Well, I did it. I finally lost my Stephen King virginity. This probably wasn't the best of his novels to lose it to, but it was by no means a terrible book. It did, however, have several hallmarks of being one of his earlier novels. For one thing, King tends to be rather long-winded. Every single character has at least a little background on him or her, even if that character has little to no relevance to the story. Take, for instance, the gay man who was murdered in the very beginning of the book. I can't even remember his name now, but his whole life story was told. The point? Well, as far as I can tell the point of learning about this man was summed up some five hundred pages later when Mike (I believe) described him as "child-like." Aha, now we see the significance; It tends to go after children, and this man was child-like. I totally didn't get that from his mini-biography.In spite of the chattiness of the writing, I found myself thoroughly engrossed almost from the very beginning. The great thing about ensemble casts is that you are all but guaranteed to have a character you relate to or love because of his or her quirks. For me, that character was Richie Tozier the class clown, the sarcastic-yet-brilliant goof. His love/hate friendship with Eddie was probably one of my favorite details in the whole book. When Eddie's last words were telling Richie not to call him "Eds," I laughed in spite of being heartbroken that Eddie was dying in such a horrific manner. The other main characters were also well-developed and fascinating, even Henry Bowers and Tom Rogan and, yes, even It itself by the end. The structure of the story allowed for a gradual sort of development, and King writes from the perspective of a six-year-old boy as well as he does a thirty-something psychopath.Would I read more Stephen King? Sure. Am I rushing out to buy all of the Dark Tower series? No. I think another, shorter King book may be in my near future, however.