Eddie Kaspbrak, a 90-pound weakling with an over-bearing, over-protective mother who has convinced him he has asthma. Eddie travels everywhere with his inhaler, which although a placebo, also proves as an effective weapon against It. As an adult he manages a successful limousine service.
Stan Uris, a Jewish kid who has an interest in birdwatching. He becomes a successful accountant as an adult, but was always hyper-sensitive and the one most affected emotionally by his encounter wth It.
Mike Hanlon, an African American kid who completes the group when they rescue him from a violent attack by crazed bully Henry Bowers. Mike is the only one who stays in Derry. He becomes the town librarian and compiles a hidden history of the town relating to It.
When we meet the Losers 28 years later, all grown up and successful, their childhood adventures and friends have been completely forgotten. But the murders have started in Derry again, and the one person who stayed, Mike, has called them all together to honor a promise they made — but first they must remember the past.
“Maybe there aren't any such things as good friends or bad friends — maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you're hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they're always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for too, if that's what has to be. No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.”
[Dust jacket illustration by Glen Orbik]
In the afterword King says, "I worked on the book in a dream. I remember very little about the writing of it, except for the idea that I'd gotten hold of something that felt very big to me, and something that talked about more than monsters ..." He also says that the book could be considered his “final exam on famous monsters.” The creature, It, that terrorizes the children in the story has many faces, and can appear as whatever its victim fears most, which gave King the opportunity to play with the Teenage Wolfman, the Crawling Eye, The Mummy, and many other of his favorite film horrors from his own childhood. But Pennywise the Clown is still the creepiest incarnation.
“I started after him ... and the clown looked back. I saw Its eyes, and all at once I understood who It was."