THE WORLD OF IT / AUTHOR: ALYSE WAX / PUBLISHER: ABRAMS BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Alyse Wax’s The World of IT is a beautiful, bumper coffee-table companion to Andy Muschietti’s 2017 IT and this year’s IT: Chapter Two. This hardback is 223 pages packed full of utterly gorgeous imagery ranging from Muschietti’s own early concept drawings through to previously unseen full-colour set photographs.
After a brief introduction from Muschietti himself, Wax’s words illustrate the large, luxurious plates. Wax is a horror journalist, author and editor with a decade’s experience and she gives the piece a lovely, lilting fairy-tale style. The book is a really beautiful work of art in its own right, which is reflected in the £30 price tag. It is very much designed for those new to the story and the casual observer, but it also does a good job of explaining the sometimes complex plot of the film, particular regarding its adaptation from Stephen King’s novel. The book often uses very plain, almost childlike language, so that quotes of King’s occasional swearing are both jarring and highly amusing.
Topics covered include the locations, set creation and, of course, detail on the characters themselves, including interview snippets with the cast and crew. Where the book truly succeeds is the information on set design, with producer Barbara Muschietti a particularly standout contributor talking about the significance of the set design in language that is everyday but utterly evocative. There are also occasional sections of light theoretical discussion about the design of key action sequences and things that didn’t make it in to the final cut, which provide some interesting food for thought.
The World of IT is a gorgeous companion to Muschietti’s films and offers a breath-taking glimpse behind the scenes. What it perhaps lacks in detail or focus on the graver side of King’s work, it makes up in unadulterated beauty. Complete with a postcard (you have to write your own haiku like Ben, don’t you?) it is an absolute must for King’s constant readers.