Stephen King’s IT is my favorite book of all time. Duma Key is also a favorite, but in listening to the audio book again, I caught a connection between Duma Key and IT.
Spoilers ahoy, ye be warned!
In Duma Key, when Edgar Freemantle, the narrator, is trying to save his daughter from the predations of “Perse”, he considers that some awful IT has gotten its claws into her. Then he corrects himself, “not an IT, a SHE.” In IT, the creature, IT, is female as well, though this isn’t revealed until much later. IT also manipulates people through visions and dreams, though unlike Perse, IT doesn’t seem to need any physical embodiment, like a painting, to haunt people and IT is generally fixed in location, where Perse can get just about anywhere.
Shortly after this revelation by Edgar, his daughter, Ilsa, informs him that she heard the woman’s voice, Perse’s voice, coming from drains and the toilet. This is again a textbook callback to IT, which often spoke through the drains and pipes of Derry. Additionally, IT used the drains to torment Beverly Marsh, much in the same way Perse tormented Ilsa.
Another tenuous link comes again in this section of the book, as Edgar thinks that Perse has wrapped Ilsa in her spider’s web. ITs final form, or at least what the humans could perceive as it’s final form, was a giant spider.
I think there’s little coincidence that Ilsa lives in Providence, RI, and claims that the dreams she’s had might have been induced by all the Lovecraft stories she read for Senior English. Lovecraft was a son of Providence and is buried there still, his epitaph simply, “I am Providence”. Duma Key is a very Lovecraftian tale in its own right, as was IT, both drawing on “elder horrors”.
Is Perse related to Pennywise? It’s possible. Both took many false names and forms. Both use fear to control their victims. Is it possible that Perse is an aspect of IT, perhaps sent out long ago and lost for centuries? We’ll probably never know.
A final, somewhat silly link between the two is the band Shark Puppy, one of Edgar’s favorite rock bands. Shark Puppy’s lyrics are attributed to R. Tozier and B. Denbrough.