King’s writing style naturally hooks you in. He has an amazing way with words. Unfortunately his storytelling is a little too bloated and slow paced for me. A good edit could bring it down to a digestible 400 pages and produce an excellent, coherent story.
Having started 11.22.63, a book which I was very much hooked on, I was curious about a section that alluded to something familiar. Upon talking to the friend who’d recommended it I had my suspicions confirmed; it was alluding to the event of IT. I was instructed to abandon 11.22.63 and read what, in his opinion, was the superior book. Oh how wrong my dear friend was.
It started well. I’m 100 pages in and really enjoying it; the language and voice are engaging, there’s a lot of characters but I’m still keeping them straight in my head. There was even some cutting edge topics that I was impressed King was tackling in the ‘present day’ section of the narration. Pennywise’s first appearance and victim was chilling and possibly one of my favourite sections of the book.
It quickly started treading water, too many interludes to add what was in my opinion absolutely nothing to the story. I was struggling around the 400 page mark. It was just as I was about to admit defeat when Bev’s 1958 narrative caught my attention and gave the book a saving grace that made me see out the rest of the book. I’ll admit that I let the words wash over me and nothing much from the final 400 pages or so stick in my memory except for Bev’s voyeuristic adventure at the junk yard and the reunion of the loser gang at the Chinese restaurant.
My biggest issue with this book though is its final act. Bev. She is the one and only female protagonist and she appears rounded and relatable; I enjoyed most of her plot and understood her development in the 1985 portion of the tale. However King, in a nonsensical gang bang ‘sacrifice’, turns her into a gratuitous whore. Her suggesting the act does not make it any better nor do I understand the purpose of the act.
I was so disturbed by the book, for all the wrong reasons. So badly that I have yet to return to 11.22.63, nor do I intend to.