Study Guide

It Tough-o-Meter

By Stephen King

Tough-o-Meter

(4) Base Camp

There's tough…and there's tough.

Is It full of SAT vocab, dense paragraphs, philosophical references, and footnotes? Nope. It follows seven little kids and, later, seven semi-traumatized-but-pretty-normal adults. The plot is straightforward (albeit bonkers) and the language is clear. It cruises along at a totally manageable reading level.

…but.

It is tough in every other sense of the word. It's bloody. It's gory. It's psychologically distressing. It's creepy. It's full of rotting things. It's supernatural. It ticks every "Can it scare someone?" box in the horror genre, and then some.

We're scary movie junkies…and we were incredibly icked out reading this. Like: we slept with a nightlight and thought twice about getting up to pee in the night. No joke.

Approach with serious caution.

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