There is horror in violence & torture....obviously...and yet. SPOILERS

Let’s talk about the insane levels of highly detailed violence and torture that abound in IT. And much, if not all, of the detail is emotional rather than physical, insomuch as its fictionalized violence and the resultant injury is inflicted on the reader. At what point does torture porn become masochistic to the reader who sujects herself to truly disturbing violence? At what point does it shift from vital to the story to gratuitous? What does King lend to this violent story that makes the reading compelling and does it ultimately add value/worth to the overall effect of the massive undertaking of reading the novel?

We have the purveyors of violence:

Alvin Marsh
Tom Rogan
Patrick Hockstetter
Henry Bowers
Butch Bowers
Richard Macklin

And essentially, they are all abusers of children, women, animals. (IT and Patrick, however, are monsters.) One begins to wonder after being subjected to relentless scene after scene of domestic abuse, if that might be the underlying story/moral/point of the novel. Abuse of the innocent. Torture and death of the innocent. IT feeds on children in some sort of evil conduit of energy to power the dark macroverse, but the fathers/stepfathers in IT also feed a dark reality in the legacy they each leave with their fists and words and deeds.

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Where are we and where are we heading

Alright, girls and boys! I finished "IT" this week and am just kefuddled and bamboozled with thoughts and feels and opinions and critique.

BUT FIRST - where are all of you? There are 5 parts to the novel. So far we've had two posts about the actual story - the opening chapter and the seven. Should we make posts for each of the five sections? Do we want to discuss section by section or by subject?

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"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? I mean...." He looks around, sees hostile eyes, and realizes dimly that they see this as some sort of attack. Maybe it even is. They are thinking, he realizes, that maybe there is a sexist death merchant in their midst. "I mean....can't you guys just let a story be a story?"
  • ashbet

Out of the Blue and Into the Black

In which a killing is the first precursor of a new cycle of horror...

...and we meet our seven protagonists for the first time as adults, and discover what their lives and clouded memories have shaped them into.

How each of them reacts to getting the call foreshadows a great deal -- for their immediate adult futures, but also revealed memories of their childhood bubbling up in the deep, swampy, unavoidable parts of their minds.

The bodies that have been buried for so many years are opening their crypts and stepping out, and it's a potentially sanity-destroying experience to have sweet amnesia drawn aside to reveal the terrible truths of the past.

Discuss!! :)

IT - The Shadow Before

We are going to jump right in with Part I of IT, but first a couple of things -

- This community belongs to all of its members! That means, if YOU have an idea for a post, a discussion, a meta exercise, a great link, or an applicable video - please go ahead and post! No members are moderated. I've already seen several of you mention AMAZING points and conversation ideas in this post - Happy October - why horror? These are very exciting ideas and talking points and I really would like each to have a dedicated post/conversation.

- Pimp the community on your own LJs if you think you have flisters who have relevant interests.

- All viewpoints are welcome.

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 1. After the Flood (1957)

I believe the opening chapter, these 16 pages, are some of the strongest writings to be found in the 1,153 pages. I think this chapter could very well be a stand-alone horror story, a study in suspense and poignant imagery. It's a beacon that is shining a light down the dark tunnels and sewers for the reader, a beckoning into King's style, his story, and his children characters.

Eight paragraphs in and we get the infamous and recognizabel "IT" foreshadowing - Water sprayed out from beneath his galoshes in muddy sheets. Their buckles made a jolly jingling as George Denbrough ran toward his strange death. This is the crooked finger invitation from the storyteller to the reader, join me, come closer, look I'm not going to jump-scare you, I'm going to tell you what happened from the perspective of children who never got to grow up even if they lived through this horror.

My suggestions for discussing this opening chapter are to examine multiple aspects of it -

writing technique
horror building

HAPPY OCTOBER - why horror?

The genre we’re talking about, whether it be in terms of books, film, or TV, is really all one: make-believe horrors. And one of the questions that frequently comes up, asked by people who have grasped the paradox (but perhaps not fully articulated it in their own minds) is: Why do you want to make up horrible things when there is so much real horror in the world?

The answer seems to be that we make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones. With the endless inventiveness of humankind, we grasp the very elements which are so divisive and destructive and try to turn them into tools — to dismantle themselves. The term catharsis is as old as Greek drama, and it has been used rather too glibly by some practitioners in my field to justify what they do, but it still has its limited uses here. The dream of horror is in itself an out-letting and a lancing. . . and it may well be that the mass-media dream of horror can sometimes become a nationwide analyst’s couch.

~ Stephen King

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I like this article - Scared Me So Happy

So, here's a question that's been asked - is "IT" too scary to read? Can we, should we, recommend this massive novel to others? Is there a positive to reading this book? I would love to hear what you think and why! I will respond with my own thoughts in the comments.

October Bookgroup - Stephen King's IT

“Come on back and we’ll see if you remember the simplest thing of all – how it is to be children, secure in belief and thus afraid of the dark.”
― Stephen King's IT

Welcome to the online bookclub read/reread of Stephen King's "IT". Next week we dive in. This book is HUGE and needs to be read at one's own pace. We will be spending the month of October discussing it. Keep notes, scribble marginalia, share links, thoughts, personal reflections, meta, literary analysis, fears, dreams, fanfic, images, videos.

Looking forward to the shared autopsy of a masterpiece of horror!