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It cover

First Edition Hardcover 1986. (U.S.)


IT is the 22nd book published by Stephen King.  It was his 18th novel, and the 13th novel written under his own name. The book was released by Viking in September 15, 1986.

Plot summary

1957–1958

During a heavy rainstorm in Derry, Maine, six-year-old George "Georgie" Denbrough is chasing a paper boat 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. Peering into the drain, Georgie sees a pair of glowing yellow eyes. Startled, Georgie is suddenly confronted by a man dressed in a silver clown suit 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 pulls out his arm, leaving the boy to bleed to death in the gutter.

The following June, on the last day of school, Ben Hanscom, an overweight eleven-year-old boy, is harassed by a gang of bullies led by Henry Bowers, who attempts to carve his name into Ben's stomach. 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". Ben shows them how to build a dam along the creek bed -- a project they're later admonished for by a friendly local policeman, Officer Nell, who also tells them never to wander the streets of Derry or come to the Barrens alone. Children have been disappearing and Nell tells them they'll be safer together.

The three boys later befriend fellow misfits Richie Tozier, Stanley 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, shape-shifting 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 unhinged and sadistic Henry Bowers begins focusing his attention on his African-American neighbor, Mike Hanlon and his father. Egged on by years of his father's hatred for the Senior Hanlon's success as a local farmer, Henry admits to poisoning Mike's dog and chases the terrified boy into the Barrens. Mike tells the Losers that he was attacked by It in the form of a flesh-eating bird and they realize through Mike's picture book that It has been around for centuries. 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.

During the incident where Henry and his gang chase the terrified Mike into the Barrens, Henry and his gang initiate a rock fight with the Losers in the Barrens. The bullies are left defeated and embarrassed – an injured Henry swears revenge on the Losers before departing. After further encounters with 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 It's 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.

In late July, Eddie is hospitalized after an attack by 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 trap and kill small animals, only to be 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 the monster. At this point the narrative changes and "It" informs the reader that it existed originally in a void between our universe and others, in a dimension known as the Macroverse. It boasts to the reader that It is superior to anything on earth and confirms 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".

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. It, now seeing the Losers as a threat, manipulates the mind of Henry Bowers, providing him with a switchblade, which Henry uses to murder his father.

Henry and his two closest friends, Victor "Vic" Criss and Reginald "Belch" Huggins, follow the Losers into the sewers with the intention of killing them. It attacks the three bullies in the form of Frankenstein's monster, ripping Vic's head off and mutilating Belch's face. Henry, driven insane as a witness to his friends' brutal slayings, chases 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. Meanwhile, Bill discovers the "Ritual of Chüd", an ancient ritual that allows him to enter the Macroverse to confront It. During the ritual Bill encounters Maturin, an ancient turtle and the creator of our universe (which it vomited up following a stomach-ache), who explains that It can only be defeated during a battle of wills.

Bill enters the monster's mind through the Ritual of Chüd and discovers that It's true form is a mass of destructive orange beams which It refers to as the "Deadlights". With the help of Maturin, Bill is able to defeat It and send it back to its slumber. After the battle, the Losers 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.

1984-1985

In July 1984 at the annual Derry carnival, three youths brutally attack a young gay man named Adrian Mellon and throw him off a bridge. They are arrested and charged with murder when Mellon's mutilated corpse is found. 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, seeing it viciously bite Mellon under an arm, but the prosecutors convince him not to mention it during the trial.

When a string of child murders 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, and is married to an abusive man named Tom Rogan. 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 hypochondriac mother.

Richie Tozier lives in Los Angeles and works as a 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, the Losers had buried the horror of their encounters with It. However, all but Stan reluctantly agree to return to Derry. After Mike's phone call, Stan is so terrified 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, but 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 at a Chinese restaurant, 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. While they share stories about their interim lives since they left Derry, they gang returns to the strong bond that defined their previous friendship and love for each other. When they open their fortune cookies at the end of dinner, It strikes, causing horrible hallucinations to plague them. 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 Dracula). Bill finds his childhood Schwinn, "Silver", and brings it to Mike's.

Three other people are also converging on the town: Audra, who is worried about Bill, Tom Rogan, who plans to punish Beverly, and Henry Bowers, who has escaped from Juniper Hill Mental Asylum with help from It. Mike and Henry have a violent confrontation at the library. Mike is nearly killed but Henry escapes, severely injured. Henry is driven to the hotel by the ghost of Belch Huggins, where It instructs him to kill the rest of the Losers. Henry attacks Eddie, breaking his arm once again, but in the fight Henry is killed.

It appears to Tom Rogan and orders him to capture Audra. Tom brings Audra to It's lair. Upon seeing It's true form, Audra becomes catatonic and Tom drops dead from 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 possessed by It. They reach It's lair and find It has taken the form of a giant spider. Bill and Richie enter It's mind through the Ritual of Chüd, but they get lost in It. To distract It and bring Bill and Richie back, Eddie runs towards It and uses his aspirator to spray medicine in It's eye and down It's throat. Although he is successful, It bites off Eddie's arm, and Eddie bleeds to death. It runs away to tend to its injuries, but Bill, Richie and Ben chase after It, and find that It has laid eggs. Ben stays behind to destroy the eggs, while Bill and Richie head toward their final confrontation with It. Bill fights his way inside It's body, locates It's heart, and crushes it between his hands. The group meet up to head out of It's lair, and although they try to bring Audra and Eddie's bodies with them, they are forced to leave Eddie behind. They make it to the surface and realize that the scars on their hands from when they were children have disappeared, indicating that their ordeal is finally over.

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 begin to forget about It, Derry, and each other. Mike's memory of the events of that summer also begin to fade, as well as any of the records he had written down previously, much to his relief, and he considers starting a new life elsewhere. 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 Losers' Club

The seven Losers are the children united by their unhappy lives, their misery at being the victims of bullying by Henry Bowers, and their eventual struggle to overcome the eponymous 'It.' They are clearly characters in the King tradition of sympathetic, plausible heroes who find themselves caught up in an evil they cannot quite comprehend but against which they must do battle.

William 'Stuttering Bill' Denbrough:  Also known as "Big Bill." His brother George was murdered by It in 1957. Bill feels somewhat guilty of the murder because he'd been the one who sent George outside to play where he was killed.  Ever since George died, Bill has been partially ignored by his parents. Beverly Marsh develops an intense crush on him during their time in the Losers Club and when the group return to Derry in 1985 they sleep together, but do not carry their relationship any further. 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 marries Audra Phillips, a successful actress bearing a strong resemblance to Bev.  As with other King characters Jack Torrance, Paul Sheldon, Ben Mears, Bobbi Anderson, Thaddeus Beaumont, Mike Noonan, Louis Creed and numerous others, in 1985 Bill is a writer.

Benjamin 'Ben' Hanscom:  He was dubbed "Haystack" by Richie, after the professional wrestler Haystack Calhoun.  Because of his weight, he has become a frequent victim of Henry Bowers who once used a buck knife to try to carve his name into Ben's stomach (he managed an unfinished 'H' before Ben escaped).  Ben develops an intense crush on Beverly Marsh and the two get together after the 1985 defeat of It. In adult life, he becomes a successful architect, having shed his excess weight as a teenager when his gym teacher taunted him after a bullying session by a group of cruel boys. His building skills become useful to the Losers:  from making two silver slugs to an underground clubhouse where Mike and Richie have a vision of Its cosmic crash into the site which would later become Derry, Maine.

Beverly 'Bev' Marsh:  The only female in the group, Beverly is a pretty redheaded girl from the poorest part of Derry whose abusive father beats her regularly. She develops a crush on Bill Denbrough and her skill with a slingshot is a key factor in battling It. The boys are described as being fond of Beverly; all of them at some point have romantic or sexual feelings for her.  As an adult she becomes a successful fashion designer, but endures several abusive relationships, culminating in her marriage to Tom Rogan who sees her as a sexual object and disapproves of her very chain smoking, using it (and a myriad of other slights) as an excuse to beat her.  After a brief reunion with Bill, Bev subsequently departs Derry with Ben following the death of her husband (who was nearly used by It to kill the Losers).

Richard 'Trashmouth' Tozier:  Known as the "Trashmouth," Richie is the Losers most lighthearted member.  Richie is always cracking jokes and doing impersonations which later 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 being self-destructive (his flippant remarks to Henry Bowers leads to his near beating by Henry and his friends). His childhood trauma stemmed from his rapid-fire insults being compulsive and almost subconsciously triggered. He is the most devoted to keeping the group together and he sees 7 as a magical number (besides 3). He believes the group should have no more, no less than seven members.  As an adult, he is a successful disc jockey. Like Ben, he has a crush on Beverly, though it isn't crucial to the plot. He has very bad eyesight and wears thick glasses as a child, returning to Derry without his eyewear having had corrective surgery in the intervening years.

Edward "Eddie" Kaspbrak:  Eddie is a frail-seeming boy suffering from psychosomatic asthma. He has a worrying, domineering mother who, ever since his father died, has used Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy to bully Eddie into caring for her. Eddie is easily the most physically fragile member of the group. Richie calls him "Eds," which he hates (as is demonstrated when It bites off Eddie's arm and his dying words are to Richie, who calls him "Eds:"  "Richie, don't call me Eds.  You know I...I... [without finishing his sentence, "I hate it when you call me that"]"). He is a Methodist. 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 believes in. As an adult he owns a successful limousine business, but is married to a woman very similar to his mother and has become a hypochondriac.  After Pennywise orchestrates the escape of Henry Bowers, Eddie is attacked by a weakened Henry in his hotel room and accidentally impales him with a broken Perrier bottle, killing Henry fully. Eddie is eventually slain by It in the final struggle after using his inhaler to wound It, making him the only direct adult victim of It (all others were killed indirectly).  He bleeds to death in the sewers after his arm is bitten off, ultimately dying in the gang's bloody arms.

Michael 'Mike' Hanlon:  Mike is the last to join the Losers when he is chased into the rock quarry by Henry Bowers, whose racist father has indoctrinated him with hatred towards Mike and his African-American family. The Losers fight back against Bowers and his friends in the apocalyptic rock fight. Mike is the only one of the Losers to stay behind in Derry and he is the town librarian who calls the others back when the killings begin again in 1985. His father kept an album filled with old photos which were important to Derry's history, including several of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Through the knowledge he acquires of Derry and It he becomes an amateur historian of the town. He is seriously wounded by Henry Bowers and nearly dies as a result of Henry piercing an artery in his leg. He manages to seriously wound Henry, driving him off (Henry's wounds allow Eddie to finish him off later) and calls the hospital managing to get help regardless of Pennywise's attempts to block him. In the hospital a nurse controlled by It tries to kill him but the other Losers (in the sewers) share their energy with him and he manages to repel the nurse. Mike later recovers from his wounds but like the others starts to lose his memory of the experience.

Stanley 'Stan' Uris:  Also known as "Stan the Man." Stan is the skeptical, bookish Jewish member of the group (Uris does, however, admit that his family take a relaxed approach to their faith, rather than practicing it devoutly). Logic, order and cleanliness are deeply ingrained in his psyche. He is the least willing to accept that It actually exists and relies on logic more than anything else. Stan, much like Mike, is racially persecuted by Henry.  As a kid, his main hobby was birdwatching.  He later becomes a partner in a large Atlanta-based accounting firm, and it is hinted that he is the only member of the Losers (aside from Mike) to possess any memory of what happened in 1958. However, in keeping with being the character least able to accept the supernatural and the non-rational, he commits suicide by slitting his wrists and writing "IT" with his own blood while taking a bath upon receiving Mike's phone call. Rather than return to Derry to face the ancient terror, despite being the one to slice the Losers' palms in a blood oath, his character is simply unable to endure the horror as an adult.

Secondary characters

Pennywise The Dancing Clown (IT): The eponymous villain of King's epic novel is described by Bill Denbrough as a glamour, or a shapeshifting monster who appears to its victims as whatever they fear most, though It often uses the shape of a clown as bait when stalking younger children. It calls itself the "Eater of Worlds", and manifests itself on Earth as the evil life-force of the entire town of Derry, forming a part of the physical geography and infrastructure of the town as well as the minds and actions of the people in it. It sustains itself by sleeping and waking in a cycle of approximately 27 years, during the 18-36 month peaks of which it stalks the town and murders people, mostly children. Some of its victims have been found partially eaten, but It probably does not consume their meat for energy as humans do. It is thought to draw power from causing extreme fear in the victim's moment of death, and as many people fear being eaten more deeply than simply being killed, It's intimate tie to fear is probably what causes It to eat some of its victims' bodies. It's victims are mostly children, owing to the powerful, elemental nature of the fears of children. It fell to earth from outside the universe (yet still within the greater expanse of the macroverse) in prehistoric times, as witnessed by Mike Hanlon and Richie Tozier in a smoke-induced vision in 1958. The nature and exact time of Its arrival is unknown, but it can be assumed to have been at least several million years ago, owing to the difference in climate and biota observed by Mike and Richie during their vision. It claims to be eternal, but eventually Bill Denbrough is able to literally crush It's heart in his bare hands. All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit, and the monster is destroyed.

George Denbrough:  The first character introduced in the book, George is Bill's younger brother. He is a stereotypical child, innocent and curious. He is killed when It, appearing as Pennywise, rips off his arm. George's death is the first in the fall of 1957 and it is what drives Bill to defeat It. In 1958 It threatens to appear to Bill as George. However It never does so until 1985 (excluding Its appearance to Richie and Bill in Georgie's room; when it springs from the Canal in a photo wearing Georgie's face) in the sewers. When Bill sees It as George, he works through his grief and overcomes Its ruse.

Henry Bowers:  The sadistic, psychopathic neighborhood bully who torments the Losers both in childhood and adulthood.  Henry is shown to be a hateful and violent boy, racist and outwardly homophobic — in spite of that, however, he allowed Patrick Hockstetter to masturbate him after which he called Patrick a 'faggot.'  His father is a severe alcoholic, who claims to have fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, even going so far as to buy a katana from a bartender which he claimed to have taken from a Japanese soldier he'd killed in combat. Oscar "Butch" Bowers is portrayed as insane and blames the Hanlon family, the only black family in Derry, for all his problems.  As a child Henry chases the Losers into the sewers with Victor Criss and Belch Huggins. The latter two die at the hands of It and Henry goes completely insane. Soon after he was incarcerated in an asylum for killing his father, then was held responsible for the child murders. Years later, he is driven by It to try to kill the Losers again.  He fails to do so and is killed by Eddie Kaspbrak with a broken bottle after wounding Mike and being seriously wounded by him in turn (Eddie admits that he wouldn't have been able to kill him if Mike hadn't wounded and weakened Henry so badly first).

Audra Phillips:  Bill Denbrough's wife in 1985. Audra is a famous actress. She and Bill have an occasional working relationship: she is set to star in an adaptation of a novel he wrote. When Bill leaves for Derry, he strongly urges Audra to remain in England and although she agrees, she leaves the next day to follow him. When she makes it to Derry, It uses Tom Rogan to capture her and uses her as bait to lure Bill Denbrough. When the Losers defeat It once and for all they rescue Audra but she is catatonic. The book ends with Bill using the last of his childhood's magic to bring her out of the catatonia.  Audra has a strong physical resemblance to the adult Beverly Rogan.

Tom Rogan:  The abusive 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 and whips her with a belt (a practice so common he keeps it hanging in the closet). Tom is shocked when the normally docile Beverly fights back and almost kills him before leaving for Derry. Tom, desperate to find his wife, beats one of her friends, Kay Adams, until he finds out that Beverly is in Derry. Tom goes to Derry intending to kill Beverly and possibly her "writer friend" Bill Denbrough, whom Tom (correctly) assumes she is sleeping with. When he gets there, It uses Tom to kidnap Audra Phillips and bring her to Its lair under the city. Upon seeing It in Its true form, Tom drops dead from shock.

Victor "Vic" Criss:  A bully and one of Henry's sidekicks. Among Henry's gang, Vic is likely the most intelligent member and is the only one who truly realizes Henry's insanity, becoming increasingly reluctant to follow him. He and Belch have been friends with Henry since first grade in 1952. The novel describes Vic as having good morals despite helping Henry torment the Losers, more often wanting to scare or intimidate the Losers than actually cause them 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. It kills Vic by decapitating him. His corpse along with Belch's is later discovered by the adult Losers when they go to face It in 1985.

Reginald "Belch" Huggins:  Another sidekick of Henry's who 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, along with Vic, has also been friends with Henry since first grade in 1952. Belch is considered stupid by most people, which he makes up for in physical strength and fierce loyalty to his friends, especially Henry. He is believed to be a professional 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 and kills him by mutilating his face. His corpse along with Vic's is later discovered by the adult Losers when they go to face It for the last time.

Patrick Hockstetter:  A psychopathic and solipsistic bully who is part of Henry's gang (despite the other members being annoyed with him and his generally low reputation) and has been friends with him since 1955. A boy with a vacant stare and undiagnosed sociopathy and psychosis, Patrick keeps a pencil box full of dead flies, which he kills with his school ruler, and shows it to other students. He makes sexual advances to Henry at one point. He also takes small, usually injured or stray animals and locks them in an abandoned refrigerator in a junkyard, leaving them there to die of starvation and asphyxiation. Along with killing animals, Patrick 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 him oral sex.  This snaps Henry out of his daze and hits 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 greatest fear. The swarm sucks Patrick's blood leaving large holes all over his body, which cause him to slowly lose consciousness as he is dragged away by It. When he awakens, It begins to feed on him. As It normally takes on the shape of what the victims fear the most when not appearing as Pennywise, and Patrick doesn't fear anything except for leeches and being sent away, It's face appears as just something blurry and morphing when Patrick looks at it.  His corpse is later discovered by the Losers when they go into the sewers to face It in 1958.

Eddie Corcoran:  A boy who lives in Derry. His younger brother Dorsey is killed by their abusive stepfather, Richard P. Macklin, with a Scotti recoilless hammer. Although he did not know his stepfather killed Dorsey, Eddie suspects him. Because of Macklin's increasing abuse, Eddie spends many nights away from home, and it is on one of these that he is killed by It (first taking the form of Dorsey, then the Creature from the Black Lagoon) by decapitation. His disappearance galvanizes the Derry police department into investigating Dorsey's death, and his stepfather is eventually charged and convicted of murder. Macklin kills himself many years later after seeing Eddie dead.Eddie is the only child who is actually shown getting killed by It other than George Denbrough and Patrick Hockstetter.

Peter Gordon:  A well-off friend of Henry's that lives on West Broadway, who thinks chasing Mike Hanlon is 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 has been friends with Henry since 1955 and 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 sanity is eroding, albeit only after the rock fight. He is never seen in the story again after the rock fight. It is implied that he was eventually killed by It as it is recounted that all of Henry's friends were killed by It.

Steve "Moose" Sadler:  A semi-retarded and very slow friend of Henry's. He has been friends with Henry since late 1954. Moose joins Henry in tormenting Mike Hanlon, who's father worked on the Hanlon family farm. He also helped Henry break Eddie's arm in the park. His name comes from the character from the Archie Comics. It is somewhat implied that he dies in the summer of 1958 as the Losers later reminisce that all of Henry's friends are ultimately killed by It.

Gard Jagermeyer:  A very slow and dumb friend of Henry's. He has been friends with Henry since 1955. Gard once pushed Richie Tozier to the ground, breaking his glasses. He is also shown in the rock fight scene against the Losers, but retreats with Peter Gordon as the first two participants in the rock fight to run away. It is possible that he was killed by It as was mentioned by Eddie Kaspbrak that all of Henry's friends were attacked by It.

Richard "Dick" Hallorann:  A chef in Derry Army E Company. Although Dick Holloran plays a minor role in this novel by saving Mike Hanlon's father from the fire at the Black Spot, he later plays a more significant role in the novel The Shining.

William Hanlon:  Mike Hanlon's father. At a very young age, William joins the Derry regiment of the National Army. He soon comes to realize that there is a deep racial divide within the army and within Derry (although he does admit that there are a large amount of good citizens in Derry as well as bad, and it might actually be the place itself that causes such divides between its people). This led to the fire at the Black Spot, a renowned bar made by the outcast African American soldiers.  As the bar becomes more popular, the governing bodies of Derry become jealous of the bar's success. This leads to the fire at the Black Spot started by the Legion of Decency (the equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan), although William believes the fire to be a prank that got out of control. After escaping the inferno, William witnesses It seizing a member of the Legion of Decency. William stole one of his Army sirs and stole their vehicle and drove away with his friend. But It was in the form a giant bird that was "hovering" over the crowd by using balloons attached to each wing. He died of cancer in 1962, four years after The Losers defeated It for the first time.

Alvin Marsh:  Father to Beverly Marsh. He physically abuses Bev; it is implied that he does this because of his incestuous feelings toward her (IT states this to her outright when she returns to Derry as an adult). However, there are times when Al is shown to be a loving and caring father to Bev. He died of unknown causes in 1980 (possibly killed by It or a heart Attack).

Sales

Publishers Weekly listed It as the best-selling book in America in 1986.

Adaptations

The story was adapted into a film in 1990.  It is a four-hour long miniseries that was praised for Part 1, and the acting of the young Losers and Tim Curry as Pennywise but was criticized for Part 2's melodrama and poor special effects at the finale.

A two-film feature-length motion picture adaptation is being made by Andrés Muschietti, with the first film being released in theatres on September 5, 2017

Books

The audiobook version of It is read by Steven Weber, who played the part of Jack Torrance in the TV miniseries version of The Shining.

Book Covers

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