I Could Skip the Clown

I keep an audiobook in one of my MP3 players just for visits to the dentist’s office. An audio book and some gas makes the quarterly cleaning go by in no time. I started Stephen King’s book IT about three cleanings and a crown ago and and had barely made a dent in the book. He must get paid by the pound.

Anyway, I decided to listen to it on my trip. It got me all the way TO Cape, around Cape and past Murray, Kentucky, where I spotted this guy. (You can click on the photos to make them larger, but you may not want to.)

King’s clown a creature of evil

One of the nightmarish characters in King’s novel is Pennywise, otherwise known as “It,” a prehistoric creature of evil who can change shapes at will.  “It” primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children.

Some folks have commented that they developed a fear of clowns because of a mural of them on the wall of Dr. Herbert’s office, but I escaped childhood relatively unscathed in that category. I’d hate to be a kid in Murray, Kentucky, who read IT, though.

7 Replies to “I Could Skip the Clown”

  1. I grew up with Emmett Kelly on the TV variety shows, the polite but sad fellow who would end his routine by sweeping up the spotlight. We had our local “Bozo The Clown” on KFVS that would invite young groups to visit on the set of the cartoon show he hosted. I was in a Cub Scout group for my visit there. I’ve passed by the skating rink in Murray many times but only thought “Who actualy was Mary Ann of roller rink fame in Cape”? I saw caracatures of her but never met her while skating there. I really never noticed Murray’s clown.

  2. Yes, the clown at the skating rink in Murray is kinda creepy. I go by there on a regular basis and I just sorta look the other way, if you know what I mean.

  3. Ken, as usual, you’re spot on! I waded all the way through every darned detail of King’s “It,” only to discover that it was a giant SPIDER–and all that background about the Jewish guy was NOT important to ANYTHING in the rest of the novel! Same thing with “The Stand”! I have permanently banned King from my home!

    1. I’ve been disappointed more than pleased with King, but I’m still listening to his book Beneath the Dome or something like that. It’ll take two trips to Cape and three cleanings to get through it.

      I like his descriptions and dialog, but I could do without the supernatural. That sounds funny since that’s what he’s known for, but I read one of this books when it was foisted off on me by a friend, and was engrossed in the plot until he introduced the ghosts and spirits.

      He’s prone to orphan his characters, too. Tom, Bev’s abusive husband in IT, was fleshed out as a truly despicable person, then thrown away in a sentence or two that I almost missed.

  4. I am a big reader and have never been able to finish a King book. I know I am an outlier. Many people love his books and believe literary history will remember him as one of the great writers of our age. Regarding clowns, Emment Kelly is the only one I have liked because he seemed real. Mostly, clowns seem creepy to me. The fact that some of them have been pediphiles reinforeces this image, even though most clowns bring joy to children.

  5. Clowns have always creeped me out! As a Child I thought They were stupid, and as and adult I met the Cook County Democratic Parties official clown several times at events in Chicago. This guy creeped me out totally.
    I was right about this particular one, John Wayne Gacy was his name.
    So Ken enjoy “IT”…and remember They all float down here!

  6. I loved The Stand, but then I love books where something CHANGES and society collapses and people have to rebuild without modern conveniences. I only read my first King book because I heard he quoted the Rainmakers (a little known band that is my fave). I love a lot of King’s books. I hate several. It’s real hit or miss. And then there’s the one you’re reading now – that Dome book. All those things you complained about? Yeah. Big time in this book. I loved the first 85% of the book. Maybe even 95%. But the ending? I felt like throwing the book at him for that ending. I just was afraid that would be “assault with a deadly weapon” if I did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *