Friday, January 6, 2012

IT: The 25th Anniversary Edition


It's been a quarter of a century since Stephen King released his thousand-page epic horror novel IT, and Cemetery Dance has commemorated the date with a gorgeous anniversary edition.  Given the structure of the story, it might have made more sense to put it out on the twenty-seven year mark, but I won't get into that.  They released two extremely limited signed versions (respectively $2,000 and $475), and both of those sold out within half an hour of being announced.  According to their website, half the copies of the Gift Edition ($125) are already gone.


The original hardcover was a massive bastard of a doorstop, and this oversized edition is one of the largest books I've ever owned.  It comes in a brown slipcase, and is fully illustrated with color and b/w prints by Alan M. Clark and Erin S. Wells.  The vividness of Clark's color paintings embodies the intensity of the trauma inflicted on the characters.  Contrastingly, Wells's pencil drawings are blurry and cartoonish, reflecting the themes of misplaced nostalgia and hazy memory prevalent throughout the story.  My only complaint is that out of thirty pieces of artwork, there are only three depictions of Pennywise the Clown.  Then again, it's pretty hard to imagine that demonically surreal villain without thinking of Tim Curry.


Cemetery Dance put a lot of love into this edition, and I harbor a certain degree of pride in the knowledge that it was published in Forest Hill, MD, forty-five minutes from where I grew up.  IT is one of the most imaginative, horrific, and well-told stories I've ever read, and it was the book that made me want to become a writer.  King writes in the new Afterward, "If these characters still live for you and speak for you--even a little--I'm glad for both of us."

Steve, they certainly do.

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