top of page
  • Writer's pictureMatt

IT (NOVEL)

Updated: Jun 7


Artwork for the 25th Anniversary special edition book cover, by Glen Orbik, Alan M. Clark, Erin S. Wells

IT is a 1986 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It was his 22nd book and his 17th novel written under his own name. The story follows the experiences of seven children as they are terrorized by an evil entity that exploits the fears of its victims to disguise itself while hunting its prey. IT primarily appears in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown to attract its preferred prey of young children.


The novel is told through narratives alternating between two 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 malevolence lurking beneath the idyllic façade of the American small town, and overcoming evil through mutual trust and sacrifice.


King has stated that he first conceived the story in 1978, and began writing it in 1981. He finished writing the book in 1985. He also stated that he originally wanted the title character to be a troll, like the one in the children's story Three Billy Goats Gruff, who inhabited the local sewer system rather than just the area beneath one bridge. He also wanted the piece to interweave the stories of children and the adults they later become.


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 hardcover fiction book in the United States in 1986. It has been adapted into a 1990 two-part miniseries directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, a Hindi 1998 television series directed by Glen Baretto & Ankush Mohla, and a film duology directed by Andy Muschietti. Muschietti's It was released in September 2017 and It Chapter Two was released in September 2019.

 

IT SEWER GRATE

DATE(S) VISITED: JULY 4, 2020
LOCATION: BANGOR, ME
MAP

We all float down here! During a heavy rainstorm in Derry, Maine in the spring of 1960, George Denbrough plays in the streets with a paper sailboat made by his stuttering older brother, Bill. It goes down a storm drain, where Georgie encounters Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Pennywise entices Georgie to reach in to retrieve his boat, only to tear his arm off and leave him to bleed to death.


A sewage drain at the intersection of Union Street and Jackson Street is said to be the one that helped Stephen King come up with the famous opening scene from this story. While it doesn't resemble the sewer in the TV and movie versions, it is still a cool place for King fans to see and experience.

Per locals it's tradition for visitors to tie a red balloon to the grate to pay homage and keep him at bay, which we certainly had to do ourselves.



Here is a little video of Team H paying homage to Pennywise at the sewer grate, then taking a quick peek at the King's home which is located just a short distance away:


 

THOMAS HILL STANDPIPE

DATE(S) VISITED: JULY 4, 2020
MAP

Just a short distance from the sewer grate stands the iconic Thomas Hill Standpipe.


The Derry standpipe, where Stan encounters IT during the summer of 1958 in the novel, isn't featured in the miniseries, but Mike mentions it during his classroom presentation. Ultimately, Stan's encounter with IT (which takes place in 1960 in the miniseries) happens in a creepy house that he finds himself drawn to, probably based on the Neibolt Street house in the book.


 

BENCH AT THOMAS HILL STANDPIPE

DATE(S) VISITED: JULY 4 2020
LOCATION: BANGOR, ME
MAP

Located next to the Thomas Hill Standpipe, which features in King's story IT, is a park bench. King sat at this bench for multiple days handwriting pages of the story, gaining inspiration from his surroundings in the process.


 

ORIENTAL JADE RESTAURANT

DATE(S) VISITED: JULY 4, 2020
LOCATION: BANGOR, ME
MAP

By Bangor Mall sits the Oriental Jade restaurant. This place served as the inspiration for IT's Jade Of The Orient restaurant. We didn't eat there so we didn't get any eyeballs in fortune cookies.


 

PAUL BUNYAN STATUE

DATE(S) VISITED: JULY 4, 2020
LOCATION: BANGOR, ME
MAP

IT even includes the infamous Paul Bunyan statue. For all intents and purposes, IT is King's love letter to the city that made him famous.



38 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page