Again and again, size of the book fails to match the quality of the story
Recenserad i Storbritannien den 16 augusti 2020
This is another thick novel from Stephen King (SK), more than one thousand pages printed with small fonts.
And this is my fourth book of SK.
Again (and again), quality fails to match the size.
I would review this book in two parts. First half gets three stars, second half gets one star.
For me second half of the book starts with Losers Club returning to Derry. This part is so boring, extremely disengaging, very difficult to finish.
I see three reasons for it.
1- Too much fiction.
SK was obviously inspired by his childhood fears, illusions for writing this book. But it feels like he added too much on top of his childhood fears, and he also engineered them too much.
There is a creature, called IT, terrorises Derry, a small fictional town in State of Maine.
Maybe IT was a small illusion of SK in his childhood scarring him in his room, in bathroom.
SK made the IT, and IT's terror too big and too disperse.
IT returns to Derry every 27 years, exposes itself to kids with different forms like a clown with a balloon, zombie, flying leeches with wings.
And kills the kids in different ways.
I found narration of all these different scenes as boring, disengaging, destroying the concentration.
IT is too much dispersed.
2- Too much SK style Middle Class American dialogue for nothing.
In the second half of the book, I started to feel like SK is talking to himself with his unbounded energy for narrating.
Problem is that his Middle Class American dialogues are not fitting to nature of all the scenes.
Plus, reader can not absorb it any more. Because it is repetitive, dull, null, and has no value to the story.
It is disengaging. I have read some critics of SK saying his books could be short stories. I tend to agree with that.
3- Mechanically engineered plot
I found the story like mechanically engineered, sequenced, constructed.
This construction makes reader to anticipate where the story is heading for.
As a result story looses suspense, taste, and becomes a boring labour of reading.
Body of the plot has four main sections.
a) In Derry, seven kids, encounter IT separately in 1958. Later they confess to each other this encounter and call themselves the Losers Club to fight against IT.
- There is long description of each encounter
- Loser Club do their first fight against IT, but fail to kill IT. Loser Club oath to return to Derry to kill IT if in the future IT comes back to Derry again
b) In 1985 all six members of Looser Club receives call from seventh friend who continues his life in Derry to return to Derry to kill IT, because IT is back and killing again.
- Description of each of the six receiving he phone, and interrupting of their normal life abruptly. One of them kills himself after he hears IT is back.
c) Meeting back in Derry again
- When they gather in Derry, they eat together
- Then each goes out separately seeking to encounter IT. Long description of each' encounter with IT again.
d) Fight with IT
Losers Clubs had two fights with it, one in 1958, one in 1985. Both are narrated in interchanging parallel flow
- 1958 Fight
- 1985 Final Fight
I found this structure really tiring to read. Getting bogged down to each section , anticipating what will happen.
What I love most in the entire novel is that one of the losers club member Bill's talk at University at a discussion
"I don't understand this at all.
I don't understand any of this.
Why does a story have to be socio anything?
Politics ... Culture ... History ... aren't those natural ingredients in any story, if it's told well?"
Bill will be a famous writer later.
Here obviously SK is telling his view, and his own story, and I agree with him.
And he shows examples of it fantastically in this novel.
- WOMAN IN MARRIAGE
After receiving phone call from Derry, Loser Club member Beverly tells her husband that she has to leave him for a while ( to kill IT )
Beverly smokes, and her husband Tom hates her smoking.
[ "Got to give you a whuppin" he said. "Sorry about that, babe." ]
After a lot of whipping her with belt.
[ "Tom, listen to me." She spoke slowly. Her gaze was very clear.
"If you come near me again I'll kill you. Do you understand that, you tub of guts? I'll kill you" ]
Mike Henlon is a poorest and only black member for the Loser Club. His father is a farmer, and his father tell him his memories when he was soldier.
A sergeant asks him to dig a hole, and fill in again. He orders him to do a few times.
And here is the final one.
[ So I dug the dirt out of his hole and then I filled again, and then he asks me why I went and filled hole just when he was getting ready to take crap in it.
So I dug it out again and he drops his pant and hangs his skinny-shanks cracker redneck ass over the hole and he grins up at me while he's doing his business and says,
- "How you doing, Hanlon?"
- "I am doing just fine, sir," I say right back, because I decided I wasn't going to give up until I fell unconscious or dropped dead. I had my dander up.
- "Well. I aim to fix that.' he says. "To start with, you better just fill that hole in, Private Henlon. And I want to see some life. You're slow down" ]
Eddie, another member of Loser Club goes to train yards when he has no one to play with.
Though he is scared of train beard train yard workers, tramps, hobos living around there, but still goes.
[ One of these fellows had crawled out from under the porch the house at 29 Neibolt Street one day and offered to give Eddie a blowjob for a quarter.
Eddie had backed away, his skin like ice, his mouth as dry as lintballs. One of the hobo's nostrils had been eaten away.
You could look right into the red, scabby channel.
- "I don't have a quarter," Eddie said, backing toward his bike.
- "I will do it for a dime," the hobo croaked, coming toward him. ]
The other think I like Stephen King he unforgiving will to use the right word to describe the situation.
He uses a lot of uncommon words to get the heart of the situation he is trying to narrate.
[ "Hold him!" Henry SNARLED.]
[ "I think I want you to," he whispered, and smiled a DOPEY, dizzy, and absolutely grin. ]
[ The bike SHIMMIED. ]
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