- Megan Bingham
Welcome to Derry, Maine. It's a small town with plenty of big secrets . . . and its own dancing clown.
Derry is situated along Interstate 95, to the south of Dexter, Maine, and to the west of bigger cities, such as Bangor and Haven. The town has a long history of human settlement, stretching back to the early days of America in the 18th century. Derry also has a history of unspeakable tragedy, including strange disappearances of settlers, and the mysterious explosion of Kitchener Ironworks in 1906, which killed a group of 88 children and 42 adults who were participating in an Easter egg hunt.
Then, in the 1950s, the disappearances start again.
In the summer of 1957, during a heavy rainstorm, six-year-old George "Georgie" Denbrough is killed and left to bleed to death in a street gutter. His brother, "Stuttering Bill" Denbrough, is left to pick up the pieces of his broken family. Finding solace in a group that dubs themselves as "The Losers' Club," Bill and the seven others fight sadistic bully Henry Bowers and his gang of teenage thugs on a daily basis. But Henry Bowers and his gang aren't the only threat the kids are facing.
The Losers' Club begins to experience terrifying encounters with visions of what they're the most afraid of . . . such as rotting mummies, snarling werewolves, ghosts of the past, and fountains of blood. Then, they all realize they're seeing the same thing: a terrifying, shapeshifting, white-faced clown that calls itself Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
Stephen King's terrifying epic doesn't end there. With a solid 1,138 pages, It jumps from the 1950s to the mid-1980s, where all seven kids of The Losers' Club are grown and have moved away from the damaging memories of their childhood. But when the murders begin once again, The Losers' Club knows that It has returned from its slumber. After all, it's been 27 years and The Losers' Club did promise themselves to return if It ever came back.
It is widely known as one of Stephen King's best works of horror fiction. It won the British Fantasy Award in 1987, and Publishers Weekly listed it as the bestselling book in the United States in 1986. The novel deals with themes that eventually became Stephen King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, the ugliness lurking within a small town, and overcoming evil through mutual trust and friendship.
In 1990, the novel was adapted into a television miniseries, starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown. Although the miniseries wasn't favorited by critics, Tim Curry's unforgettable performance as It was praised. To this day, many young adults are still terrified of Curry's portrayal. Since 2012, a two-part movie has been in the works with New Line Cinema and directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama). The first part, It: The Losers' Club, will debut this Friday, September 8, 2017, and stars Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise/It and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things).