Friday, January 12, 2018

Audiobook Review - It by Stephen King

It by Stephen King
Narrated by Steven Weber
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: January 31, 2015
Date Read: December 8, 2017
Length:  44 hours 57 minutes
Source: eStories Purchase
★★★★☆
Now a major motion picture
Stephen King's terrifying, classic #1 New York Times bestseller, "a landmark in American literature" (Chicago Sun-Times)-about seven adults who return to their hometown to confront a nightmare they had first stumbled on as teenagers…an evil without a name: It.

Welcome to Derry, Maine. It's a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city's children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry's sewers.

Readers of Stephen King know that Derry, Maine, is a place with a deep, dark hold on the author. It reappears in many of his books, including Bag of Bones, Hearts in Atlantis, and 11/22/63. But it all starts with It.

"Stephen King's most mature work" (St. Petersburg Times), "It will overwhelm you… to be read in a well-lit room only" (Los Angeles Times).
My Review

I liked this one.  I really have not read a lot of King's work but this book has been one that I have wanted to pick up for a long time.  I decided to go with the audiobook since I had heard great things about the narration and I think I made a really good choice.  This was a really entertaining story that kept me listening for hours at a time.

This book is told in alternating timelines.  We follow a group of characters in the childhood and again as adults.  The timelines worked really well with each other to tell the story of the events occurring in the town of Derry and there are some very strange events happening in that little town in Maine.  I found that I liked both timelines equally and was really invested in finding out how things would work out in each. 

I really feel like I got to know all of the characters very well.  There is no shortage of character development in this book.  If anything, I would say that we are given too much information regarding the backgrounds of some of the characters.  I mean this is a really long book and sometimes I felt like I spent hours listening to only learn one character's backstory.  On one hand I really liked all the details but on the other hand the book felt too long.  I liked that the main characters were all flawed individuals that had things to overcome as kids and new things to overcome as adults. 

I think that this book did a lot of things really well in addition to the characters and use of timelines.  I think that it did a great job of painting a truly creepy and menacing portrait of the evil in Derry.  I liked the mystery behind Pennywise and his appearances.  There were some truly frightening scenes in the book which I really appreciated as well.  There were a few scenes that felt so realistic that I found myself cringing as I listened to the book.

There were a few things that I didn't care for in the book.  The end of the book felt really weird to me.  The ending was surprisingly odd and just didn't seem to completely fit.  I was also rather bothered by the sex scenes involving kids.  It was just all kinds of wrong and the book would have been a lot stronger without it in my opinion.  I did feel that the book was too long.  I enjoyed the story but by the time I got closer to the end, I was more than ready to be done with it. 

Steven Weber did an absolutely fantastic job narrating this book.  There was a very large cast of characters that he handled very well.  I thought that he did an exceptional job with Bill's stutter and keeping all of the voices consistent.  He added just enough of a creepy factor to the scenes that needed it.  He really did such a wonderful job in bringing this story to life and I often listened to his voice for hours at a time.  I would definitely listen to his narration again if given the opportunity.

I would recommend this book to others.  It wasn't perfect but it was really good and I am glad that I finally took the time to listen to it.  I do recommend the audiobook for anyone considering reading this book because I really do feel that the narration adds a wonderful element to the story.  I do hope to read more from Stephen King in the near future.
About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Bill Hodges Trilogy—Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel), Finders Keepers, and End of Watch—and the story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. His epic series, The Dark Tower, is the basis for a major motion picture starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It is also now a major motion picture starring Bill Skarsgård. King is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

26 comments:

  1. It's been years since I read this but I did just recently watch the movie. I can't wait for the second half. I hear King criticized a lot for his endings and never really thought about it until I read Under the Dome...and then I understood. Glad you really enjoyed this audio book!

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    1. I have only read a couple of his books. I have the audio for Under the Dome so I hope I like that ending a bit more.

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  2. The only thing I didn't like was what you commented on-the sex scene with the kids. Turning Bev into a slut at that age as the escape route was silly! Otherwise I love the book. I bought the audio cd with this narrator so I'm pleased he's good! I need to read or listen to this again soon!

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    1. Steven Weber does a fantastic job with this one. I felt bad for poor Bev. That scene could have easily been left out.

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  3. This was the longest book I read last year. I adore Stephen King, but IT definitely could have been shorter. Also, that sex scene . . . yuck. I still need to see the movie. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. It was my longest book in 2017 as well. I have read other really long books that didn't feel as long. This one felt long. That sex scene was just wrong on so many levels. I hope to see the movie soon.

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  4. I listened to this same audio last year and Weber was an excellent choice as the narrator. I had a problem with the sex scene and all the kids near the end as well. Where did that even come from?! I can't believe that didn't' stick with me after my first reading!

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    1. I listened to this at work and when that scene came on, I was horrified. Absolutely horrified. I think the book lost a lot of its appeal after that.

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  5. I haven't tried this one but I tried the movie but couldn't connect

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    1. I haven't tried to watch the movie yet but I want to watch both of them.

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  6. I've seen the original movie several times and love it. I've never read the book though.

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    1. I want to see the movie with Tim Curry now that I have read the book.

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  7. Ugh. My roommate told me about the icky sex scenes in the book. I just thought she was messing with me. Gross!

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  8. I've still never been able to make it through a Stephen King book, but I am determined to. This was a great review. And I do love Steven Weber. But I'm not sure this one is for me.

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    1. I read a King short story as a teen and didn't care for it so I avoided his work until I decided to try again a few years ago. I have only read couple and this is the first older book that I have tackled.

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  9. He was one of my top favorite mystery authors. Glad that you enjoyed this book. Awesome review. I need to get back to this genre soon. 😁❤️

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    1. I can't believe that I have so many of his books to read. I hope to get to more soon.

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  10. I haven't had much of an interest in reading this one, I admit. I haven't read too much in the way of King, but enough to know he's a great story teller and that his books are hit and miss for me. I may eventually give this one a try. I will definitely keep the audio version in mind! I am glad you liked this one, Carole.

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    1. I avoided his work for so many years. I do like a good creepy story and am glad I read this one. The audio was very well done.

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  11. Oh nope nope nope. I'm too big of a wuss for his. lol I'll have to check out the narrator and see what else he's done :D

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    1. I really have to mix up my reading or I get bored with some genres. Steven Weber is definitely a narrator to check out.

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  12. I have been thinking about trying this one since the movie came out and I think I will. I can totally understand how unsettling the children sex scenes must be - I think I will feel similar to you about that. And a shame about the ending kind of being so twisted and not really compatible with the rest of the book.

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    1. The ending was just weird to me. And sex scenes involving pre-teens? Um, no.

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