I have always appreciated Stephen King's On Writing as a brilliant instructional autobiography, but have never thought I'd care much for his actual fiction. Even though I had dabbled in The Stand, it all seemed so bleak. I do well enough making myself sad or scared. However, an inkling I still can't recall or figure out made me want to read IT. I remember attempting to watch the ABC miniseries adaptation when I was about 10, and managing to not be scared long enough to watch the final confrontation. Flush with Audible audiobook credits, and lacking much time or concentration because of work and needing to save what's left of my reading tolerance for thesis work, I decided to take on the audiobook of the thriller about a killer clown.
It was not far into the first chapter that I realized this was far more than a distraction – this was actually relevant to my work. The fictional town of Derry, Maine, might as well be the Piney Woods of East Texas in my mind. And while my dark forces are not necessarily as tangible as the shape-shifting monster that is the eponymous character, the place being the villain remains the same.
I should point out that we aren't talking 1:1 here – there are striking differences and other issues a mirror comparison would bring up, but IT stoked a lot of thoughts and has helped my motivation and goals solidify.
Despite a couple of things I was uncomfortable with, I am utterly thrilled I decided to include this in my research. It's likely that this won't even make a blip in my thesis, due to the unfortunate lack of academic research on King, but the contribution to my work will prove to be immense.