I am not entirely sure why I avoided reading Stephen King all these years, but now that I have started I don't want to stop. It is the latest King book that I have read. The movie from 1990, which was actually a TV mini-series, was one of my favorite scary movies growing up. I figured the book would be alright, but somehow the visuals of a movie seemed to be more theoretically compelling. I was wrong. The book is by far better than the original movie, and is great indepdently. I will have something to say about the new movie at the end.
I put It on my reading list because I wanted to read it before the new movie came out. The book is longer than anything else I have been reading lately, so it was a bit of a slog to get through. Nevertheless it was worth it. King's character development is thorough to the point of pedantic which I really like. The shear volume works because of his style. You get involved, want to know what is going to happen next, but still manage to laugh.
I was at a bit of an advantage having seen the 1990 movie before reading the book because I knew the basic story arc. However, the book has so many more plot twists and story lines. As with all movie adaptations, some things need to be left out for the sake of time. The book is darker and more nuanced than any movie could probably be.
It is near the top of my list of books in the horror genre. I definitely think it is worth the time and effort to read.
Now, on the new movie. One of the worst things I have seen in quite some time. Not Jack Reacher: Never Go Back bad. No this movie is bad in a much worse way. It changes fundamental parts of the story for no apparent reason, but as a result loses all the meaning. The interplay between childhood and adulthood, between belief and doubt. Not just that, the movie itself is laughable. Moments that are intended to be scary come across as jokes. I went on a rant after coming home from this movie, but I don't feel like recounting all of those problems here. Leave it to say, if you saw that movie, do yourself a favor and read the book. If you haven't seen the movie, do yourself a favor and don't.