How did the first eight chapters treat you this week? It was a lot of pages to read, but hopefully you were able to make it through. Was anyone surprised by how creepy the book is? Were you turned off by the violence in the very first chapter?
In the first two chapters, we meet It—also known as Pennywise. Chapter 1 depicts how Pennywise the Clown hid in the storm drain and killed Georgie. In the second chapter, about thirty years after the first chapter, a group of teenagers attack a young gay man and throw his body into a canal, where a clown grabs and eats it. These two attacks are different, but they are tied by the fact that they are near water and they involve a creepy clown. The fact that these attacks take place 30 years apart is important. The time difference shows that It is still rampant after the group of kids initially try to defeat it, and it sets up the need for the group to get together again as adults.
In the next six chapters, we learn more about the people who will band together to try to defeat It. In the third chapter, each adult receives a call to come back home. Each person, except for Mike, lives far away from Derry and has become someone really different from the child they were when they first encountered It. But everyone—except for Stan, who kills himself—drops everything to come back to Derry, even though they don’t have complete memories about their time there.
Chapters 4 through 8 give us background information about each character. We see how Ben, Richie, Bill, Eddie, and Mike first encountered It, and how It really brought them all together as friends. One interesting thing is that the kids are first mostly concerned about the bullies in town, not the murderous clown. Another interesting thing is that It took different forms when appearing to different people. It appeared as a mummy and as a werewolf.
There are so many details in the story and there are tons of characters. Did you find yourself getting confused? Did you like that the story jumped between time periods, or was that confusing? What did you think of the part that told the history of Derry? I thought those parts were interesting, but they were a little unnecessary because they distracted from the narrative with the kids.
Did you find yourself drawn to any of the characters? Did you enjoy reading the back story of one character over the others?
If you’re interested in the 2017 movie and how it was made, check out this video. It gives a behind the scenes look at Pennywise’s make-up and prosthetics. It’s pretty cool.
I hope this first section didn’t scare you off of the story. Make sure to let me know what you think of the book so far!
If you want to join us again next week, make sure to read through chapter 15. See you then!