The horror novel that made the world afraid of clowns
KING, Stephen. It. New York: Viking, 1986.
8vo., black publisher's boards backed in cloth, with author's initials in red to upper cover, and lettering in red to spine; original pictorial dust wrapper illustrated by Bob Guisti and designed by Neil Stuart; pp. x, 1138, [iv]; some light marks and scratches to boards; jacket a little creased and clipped to upper corner of front flap; a very good copy overall.
Moving back and forth between 1958 and 1985, the story tells of seven children in a small Maine town who discover the source of a series of horrifying murders. Having conquered the evil force once, they are summoned together 27 years later when the cycle begins again. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1987, and received nominations for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards that same year. It was the best-selling book in the United States in 1986, and has been adapted into a 1990 two-part mini-series directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, and into a 2017 film directed by Andy Muschietti starring Jaeden Lieberher and Bill Skarsgard.
"It features relatively little of the kind of horror that has protagonists shining their flashlights into dark corners to face unseen abominations. Instead, it dwells on horror of having lived with something terrifying all along, of having become blind and numb to it. It strikes me that there is something distinctly American about the pervasive, dreamlike fog of amnesia that envelops the town of Derry, Maine, in King's novel. Not for nothing does it make home its town's sewers. As one character puts it: 'Nobody knows where all the damned sewers and drains go or why. When they work, no one cares'." (Daub).