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17 September 2012

ITalong Midway Post

A big swooshing balloon filled, underground sewer thank you to the ladies over at Fizzy Thoughts and Annotated Reading for hosting the IT-along! With clown noses and bookmarks to share, it's been so fun! To read other participants' posts, click here.

Midway through this book of a group of young kids in 1958 in Derry, Maine, self-dubbed as "The Losers' Club" who are slowly understanding that there is an evil pursuing children, I'm struck by yet again how much I love the way King writes. Alternating chapters with each characters' viewpoints, both when they were children and as adults, it's an incredible story.  It deviates to unimportant events (quite a bit, actually), but I actually enjoy all of it. It may be because I'm listening to the audio book that I don't notice all the back story and uber-character development because the audio is so vivid.

A few thoughts:
  • The audio book is AMAZING. Steven Weber is MAGNIFICENT. Had it not been for Trish recommending the audio and then having an incredible $4.95 sale, I never would have downloaded this 44-hour audio book. Forty.Four. HOURS. Instead of being afraid of such a massive audio length, it's because of Sir Weber that I shirk the reading of the book in favor of listening to him take us through the cadences of no less than twenty-two characters. Twenty-two! The fact that King keeps it all straight so that you aren't confused, and that Weber can alter the voices so distinctly that it's always clear who's speaking, is incredible. I do believe that this type of a book may best be listened to in audio. The characters' inner thoughts just become even more riveting.
  • Characters and places reappearing in multiple novels. You may know that the fictional town of Derry, Maine is regularly featured in King's novels, but it's wildly fun when you have a reappearing character pop up. One of the main characters in The Shining (my review is here) is Dick Halloran, the cook at the Overlook Hotel. He is briefly mentioned in Mike Hanlon's section as a fellow soldier at "The Black Spot." I love being familiar with King's characters to notice that!
  • King writes so genuinely about kids. The main thing about Stephen King stories is that he does an incredible job of realistically conveying what it is like to be a kid. Insecurities, feeling left out, how bullies act and how the bullied feel afterwards, is so genuinely drawn that every scene feels so believable. It's not unusual for me to get a little verklempt when I read certain sections, like the part about Ben and the "H" scar on his stomach, for example. Gawd, people. I was so sad when I listened to Steven Weber narrate those scenes.
  • The character I love. I adore all in "The Losers' Club," especially Bill Denbrough, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Ben. He has no friends but never once considers himself as lonely. When he finally gets close to Bev, Eddie, Richie, and everyone in the group, it's just that much more special. Getting beat up by the bullies is frightening but I did love it when Ben turned around to beat them up in the alley after the movie.
  • Turtle? I am lost. No idea what this is.
  • IT vs. The Stand. I gotta admit, I think I like IT so much more than The Stand, but I do think it's because of the audio book, so I have plans to listen to The Stand in the next couple of years to give them both a fair comparison.
  • The Shining. For those who will be participating in the upcoming readalong for The Shining, I highly recommend the audio book narrated by Campbell Scott. It's incredible.

Hoooo boy, Stephen King keeps it creepy. As I've mentioned before, my evening runs in the neighborhood are creepier every time I pass a sewer drain. Weber's clown voice comes through into my ears with "We all float down heeerreee...." and that makes me pick up my pace.


  1. I'm beginning to think I should've downloaded the audio. It does make the backstory move much faster. I'm enjoying it anyway, but I'm brain fried so it feels like it takes forever. I've also been reminded of how well King writes about kids. His writing is great at capturing the minutia that makes everything so much more believable.

    1. Andi--the audio would be PERFECT for your long commute. wink wink.

    2. I cannot believe how much I love this audio. Usually if a book is LONG I run away from the listening option..but GEEZ here I find excuses to have my ear buds in.

  2. Since I've listened to both The Stand and now It, I can tell you with certainty that It is much better. I loved listening to The Stand but Weber is fan-freaking-tastic. Seriously. I took about a week long break in my listening and am so glad to be back at it again.

    Also--like you I'm fascinated by the kids' stories and even prefer them to the times when they are adults. I agree that King does it right.

    1. Agree with you Trish. I listened to The Stand earlier this year and I loved it but think IT is SO much better because Weber is so amazing.

  3. It's funny...when I was in middle school and I read these two, hands down I was for The Stand. Now I'm all Team It!

  4. I'm regretting not listening to this one. But since I'm 700 pages into the book and also now listening to 11/22/63 there's no way I'm switching over.

    And I'm chuckling over the thought that IT makes you run faster past storm drains. If King only knew he was responsible for increased running times...

  5. Agree with everything you've said here. I did listen to The Stand on audio and enjoyed it a lot. I would consider it one of my favorite all-time audiobooks, but I honestly think IT makes The Stand pale in comparison. The Shining, eh? That is also on my audio wish list. I see what I'll be listening to next month!

  6. oh yes, the bit about - oh wait, it is in the next half. Remind me! It's about kids and bullying. :)

  7. I think I'll try to join in on The Shining readalong. The audio sounds great and you guys are having so much fun reading IT together.

  8. I read The Stand and am currently reading IT (a little behind, but I'll get there). I don't have the option of the audio because of where I live, but even without the narration, I still prefer It to The Stand. While I liked The Stand, the kids are the most fascinating part of It for me. Their back stories are so intricate and heartbreaking, you can't help but empathize and root for them.


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