First edition cover
|Cover artist||Bob Giusti (illustration)
Amy Hill (lettering)
It is a 1986 horror novel by American author Stephen King. The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by the eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. "It" primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes that eventually became King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma and its recurrent echoes in adulthood, the ugliness lurking behind a façade of small-town quaintness, and overcoming evil through mutual trust and sacrifice. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1987, and received nominations for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards that same year. Publishers Weekly listed It as the best-selling book in the United States in 1986.
During a particularly perilous rainstorm in Derry, Maine, six-year-old George "Georgie" Denbrough is chasing a boat made from a sheet of newspaper down a gutter. The boat is washed down a storm drain to the dismay of Georgie, who had received the boat as a gift from his older brother Bill. After peering into the drain, Georgie sees a pair of glowing yellow eyes which he first believes to be a cat trapped in the sewers. Startled, Georgie watches in confusion as he is suddenly confronted by a man dressed in a silver clown suit with tufts of red hair and orange pom poms who introduces himself as "Mr. Bob Gray," a.k.a. "Pennywise the Dancing Clown." Pennywise offers Georgie a balloon which he cautiously refuses; however, the clown entices Georgie to reach into the drain to retrieve his boat and then rips his arm off, leaving the boy in the gutter to bleed to death. Many neighbors on the block immediately hear Georgie's screams and rush to find the boy dead.
The following June, Ben Hanscom, an overweight eleven year old boy, is harassed by a gang of bullies led by the psychopathic Henry Bowers. On the last day of school, Hanscom hides from his tormentors in the Barrens, where he befriends Eddie Kaspbrak, a hypochondriac boy who believes he has asthma, and "Stuttering Bill" Denbrough, George's elder brother who suffers from a stutter and rides on a rusty bike named "Silver." The three boys later befriend fellow misfits Richie Tozier, Stan Uris and Beverly Marsh, who eventually refer to themselves as "The Losers Club." As the summer draws on, the Losers realize that they have each had an encounter with a seemingly omniscient, interdimensional shapeshifting demonic entity that takes the form of whatever they fear the most: Ben as a mummy; Eddie as a leper; Bill as George's ghost; Richie as a werewolf; Stan as two drowned boys and Beverly as a fountain of blood spurting from her bathroom sink. Due to the unknown origin of the monster, the Losers refer to the creature as "It" and link It with a series of recent child murders, including that of Edward "Eddie" Corcoran who is killed by the monster in the form of the Gill-man. Meanwhile, an increasingly sadistic Henry begins focusing his attention on his ethnic neighbor, Mike Hanlon and his father. Henry kills Mike's dog and chases the terrified boy into The Barrens, where he befriends the other Losers. Mike tells the Losers that he was attacked by It in the form of a flesh-eating bird and they realise through Mike's picture book that It has been around for hundreds of years. The Losers begin to suspect that It has control over Derry due to the number of unsolved disappearances and violent tragedies that go unnoticed or seem forgotten by the adults in the town. One afternoon towards the end of summer Henry and his gang initiate a rock fight with the Losers in the Barrens. The bullies are left defeated and embarrassed, however an injured Henry swears revenge on the Losers before departing. After further encounters of It in the form of Pennywise and various other manifestations, the Losers construct a makeshift American-Indian smokehole which Richie and Mike use to hallucinate Its origins. In doing so they discover that It came to Derry millions of years before in an asteroid-like impact and that every 27 years It awakens from a slumber underneath the town's sewers, usually after some kind of terrible event or tragedy, to feed on children for a period of 12–16 months. "It" informs the reader that it existed originally in a void between our universe and others, in a dimension known as the Macroverse. It tells the reader that it chooses to prey on children because It believes their fears are easier to interpret in a physical form, which It claims is akin to "salting the meat" as it feeds. Bill then discovers the "Ritual Of Chüd," an ancient ritual that allows him to enter the Macroverse to confront It. Bill encounters Mataurin, an ancient dweller and the creator of the universe who explains that It can only be defeated during a battle of wills.
In late July, Eddie is hospitalized after an attack by a vengeful Henry Bowers and several of his friends. Spying on them, Beverly witnesses one of the bullies, Patrick Hockstetter, trying to empty a refrigerator which he had been using to murder injured animals, only to be taken and killed by It in the form of flying bloodsucking leeches. Later, the Losers discover a message from It written in Patrick's blood warning them that It will kill them. After Eddie is released from the hospital with a broken arm, Ben makes two silver slugs out of a silver dollar, believing that silver will harm It. The kids return to the house on Neibolt Street where Eddie, Bill, and Richie had previously encountered It and It attacks them in the form of a werewolf. Beverly shoots a slug from Bill's slingshot at the werewolf, injuring It, and causing It to flee back to the sewers. In late August, It, now fearing the Losers and seeing them as a threat, manipulates the mind of Henry Bowers, making him kill his violent alcoholic father and providing him with a switchblade. Henry and the rest of the Bowers gang, Victor "Vic" Criss and Reginald "Belch" Huggins, follow the Losers into the sewers with the intention of trapping and killing them; however, It attacks the Bowers Gang in the form of Frankenstein's monster, ripping Vic's head off and also mutilating and killing Belch. Henry, driven insane, continues to chase the Losers and gets lost. He eventually washes out of the sewers into a nearby river and is blamed for all of the child murders. Bill enters the monster's mind through the Ritual of Chüd and discovers that the true form of It is a mass of destructive orange lights known as the "deadlights," which he repels. With the help of Mataurin, Bill is able to defeat It and send it recoiling back to its slumber. After the battle, the victorious but badly shaken Losers begin to lose cohesion and get lost in the sewers until Beverly has sex with all the boys to bring unity back to the group. The Losers then swear a blood oath to return to Derry should It return in the future.
In July 1984 at the annual Derry carnival, three youths brutally attack a young homosexual man named Adrian Mellon and throw him off a bridge. They are arrested and charged with murder when Mellon's mutilated corpse is found, however one of the murderers claims that he saw a clown dressed in a silver suit kill Mellon underneath the bridge. Adrian's partner, the other victim in the attack, had also noticed the clown but the bemused prosecutors convince him not to mention it during the trial. When a string of violent child killings occurs in Derry once again, an adult Mike Hanlon, now the town's librarian and the only one of the Losers to remain in Derry, calls up the six former members of The Losers Club and reminds them of their childhood promise to return should the killings start again. Bill Denbrough is now a successful horror writer living in England with his actress wife, Audra. Beverly Marsh is a fashion designer in Chicago, who has married an abusive man named Tom Rogan who regularly beats her with a belt strap. Eddie Kaspbrak has moved to New York City, where he runs a limousine rental company and has married a hysterical codependent woman similar to his hypocondriac mother. Richie Tozier lives in Los Angeles and is a professional disc jockey. Ben Hanscom is now thin and a successful architect, living in Nebraska. Stan Uris is a wealthy accountant residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to Mike's phone calls, all of the Losers had completely forgotten each other and the trauma of their childhood, burying the horror of their encounters with It, however all but Stan reluctantly agree to return to Derry. After Mike's phone call, Stan is in such fear at the thought of facing It again that he slits his wrists in the bathtub, writing "IT" on the wall in his own blood. Tom refuses to let Beverly go and tries to beat her, so she lashes out at him before fleeing, causing him serious injury. The five return to Derry with only the dimmest awareness of why they are doing so, remembering only absolute terror and their promise to return.
The Losers meet for lunch, where Mike reminds them that It awakens once roughly every 27 years for 12–16 months at a time, feeding on children before going into slumber again. The group decides to kill It once and for all. At Mike's suggestion, each person explores different parts of Derry to help restore their memories. While exploring, Eddie, Richie, Beverly and Ben are faced with manifestations of It (Eddie as Belch Huggins in leper form, Richie as a Paul Bunyan statue, Beverly as the witch from Hansel & Gretel and Ben as a Dracula), which are It's attempts to scare them off. Bill even finds his childhood Schwinn, Silver, and brings it over to Mike's. Three other people are also converging on the town: Audra, who is worried about Bill; Tom, who plans to kill Beverly; and Henry Bowers, who has escaped from Juniper Hill Mental Asylum with help from It (in the form of the deceased Victor Criss). Mike and Henry have a violent confrontation at the library, and Mike is nearly killed but Henry escapes, severely injured. Henry, with the guidance of It (in the form of Belch this time), is driven to the hotel where It instructs him to kill the rest of the Losers. Henry first attacks Eddie, breaking his arm once again, but in the fight Henry is killed. It appears to Tom and orders him to capture Audra. Tom brings Audra to It's lair. Upon seeing It's true form (the deadlights), Audra becomes catatonic and Tom drops dead in shock. Bill, Ben, Beverly, Richie and Eddie learn that Mike is near death and realize they are being forced into another confrontation with It. They descend into the sewers, and use their strength as a group to "send energy" to a hospitalized Mike, who fights off a nurse that is under the control of It. It appears as George, but Bill overcomes the illusion. They reach It's lair and Bill engages It in the Ritual of Chüd again. Richie rescues Bill from the deadlights and manages to severely injure It with his Voices. Eddie saves them but is killed in the process when It tears off his arm. Beverly stays with Eddie and the traumatized Audra who is found alive. Bill, Richie, and Ben follow It when It retreats due to injury. They discover that It is female and has laid eggs which Ben destroys. Bill and Richie continue to hunt It down. During the ensuing battle, It throws Richie aside, knocking Richie unconscious. Bill crushes It's heart between his hands, finally killing It.
At the same time, the worst storm in Maine's history sweeps through Derry, and the downtown area collapses. Mike concludes that Derry is finally dying. The Losers return home and gradually forget about It, Derry and each other. As a sign that It really is dead, Mike's memory of the events of that summer also begin to fade, much to his relief. Ben and Beverly leave together and become a couple, and Richie returns to California. Bill is the last to leave Derry; before he goes, he takes Audra, still catatonic, for a ride on Silver, which awakens her from her catatonia. The death of Derry suggests that It has finally been destroyed, however it is implied in later Stephen King novels that It may have survived and still be alive.
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The Losers' Club
The Losers' Club is a group of seven misfit eleven-year-old children who are united by their unhappy lives. They share the same misery and torment from being the victims of bullying at the hands of the Bowers Gang, a gang of local bullies led by the increasingly sociopathic Henry Bowers, and band together as they struggle to overcome It.
- William "Bill" Denbrough
- Bill is considered the red-headed leader of the group, and the most self-assured member of the club. He wants to avenge the death of his younger brother, George. He feels partly responsible for his death as it was he who made George the boat and sent him outside to play with it during a rainstorm. In addition, his parents have become cold and withdrawn towards him after the loss of their youngest son, and he secretly hopes the death of the murderer will awaken his parents to his presence again. He has a bad stuttering issue, which his mother attributes to a car accident that occurred when he was three years old, and which earned him the nickname "Stuttering Bill". However, the issue got worse after George's death and it is implied to be psychosomatic rather than physical. He is the most determined and resourceful of the Losers and is the one who, both in 1958 and 1985, confronts It in the Ritual of Chüd and eventually destroys It. As an adult, he becomes a successful writer and marries film star Audra Phillips, who bears a strong resemblance to Beverly.
- Benjamin "Ben" Hanscom
- Known as "Haystack", Ben is a highly intelligent boy who, before joining the Losers' Club, often spent his free time reading books at the public library. He is also obese, and due to this has become a favorite victim of Henry Bowers. His mechanical skills become useful to the Losers, from making two silver slugs to building an underground clubhouse. He develops a crush on Beverly Marsh and the two leave Derry together after the 1985 defeat of It. As he grows up, he sheds his excess weight and becomes an internationally renowned architect.
- Beverly "Bev" Marsh (later Rogan)
- The only girl in the group, she is an attractive and tomboyish redhead on whom each of the boys has a secret crush at some point during the story. She is from the poorest part of Derry, and is frequently abused by her father, Alvin, while her mother, Elfrida is out working. In 1958, she develops a crush on Bill Denbrough. Her skill with a slingshot is a key factor in battling It. As an adult, she becomes a successful fashion designer in Chicago, but endures several abusive relationships, culminating in her marriage to Tom Rogan, who sees her as a sex object and disapproves of her chain smoking, using it as an excuse to beat her. She departs Derry with Ben following the death of her husband (who was used by It to capture Audra).
- Richard "Richie" Tozier
- Known as "Trashmouth", Richie is the Losers' most lighthearted member, always cracking jokes and doing impersonations or "Voices", which prove very powerful weapons against It. He is "too intelligent for his own good" and channels his boredom in hyper-active wisecracking, to the point of getting into trouble. His flippant remark to Henry Bowers leads to almost getting beaten up by Henry and his friends. He is the most devoted to keeping the group together as he sees seven as a magical number and believes the group should have no more, no less. In adulthood, he is a successful disc jockey in Los Angeles. As the DJ, he uses his once-annoying and unrealistic voices as one of his main attractions. He has bad eyesight and wears thick glasses as a child, but changes to contact lenses as an adult. Although it is unclear if he was the basis of the character's name and occupation, Maine Public Radio has a music program hosted by a Rich Tozier.
- Edward "Eddie" Kaspbrak
- Eddie is a frail and asthmatic hypochondriac, who carries his inhaler with him everywhere. His father died when he was very young, and his mother is domineering and constantly worries about his health. Later in the story, it is revealed that Eddie's asthma is psychosomatic: the pharmacist has been all along giving him water instead of medicine in his inhaler. The root of Eddie's problems is his mother, who has Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Her constant worrying about his health has been a way to manipulate him into caring for her. When Henry and his friends break his arm and his mother tries to prevent the Losers from visiting Eddie in the hospital, he finally stands up to his mother and tells her that he is no longer the helpless kid she thinks he is. As an adult, he runs a successful limousine business in New York City, but is married to a woman, Myra, who is very similar to his mother. He also finds the strength to defend himself from Henry Bowers, eventually killing him in self-defense with a broken bottle, even though in the fight his arm is re-broken in the same spot Henry broke it in a scuffle when they were kids. He bleeds to death in the sewers after his arm is bitten off by It, ultimately dying in his friends' arms.
- Michael "Mike" Hanlon
- Mike is the last to join the Losers. He is the only African-American in the group and lives with his parents on a large farm. He goes to a different school from the other kids due to his Baptist faith. Mike is racially persecuted by Henry Bowers, whose father holds a long-standing grudge against Mike's father. Mike meets The Losers when they help him fight back against Bowers in a massive rock fight. His father kept an album filled with photos that were important to Derry's history, including several of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. He is the only one of the Losers to stay behind in Derry (and thus the only one to retain his memory of the events of 1958) and becomes the town librarian. He researches Derry history and It, and is the one who beckons the others back when the killings begin again in 1985. Though he survives, Mike is seriously wounded by Henry and is unable to join the remaining Losers (Bill, Ben, Bev, Eddie, and Richie) in the final battle against It. He later recovers from his wounds but like the others starts to lose his memory of the experience. It was later revealed in Insomnia that Mike continued as a librarian and was the boss of one of that book's primary protagonists in 1993.
- Stanley "Stan" Uris
- Stan is the most skeptical member of the Club. He is Jewish and is persecuted by Henry Bowers for this reason. Logic, order, and cleanliness are deeply ingrained in his psyche. He relies on logic more than anything else and is the least willing to accept that It actually exists. As an adult, he becomes a partner in a large Atlanta-based accounting firm and marries Patty Blum, a teacher. However, upon receiving Mike's phone call in 1985, he commits suicide by slitting his wrists in the bathtub and writing "IT" in his blood on the wall. In addition, it is heavily implied that Stan was the only one aware that It was not only female but was also pregnant, hence he chose death over returning to Derry to face the ancient terror despite being the one to slice the Losers' palms in a blood oath. It is also implied in the book that Stan remembers more about the children's encounters with It than the others do, sometimes commenting about the Turtle and other events from his time in Derry, though he claims that he doesn't remember what those phrases mean. It can be implied throughout the story that he was psychic to a mild degree (accurately predicting which job his wife should apply for, a higher sensitivity to Its activities, frequent references from the other losers to his "ordered mind"). Besides blaming It for George's death, Bill also blames It for Stan's death.
"Pennywise" / It
Described as a mysterious, eldritch demonic entity of evil, It is a monster of unknown origin that preys on Derry's children and humans every three decades, stating It finds the fear in children akin to "salt(ing) the meat". Among Its powers is shapeshifting into a form that induces fear while killing the victim, normally assuming the form of a middle-aged man dressed in a clown costume, calling itself "Pennywise the Dancing Clown" and occasionally Bob or Robert Gray, modeled after Bozo, Clarabell and Ronald McDonald. It can also manipulate people and use them as pawns into doing its bidding, either by assuming a form most familiar to them, promising them their desires, or through subliminal influence. Thus, having control over what happens in Derry, many of the child murders It commits are never solved, as the adults of Derry either act as though nothing is happening or have forgotten about It. Its true form as perceived by the human eye is that of a giant spider that houses Its essence: namely writhing orange lights (termed "Deadlights"), looking directly into which can either kill a person or drive them insane.
Its awakening and return to hibernation mark the greatest instances of violence during Its time awake, such as the disappearance of over three hundred settlers from Derry Township in 1740–43. In 1957, It awoke during a great storm which flooded part of the city, whereupon It went on a feeding spree, starting by murdering George Denbrough. However, the Losers' Club forced It to return to an early hibernation when heavily wounded by the young Bill Denbrough in the first Ritual of Chüd. As the story opens, It has awakened approximately 27 years later and is first seen when three bullies beat up a homosexual couple, Adrian Mellon and Don Hagarty. It killed Adrian after the bullies threw him off a bridge. When the adult members of the Losers' Club gathered, It recognized them as a threat and resolved to drive them away through both illusions and by controlling Henry Bowers, the Losers' long-time childhood bully. Bill, Richie, Beverly, Eddie and Ben managed to confront Its spider form after It arranged to have Audra in its possession. It was finally destroyed in the second Ritual of Chüd with an enormous storm that damages the downtown part of Derry to signify It's death. In the book "Dreamcatcher" When the main villain that has taken over Jonsie's body tried to put a worm in Derry's water by use of the stand-pipe, it was no longer there due to the '85 flood. There was a statue in its place from the losers club dedicated to all those that where victims of IT, on the dedication plate painted in red letters "Pennywise Lives". Suggesting that IT was not dead and that IT's death was just an illusion.
Explained in the Dark Tower Series, Pennywise has the same shape-shifting ability as the sinister character Dandelo.
The Bowers Gang
The Bowers Gang is a group of seven twelve-year-old neighborhood bullies who attend the same school as and are the worst enemies of the Losers' Club after Pennywise. The gang is led by the crazed and mischievous Henry Bowers, while also being co-led by Henry's two best friends and sidekicks, the smarter and more well-moraled Victor "Vic" Criss and the unusually larger, stronger, and more slow-witted Reginald "Belch" Huggins.
- Henry Bowers
- As the novel's second main antagonist, Henry Bowers is the sadistic and crazed leader of the Bowers Gang who torments the Losers and other kids ceaselessly before and throughout the summer of 1958. The novel portrays him as a hateful and violent twelve-year-old boy filled with mischief and malice. Henry's sanity slowly deteriorates throughout the summer due to the influence of It and abuse from his equally crazy and abusive father, Butch Bowers, who has taught Henry to be a racist. Henry also shares his father's intense hatred for the Hanlon family, the only black family in Derry, in addition to being a sexist and anti-semite. He inflicts many acts of cruelty and humiliation upon the Losers during and before the summer of '58, such as partially carving his name onto Ben Hanscom's stomach, which he never finishes, ceaselessly mocking Bill Denbrough's pronounced stutter, harassing Beverly and threatening her with sexual violence, killing Mike Hanlon's dog and bathing Mike in mud in order to make him a "tar baby", breaking Eddie Kaspbrak's arm, breaking Richie Tozier's glasses numerous times, and white-washing Stan Uris' face in snow until it bleeds. His deteriorating sanity becomes apparent during his attacks on Eddie and Beverly: with the former, he pushed a man to the ground and threatened him into going back inside a building when the man tried to stand up for Eddie after Henry starts attacking Eddie with rocks; he kicked out an old lady's taillight when she tried to stand up for Beverly. After a violent rock fight in early July, Henry becomes increasingly sadistic until he eventually murders his father in mid-August with a switchblade provided by It, and also tries to kill the Losers. He follows them into the town sewers with his friends Victor "Vic" Criss and Reginald "Belch" Huggins, only to encounter It in the form of Frankenstein's monster, who decapitates Vic and mutilates Belch's face. Henry fails to kill any of the Losers and manages to escape from It. When he eventually finds his way out of the sewers, his hair has turned white from the shock of witnessing his friends being slaughtered and also seeing It in its true form, which drives him completely insane. He is convicted for the murder of his father and is framed for most of It's murders throughout the summer. He is placed in an insane asylum and remains there until May 29, 1985, when he escapes with It's assistance, and heads back to Derry to attempt to murder the Losers once more. After critically wounding Mike in the town library and being injured himself in the process, Henry then goes to the hotel where most of the Losers are staying, and finds Eddie's room first, only to be killed in the confrontation with Eddie.
- Victor "Vic" Criss
- Victor "Vic" Criss is a bully, and one of Henry's sidekicks. Among Henry's gang, Vic is most likely the smartest and most intelligent member and is the only one who truly realizes Henry's insanity, and becomes increasingly reluctant to follow him. The novel describes Vic as having good morals despite helping Henry torment the Losers, often wanting to scare or intimidate the Losers rather than actually cause physical harm. When he makes comments and jokes, he often uses heavy profanity as well as implied or explicit violence. It is also noted that he is a more than fair pitcher during the rock fight, where he causes the most damage (partly and somewhat paradoxically because he did not want to be there). In early August, while in the Tracker Brothers store, Vic warns the Losers of Henry's deteriorating sanity. He also almost approaches the Losers to join them, but decides against it. By doing this, he seals his fate and joins Henry and Belch in following the Losers into the sewers, where the three encounter It in the form of Frankenstein's monster, who kills Vic by decapitating him. Later It appears before Henry taking the form of Vic and Henry continually remembers Vic's decapitation. His corpse along with Belch's is later discovered by the adult Losers when they go to face It for the final time.
- Reginald "Belch" Huggins
- Reginald "Belch" Huggins is another sidekick of Henry's, and earned his nickname due to his ability to belch on command. He is very big for his age, being six feet tall at twelve years old. Belch is considered stupid by most people, which he makes up for in physical strength and his fierce loyalty to his friends, especially Henry. He is believed to be a professional grade baseball batter. Belch follows Henry and Vic into the sewers to murder the Losers, only to encounter It in the form of Frankenstein's monster. After It kills Vic and goes after Henry, Belch defends him and attacks It. Henry leaves Belch behind and It overpowers him and kills him by mutilating his face. It appears as a mutilated Belch to drive Henry to the hotel where the Losers are staying. During this encounter, Belch shows a great deal of resentment towards Henry, which uneases Henry. His corpse along with Vic's is later discovered by the adult Losers when they go to face It for the final time.
- Patrick Hockstetter
- Patrick Hockstetter is a psychopathic and solipsistic bully who is part of Henry's gang (despite his generally low reputation, even as a bully). Patrick keeps a pencil box full of dead flies, which he kills with his ruler, and shows it to other students. He makes sexual advances to Henry at one point. He also takes small, usually injured animals and locks them in a broken refrigerator in a junkyard, and leaves them there to die. Along with killing animals, Patrick has also murdered his infant brother, Avery, by suffocation when he was five years old. When alone with Henry after lighting farts with him and his gang one July afternoon in 1958, Patrick gives Henry a handjob and offers to give him oral sex, which snaps Henry out of his daze and prompts him to punch Patrick in the mouth. Henry then reveals that he knows about Patrick's refrigerator, and threatens to tell everyone about it if Patrick tells about the handjob. Once Henry has left, Patrick opens the refrigerator to dispose of the animal corpses but is attacked by a swarm of flying leeches, his only fear. The swarm sucks Patrick's blood leaving large holes all over his body, which causes him to slowly lose consciousness as he is dragged away by It. When he awakens, It begins to feed on him. His corpse is later discovered by the Losers when they go into the sewers to face It for the first time.
- Peter Gordon
- A well-off friend of Henry's that lives on West Broadway, who thinks of chasing Mike Hanlon as a game, though Henry's crazed and increasingly violent behavior (such as attempting to outright kill Mike with cherry bombs and M-80s) begins to alienate him. He is also the boyfriend of an unattractive girl with heavy acne named Marcia Fadden. When school goes out for the summer, Peter (menacingly) invites Ben Hanscom to play baseball with him and while on a date with Marcia, he insults the Losers at the movies. Like Vic Criss, he also realizes Henry's eroding sanity, albeit only after the rock fight. He is never seen again after the rock fight.
- Steve "Moose" Sadler
- A slightly developmentally disabled and very slow friend of Henry's, whose father works on the Hanlon family farm. He joins Henry in tormenting Mike Hanlon and also helps him break Eddie's arm in the park. However, Moose is shown to be more of a minion or a follower to Henry rather than a friend and is more of a friend to Vic and Belch.
- George "Georgie" Denbrough
- The first character introduced in the book, he goes out to sail his boat made from a sheet of newspaper only for it to be swept into a storm drain. Seconds later Pennywise appears and tempts him with balloons and circus food. George says no and as George reaches for the boat, Pennywise grabs him and rips his arm off, whispering to him 'they float' while he bleeds to death.
- Edward "Eddie" Corcoran
- Eddie Corcoran is a classmate of the Losers Club and Henry's gang. Like Beverly Marsh, Eddie and his younger brother Dorsey are victims of child abuse by their stepfather, Richard Macklin. However, unlike Beverly's father, who proved to be a loving and caring father at times, Eddie's stepfather would often beat them brutally and without warning, at one point throwing Eddie into a coat rack with enough force to make him urinate blood for two weeks simply for accidentally slamming the door while he was sleeping. In May 1957, Richard hit Dorsey in the back of the head with a hammer, accidentally killing him, which he covered up to look like an accident. Two days before summer vacation in June 1958, Eddie runs away from home and decides to rest in the park. However, using Dorsey's form, It approaches Eddie and chases after him before assuming the form of the gillman to kill him. Eddie is the only child who is actually shown getting killed by It besides George Denbrough and Patrick Hockstetter.
- Adrian Mellon
- Adrian Mellon is a young homosexual man in Derry. He grows fond of the town, despite its violently homophobic mindset, and only agrees to leave to please his partner, Don Hagarty. Before leaving, however, the two attend a town fair in July 1984, and on the way home, they are harassed by three gay-hating youths. The three attack them, Adrian especially because of a hat he won at the fair, and throw him from a bridge over a canal. When he hits the bottom, Adrian is attacked by Pennywise as It briefly pressured his ribs until he shrieked, and dragged him away to kill. Though Don and one of the bullies, Chris Unwin, witnessed this, no mention of Pennywise is made at the trial.
- Will Hanlon
- Will Hanlon is the father of Mike Hanlon. While dying of cancer in 1962, he tells Mike about his experiences in the Army Air Corps in the 1920s and about establishing the Black Spot, a club started by Will and his black Air Force buddies and originally meant exclusively for black members, but gradually began accepting members of other races as well. He recounts how, in the fall of 1930, the club was burned down by a group of Maine Legion of White Decency members, causing numerous deaths. He also tells Mike that he witnessed a giant bird—the same bird that nearly killed Mike in 1958—carry off a Legion of White Decency member and fly away with him in its talons.
- Mr. Keene
- Mr. Norbert Keene was the owner and operator of the Center Street Drug Store for fifty years from 1925 to 1975. He administers Eddie's asthma medication and later reveals to him that it's only a placebo. Many years later, Mike interviews him and Mr. Keene tells him the story of the Bradley Gang, a group of outlaws who were hiding out in Maine after several bank robberies in the midwest. He tells Mike that, in 1929, a year before the fire at the Black Spot, the entire gang was murdered by Derry residents when stopping through town to buy ammunition. Mr. Keene says that rather than covering up the event, the whole town instead pretended that it never occurred, including police Chief Jim Sullivan, who even took part in the slayings. Finally, Mr. Keene mentions seeing a clown participating in the shooting, but that it was wearing farmer's attire rather than a traditional clown suit. He also points out that even though the Sun was out, the clown cast no shadow.
- Tom Rogan
- The insane, abusive, violent and sadistic husband of Beverly Marsh. Tom has a very predatory view of women, and he thrives on the control he has over his vulnerable wife. When Beverly tries to leave for Derry, he refuses to let her, whipping her. Tom is surprised when the normally docile Beverly fights back, and almost kills him. He follows Beverly to Derry with the intent of killing her, but is manipulated by It to kidnap Bill's wife, Audra, instead. He later dies from shock after seeing It's true form.
- Alvin Marsh
- Beverly Marsh's insane father. Although he is not an alcoholic or drug user, he abuses Bev and her mother (who later dies) and acts misogynistically. Though there are times when Alvin is shown to be a loving and caring father to Bev. He dies of unknown causes in 1980.
- Kay McCall
- Beverly Marsh's close friend, a divorcee and an affluent writer of feminist literature. Beverly turns to her when fleeing her husband Tom. She is brutally assaulted by Tom, who successfully extracts all she knows about his missing wife's whereabouts.
- Audra Denbrough
- Bill's wife and a famous actress. She follows Bill to Derry due to her concern over his mental state and is kidnapped by Tom Rogan, who is acting on It's orders. She becomes catatonic after seeing It's true form, but Bill wakes her from this by using his bike, Silver.
25th anniversary special edition
On December 13, 2011, Cemetery Dance published a special limited edition of It for the 25th anniversary of the novel (ISBN 978-1-58767-270-5) in three editions: an unsigned limited gift edition of 2,750, a signed limited edition of 750, and a signed and lettered limited edition of 52. All three editions are oversized hardcovers, housed in a slipcase or traycase, and feature premium binding materials. This anniversary edition features a new dust jacket illustration by Glen Orbik, as well as numerous interior illustrations by Alan M. Clark and Erin Wells. The book also contains a new afterword by Stephen King discussing his reasons for writing the novel.
Connections to other Stephen King books
The book reveals that one of Will Hanlon's army friends (and the cook in the Black Spot) is Dick Halloran from The Shining. Beverly Marsh's mention of the murders committed by a "crazy cop" in Castle Rock is a reference to Frank Dodd in The Dead Zone. Richie Tozier and Beverly Marsh appear in 11/22/63 when Jake goes back to Derry in 1958.
In 1990, the novel was adapted into a television miniseries starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown, John Ritter as Ben Hanscom, Harry Anderson as Richie Tozier, Richard Masur as Stan Uris, Tim Reid as Mike Hanlon, Annette O'Toole as Beverly Marsh, Richard Thomas as Bill Denbrough, Olivia Hussey as Audra Phillips, Dennis Christopher as Eddie Kaspbrak, and Michael Cole as Henry Bowers. The younger versions of the characters were played by Brandon Crane (Ben), Seth Green (Richie), Ben Heller (Stan), Marlon Taylor (Mike), Emily Perkins (Beverly), Jonathan Brandis (Bill), Adam Faraizl (Eddie), and Jarred Blancard (Henry). The miniseries was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and scripted by Lawrence D. Cohen and Wallace.
On March 12, 2009, Warner Bros. announced that a new adaptation of Stephen King's novel had started. Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Doug Davison were set to produce, with Jon Silk executive producing. In 2010, the screenplay was being written by David Kajganich.
On September 21, 2010, film director Guillermo del Toro announced that he would like to direct new adaptations of the Stephen King novels It and Pet Sematary, but stated that he was very busy and unlikely to be able to make them any time soon.
On June 7, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter announced that the novel would be adapted into a two-part film, directed by Cary Fukunaga. On May 21, 2014, Warner Bros. moved the film to its New Line Cinema division. On December 5, 2014, it was announced that the first part would be set in the past and the second part in the present. The two-part film was set to begin shooting in the summer of 2016. In March 2015, the director talked about the film and said that he was trying to find a perfect "Pennywise". He also revealed that he and other writers had changed the names and dates in the script. In May 2015, it was announced that Will Poulter was cast as Pennywise in the film. That same month, it was reported that Fukunaga had dropped out of directing and that production on the film was stalled. On July 16, 2015, Andy Muschietti was in negotiation to direct the film. On April 13, 2016, King announced on his Facebook page that filming would begin soon. A week later, the studio announced that the film would be released on September 8, 2017. In June 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Bill Skarsgård had been cast as Pennywise after Poulter dropped out to pursue other projects. Jaeden Lieberher will portray Bill Denbrough. Finn Wolfhard will portray Richie Tozier, newcomer Sophia Lillis will portray Beverly Marsh, Jack Dylan Grazer will portray Eddie Kaspbrak, Wyatt Oleff will portray Stan Uris, Chosen Jacobs will portray Mike Hanlon and Jeremy Ray Taylor will portray Ben Hanscom. Owen Teague was later cast as one of the Bowers gang, Patrick Hockstetter. Nicholas Hamilton was cast as Henry Bowers, Logan Thompson as Victor Criss and Jake Sim as Belch Huggins. The first official trailer was released on March 29, 2017. The second official trailer was released on May 7, 2017 at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
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