Tag Archives: Novels

Review of Stephen King’s “It”

It’s too damn long. Part of the problem is seeing the movie before reading the book. I knew there was going to be a spider, so I wanted to get to that part. That probably diminished some of my enjoyment of the story. Not entirely, however. I like King’s horror and gruesomeness, but I didn’t like many of his similes and metaphors in this book. They made me cringe throughout.

You can tell Stephen King grew up in the ’60s. “Far out, man”, and whatnot. Didn’t really have a problem with it, per se. Just chuckled. It was fine. It always stood out to me like when I witnessed it.

There’s a lot of themes in the book. Friendship. The romantic situation was very interesting. Not clear-cut at all. Everyone thinks Bev is pretty but Ritchie never really makes any moves on her and Ben loves her but she’s more into Bill but Bill is more consumed by getting revenge for Georgie even though he likes Bev as well. At first, I didn’t like it. But, thinking it over, childhood (hell, even adulthood) is confusing like that, isn’t it? The complicated love triangle was a nice touch. Very funny to contrast that with all of the gruesomeness throughout.

Interesting how they all leave each other after the horror of their childhood and Bill ends up with a woman that looks like Bev. Then he cheats on her with Bev? Ok. Then, at the end, he ends back up with her, and they live happily ever after? Is he ever gonna tell Audra or not? Ok.

Why is Mike the one that stayed in Derry? Why didn’t “It” ever get him? What’s the significance of the fact that Mike stayed in Derry? Does it have to do with the fact that he’s black? Serious question. He’s used to seeing horror so he can stay? It bothered me that I couldn’t figure that out.

The tragedy in the book is terrific. I’m thinking of Bev’s father and Henry’s father in particular. So tragic. Children being raised horribly. I really enjoyed those parts of the book. Particularly Bev’s. Incredibly powerful.

I had a problem with the way King talked about their friendship, to paraphrase, “coming together”, “they felt the final cog click into place”. Please. You’re being way too obvious. Stop beating me over the head with it. Why did they need those “cogs” if one of them killed himself before the final confrontation? Was Stan really necessary? And what did I miss about the birds? What relevance did the birds have besides making an appearance? Stan’s character existed simply for one of them to commit suicide. I guess that’s fine. But that has to be the stated reason for his existence. Stop telling me that all seven of them are needed when they clearly aren’t. I did not feel as if he existed for any other reason than to create drama about their “unit” being weakened, and to really drive home the point that what they witnessed as children was so horrible that one of them killed himself because of it. I think I enjoyed the way I just explained it more than the way King explained it in the book. It was just annoying, because Stan just tagged along (he’s an introvert, I get it). But Stan really annoyed me. I guess his suicide was the best part.

I liked Ritchie as a character. Mike as a character. Ben, and Bev. Eddie was annoying. “He sucks on his inhaler. He sucks on his inhaler. He sucks on his inhaler.” I FUCKING GET IT. GIVE SOMEONE ELSE MORE PAGE TIME. Swap Stan and Eddie, or something. Sure, it’s great when you learn the inhaler was a placebo. But for fuck’s sake, I got tired of reading about Eddie’s goddamned asthma. Bill’s character was interesting. He grew on me. At first, I thought he was stale. But he grew on me. He kind of made me wonder why some of the other kids were really necessary. I know groups have “leaders”, but a lot of time was given to Bill. And I couldn’t figure him out as a character. Obviously, he was motivated by justice. But how much of his character would’ve been “serious” if Georgie hadn’t died? How much of it was his natural personality and how much of it was revenge for Georgie? It bothered me that I couldn’t figure that out. Not really a problem with King, I guess. Just something personal.

I get that Henry was the antagonist that needed the most page time. It makes sense. He’s a loudmouth. I didn’t have any problem with Henry Bowers. I liked his storylines. But man, was I disappointed when Patrick Hottstetter’s story was over as quickly as it was. That was one of my favorite parts of the whole book. Patrick’s killing animals and has them in a refrigerator? Holy fuck! That’s great! Slugs that jab into your eyes? Awesome! I’m not saying that Patrick should’ve been the main villain over “It”, nor did I have a problem with how much time Henry was given. But I was disappointed that his beautiful depravity was over with so soon. Henry being the leader of this fucked up kid, who was probably entirely capable of killing Henry. What an interesting character, Patrick Hottstetter was. Shame I didn’t get to see more of him. I’m glad he died, though. In the sewers. Apropos.

And everyone ends up fucking Bev in the sewer? Really? I mean, ALL of them? Stan, Mike, Ritchie, everyone? That part was hilarious. I loved it. I guess, looking back, it’s really tragic. What was Bev thinking? Did she become a whore because of an abusive father? Or was there truly something deeper that she did, in fact, share with all of them? I’m leaning more towards whore because of her father, personally. Women don’t just go around fucking all of their friends. That’s the only way she really knew how to show her love, because that’s how her father showed her love. Sweet, because she loves them. Heartbreaking, because she’s fucking them because of her own sexual abuse (I’m sure), and hilarious and disgusting because they are all down in a sewer when they fuck. King can’t be preaching about ANYTHING “in real life”, political, because of that. Well, it depends. King virtue-signalling about Trump is pathetic. But I’m not going to get into that here.

But the main themes of the book, about childhood and growing up, were terrific. The final couple of pages made me tear up. I loved it. Fascinating how the kids fought “It” by accepting that “It” was an illusion. Kids conquering their fear of the dark. That was very nice. But why did any kid ever die then? How can kids die from giving in to an “illusion”? At what point does the illusion become real? I really like all of the parts were King drives home that horrible things in one’s childhood fucks one up for life. All of them repressing what happened to them in the sewer as kids. Stan killing himself, Henry and Bev that I already mentioned, etc. What happened with the Hottstetter kid that made him how he was? Who knows. Enjoyable. The town ignoring the problems of the kids? Also nice. But I’m confused: why did only some kids die, and not all of the kids? Why was anyone allowed to grow up to become an adult? Why did “It” choose who it chose? That also bothered me. Maybe I’m a bad reader and all of this just flew over my head.

And what’s the deal with Pennywise? There’s something old. It manifests itself to what children fear. It’s an illusion. What is its “final” form? I guess I missed that, too. I wish that Pennywise wasn’t just some prop or tool, the “bait” form of It, I guess. I’m fine with a clown turning into a spider. But I was disappointed that the clown just goes around talking in people’s heads. I guess he doesn’t have to kill anyone. But it’s kind of a let down to me when Pennywise is around for the whole story but he’s (or that form of “It” is) kind of meaningless in the end.

And why Derry? Why nowhere else? What was it about Derry which made “It” reside in the sewers for so long? No big city at all? I thought “It” was going to be a metaphor for evil as a whole. But it only resides in Derry? News crews from major cities come to Derry afterwards? Why did “It” choose Derry? I get it. That’s the “mystery”, I guess. But it annoys me. I liked the parts that talked about Derry. The small town life, the people around. It was funny to read about people going down to fix the sewers when they overflowed. Interesting. But why does “It” live in a sewer in a small town? Sewer, fine. But why Derry? “That’s the whole point, that’s the mystery”, blah blah blah. It annoys me, personally. I like shit to make sense. I get that entertainment doesn’t have to make sense, but in times like these, it is going to bother me, and I am going to say so, because that is how I am. Lol (And I’m not just saying that it has to be in “bigger” towns and not “smaller” towns, but why only one small town? Why no other “small town” but Derry, Maine?)

And I’m fucking glad I’m probably never going to see the word “Kenduskeag” ever-a-fucking-gain.

I’d definitely recommend “It”. But, in my opinion, it is overrated. People love it for the gruesomeness. Which I agree with. But I have a lot of problems with this story. There’s way too many problems and not enough good gruesomeness in this one for my taste.

And I think I would enjoy it more if it was cut in about half.

Review of 2017’s “It”.

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Narrating my life as if I’m a separate character because I’m losing my mind.

“Deep down, he had the fear. That he really didn’t care. That he cared that he didn’t care. That it would all come crashing down upon him. That everyone was right. He was wasting his time. His dreams, delusional; his actions, unproductive. His time, running out. Fearful of being crippled with inevitability. That all he had stood for up to this point was a mere facade; a way to keep from ‘growing up’. What was it about that attitude that had repulsed him so before, but which seemed inevitable now? Was it foolishness? Or the fire he needed to keep himself going? Was he crazy? Or was he right? Why was it that he had thought himself talented before? Was it justified? Or merely a childlike escapism, the only way to keep his spirit from being crushed?

Why did he spend so much time on his spirit, anyway? What was so important about it? Didn’t real life matter? What kind of point was he trying to make? What did it really matter? Was his heart yearning for something more real? Or was he lying to himself, making excuses, to keep from reading the writing on the wall? When would he know that it had been written?; or, even, if it had been written at all?

Suddenly, the life he had loathed, and tried to avoid for so long, was here. It was alluring. It was easy, even if unfulfilling. But how easy was it if it was truly unfulfilling?

The 9 to 5, and the sixpack. It was staring him cold in the face. Would the alcohol be enough to dull the lamentation from regret? Would it be enough to drown out the sorrows of natural difficulties? Would he need to ‘grow up’, or remain in his childlike construct of imagination? Would his escape be the very thing that haunted him so, but that which he desired the most?: his drive for success, and his artistic visions, despite the natural obstacles and his own limitations which got in the way of his dreams? Would he ever be as good as he hoped? As rich as he hoped? Or would he be delegated to the unknown?; Or, merely, the notoriously bad and unsuccessful?

All he knew for sure was that when the fire burned, it BURNED, and he was grateful for that. He hoped that the fire would keep him warm enough from the cold of uncertainty, and alive enough from the suicide of lazy, fearful, and ignorant, yet innocent, dejection…”

Writing.

Sanity.

Fiction.

If I could write like this every fucking day, I’d be set. But turning my brain off (somewhat) for extended periods of time is the only thing that keeps me sane. I haven’t learned to keep up with it yet, nor learn how to use it.

I’m on the stoop of literature. Once that front door opens, there’s no going back. Navigation will become a non-stop way of life, with only a vague destination in mind. Wandering the halls forever, of imagination, both internal and external. There’s no going back. There’s no escaping the escapism, once you enter. You’re trapped. You are admitted into the mental institution of fiction. You will talk to yourself, and talk to the voices in your head. And they will talk to you. Readers will call it “fiction”, but the horror is all too real. You have lost your mind. You are creating worlds and problems, only adding to your level of stress. You truly HAVE lost your mind. “Come on in,” the writers say, cheerfully, if only to keep a happy face in front of the interviewing camera to keep the world spinning. “The world of literature is WIDE and wonderful.” I’ll be damned if it is. I’m fucking talking to myself in a piece of quasi-fiction, and I know that this is only the beginning. If I continue to go down this road, I will never be the same again. The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason, and I think it may be a good one. A life of talking to myself? What madness! All for what? A good story? A happy heart? Is it truly worth the insanity? Is it worth the isolation? Is it worth the poverty? The headache? Physical sickness?

Why oh why must I be this goddamned writer! Why must it feel so natural to me, and yet so GODDAMNED elusive? Why is it on, and then off again? Hot and cold. Luke warm. It flirts with me, I tell you. “You can do it, Cody.” “I think you’re lying to me.” “Nah. Go ahead.” “Well, ok. Holy fuck, you’ve left me to drown in my own sea of ideas with no life raft.” “Here.” “No, I don’t want your goddamned ideas.”

Clearly for the better, you’re left inside your own head with a jarbled mess of incoherence, and, inevitably, resentment. Occasionally, God throws you a life raft of “common sense.” But when you think it will rain daily, there’s a drought. The gap is filled with unsatisfying nonsensicals. But goddamned if you’re going into insane land. By God, what have you got if not your sanity? WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO TO WRITE WELL IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR GODDAMNED MIND IN THE PROCESS, BY GOD!!!

What is it that you fear? Clearly, it cries out for you. What is the problem? A heart of stone? Too much thinking? What is it that keeps you saneWhat will rid you of it? WHAT WILL COMMIT YOU TO THE LIFE OF THE WRITER?!?!?! Why do you fear that life so? Is it the ridicule? The possibility of failure? Opportunities foregone? The fear of making a mistake? What prevents you from writing? From reading? Life-changing commitments are always difficult decisions. I suppose the fact that they are difficult just means that you value your life. But then again, why can’t it be easy? Oh, how satisfying success would be, though. An independent decision leading to good things? My, how fulfilling of a life. What is wrong with that? Are you afraid you’ll change your mind later? Are you afraid you’ll invest time and effort into something you later regret? And then what? What will you fall back on? Is the more important question: what could you possibly care about more? Could it ever be more fulfilling than this? Once again, why, oh why, do you fear so? Clearly, it is the ball and chain you were cursed to carry in this life. We’ve all got our burdens to bear…

The seductive mistress taunts you with her golden jewelry. My, oh my, how beautiful that jewelry is. So elusive. So comforting. We all must live before we die, musn’t we? Is it a mirage? Or is it actually waiting for you, as you, truly, deep down, believe? Will you die from dehydration in the desert? Or live as a king? What is it that makes you believe the latter? And what is it that makes you ignore the former, if not for the latter, and also the love of the craft itself? Truly, there is nothing else. No other reason. It is your IDENTITY. It is YOU.

But the mistress is not within your grasp. She’s just out of reach. Or, perhaps, further back than that. But is your perspective the problem? Do you not see happiness as an ultimate ethical virtue? What is wrong with being a little maniacal if it helps?

Back to reality. The desperation. The dreaming; the difficult independence; the uncertainty; the roller-coaster; the self-loathing, self-doubt, and self-confidence. Fighting through the brush towards the enemy, only because you are crazy. This war is widely unavoidable. But is it? For others, maybe. But for YOU? Can you truly avoid this war? Why does it burn within you so? Why does it fuel your hunger for belonging in this world? Why does it consume you, night and day, when others are at peace? Are they at peace? Or are they in the back while you are on the front lines? Are they looking for someone to lead the charge, if only because they are desperate to fight, but feel unable to? Are you the leader they need? Or are you the local schizophrenic rambling about fictitious wars and delusions of grandeur? Will you ever know which one FOR SURE?! AND WHEN, FOR GOD’S SAKE?!

…It yearns; lingers; burns. In the cave, it burns. Once the oil is added, it burns uncontrollably, and no one wants to deal with an ignited madman.

Isn’t that what you want, though? To be left alone? More than anything else, don’t you just wish to be left……ALONE?……

You aren’t truly alone. Many men have wandered the very sands, the very cement, that you desire to tread upon. They have looked for the same treasures, with success and failure. They have gotten lost in the cave, and they have never returned.

And maybe they aren’t saying it’s a good thing simply for the camera…………

Stoop kid is afraid to leave his stoop, but, with small steps, he will embark upon the sand, the cement, the halls, and deep down, he hopes there’s no way out. He hopes he becomes lost in this world. He hopes it becomes all he has, if only to feel like he has something that he actually wants…………

Getting Sucked Into the World of Writing.

The nature of writing is that you have to do it: the exhausting nature of the work which I wish to accomplish.

The nature of writing is that you have to do it.

In other words, if you wish to have something written, you must write it.

I rather despise the process of writing because of its difficulty in achieving the desired end-product.

I wish I could create certain end products without the processes used to get there, but that proves rather impossible.

I wish that I could go from A, an introductory premise, to B, its conclusion, without having to dictate all of the steps required to get there, through writing.

The process is laborious when I only wish to end up at B, without taking all of the steps necessary to get from A to B.

It is rather tiresome, and I wish that I could create all of the Bs that I want to without all of the processes needed to create B, which includes all of the As necessary as well, and everything in between all of the As and Bs.

I just want all of the Bs without all of the processes needed to get from A to B, because it is just tiresome, although I really enjoy the Bs.

Of course, sometimes the process of going from A to B can be enjoyable.

But most of the time, the scope of B is so gargantuan and the claim of A is so gargantuan that going from A to B requires a tiresome amount of mental labor, processing, integration, and worst of all, the organization, which takes up the most mental effort.

The processing is a really difficult aspect of getting from A to B, but integration and organization prove to be the most difficult aspects of getting from A to B, with the processing being rather difficult as well.

Even as a talented writer, writing is a difficult process nonetheless.

Things that I have for sale on Kindle.

Where you can financially support me if you so desire.