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The B&N Podcast

Jul 19, 2019

Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special summer series on the B&N Podcast devoted to the strange alternate universe created by Stephen King. Every week this summer, Liz Braswell, Louis Peitzman and Bill Tipper dive into one of King's bestsellers -- some of us are reading for the first time, and some of us are revisiting well-known places. This week, we're stopping in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, home to the  tale Stephen King has given his shortest title. But as a book, It is anything but short. First published in 1986, it's a miniature epic of friendship and peril, forgetting and remembering, terror and courage. The evil force that a group of kids who call themselves the Losers has to face down takes as many shapes and forms as they have fears, but the signature character of It is, of course, Pennywise -- a monstrous clown whose first appearance, in a Derry storm drain, is surely one of the signature moments in horror. When we sat down, Bill asked Liz and Louis if they thought IT was the reason so many people raise their hands if you mention coulrophobia -- a fear of clowns.