despite the fact that they can’t remember a lot of those events. The choices they made, the people they ended up with–all of it. And of the characters we’ve met so far, Stan was the one guy who seemed completely happy with where he was at. Because of that, could not even fathom returning to his childhood home, despite the promise that he’d made. He would rather die. And so he did.
Each introduction is almost a short story in and of itself, and it’s the structure though which King has decided to start this grand tale. I’m definitely appreciating more this time around.
I’ll be back in a couple weeks with another update. Until then, I’m jumping back into IT.