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July 9, 2010 1:12 PM   Subscribe

BookRecFilter: Novels similar to Stephen King's It

Specifically, I'm looking for novels (written for grown-ups, or at least not just for kids/teens) that share the basic plot skeleton of "a group of children take on something evil". I'd prefer the stories to be set in the "real world" (no offence, Potterfans), with the supernatural aspect being as unbelievable to those outside the group as it would be IRL. For some reason, this is a plot that resonates with me, and I'd be very interested to read how other authors have explored it.

(Okay, fine. I'm just looking for some great books of this type to fill my time until my wife gives me back my just-bought copy of The Passage. Happy?)
posted by joelhunt to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
The Stand.
posted by dfriedman at 1:14 PM on July 9, 2010

Boy's Life by Robert McCammon.
posted by Allee Katze at 1:18 PM on July 9, 2010

Sorry to rec another (criminally underrated) King book but: The Talisman has everything you're looking for.
posted by fight or flight at 1:20 PM on July 9, 2010 [5 favorites]

Whoops! That should be King and Peter Straub book. Apologies, Straub fans.
posted by fight or flight at 1:22 PM on July 9, 2010

Dan Simmons' Summer of Night!
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:30 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, possibly also Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:32 PM on July 9, 2010

Floating Dragon by Peter Straub. I thought it was freakishly similar to IT. Also, second on Boy's Life, which was an awesome book.
posted by Addlepated at 1:37 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

John Bellairs - any of his books
Madeline L'Engle - Wrinkle in Time, any of the books about the Murrays
Seconding The Talisman or the Dark Tower Series (even though it's just one boy), The Body (aka Stand by Me).
Boy's Life - Robert McCammon
posted by SassHat at 1:39 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hey, people already recommended some of these guys! Groupmind!
posted by SassHat at 1:40 PM on July 9, 2010

Shadowland by Peter Straub.
posted by eunoia at 1:42 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding Summer of Night. A perfect fit.

Also: I just finished The Passage. If your wife enjoys it as much as I did, you won't have to wait very long to read it. It's a real page-turner that I wolfed down in a few sleep-deprived nights.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:46 PM on July 9, 2010

Agree with Addlepated's Floating Dragon suggestion; quite similar to IT.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:02 PM on July 9, 2010

After you're done with the horror suggestions above you should check out Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped and Treasure Island. The protagonist in both is a child. Though there are evil people in both, there's very little of the supernatural.
posted by exhilaration at 2:15 PM on July 9, 2010

Wait so you guys are saying that some Steven King books are similar to plot as another? Really?!?

(Sorry, just kidding...I really like It and those that have been suggested.)

For some reason, your question reminded me of Octavia Butler's Fledgling. It involves a young protagonist and though set in a vampire subculture, it feels much more real than most books I've read (fantasy, sci-fi, or otherwise)

It may not be a perfect fit for what you are looking for, but if not a great fit, it is a great book.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:32 PM on July 9, 2010

Nthing Summer of Night
posted by mikeweeney at 3:11 PM on July 9, 2010

Go full circle and follow up Summer of Night with A Winter Haunting by the same author. There's a few others by Simmons referencing the same characters if you want to be absolutely complete!
posted by Allee Katze at 5:29 PM on July 9, 2010

Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee is perfect; there's also a film and TV mini-series adaptation.
posted by rodgerd at 12:17 AM on July 10, 2010

Perhaps Diana Wynne Jones's Time of the Ghost - YA, but it holds up for an adult audience. (And to this day l still have to skim the really scary bits.)
posted by kaneko at 4:12 AM on July 11, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks to all for the recommendations. I think I'll give The Talisman and maybe Summer of Night a try to start. Again, thanks so much!
posted by joelhunt at 6:04 AM on July 12, 2010

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