Monday, February 4, 2013

Needful Things by Stephen King

Needful Things by Stephen King
1992, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Synopsis: Leland Gaunt opens a new shop in Castle Rock called Needful Things. Anyone who enters his store finds the object of his or her lifelong dreams and desires: a prized baseball card, a healing amulet. In addition to a token payment, Gaunt requests that each person perform a little "deed," usually a seemingly innocent prank played on someone else from town. These practical jokes cascade out of control and soon the entire town is doing battle with itself. Only Sheriff Alan Pangborn suspects that Gaunt is behind the population's increasingly violent behavior.

Why read: Reading all of Stephen King's books

What impressed me: I love Stephen King, but he has a really annoying habit of writing these mind-blowing stories and then sort of ruining them with something unnecessarily over the top in the end. Having not seen the movie version of Needful Things, I was very worried the ending would not work for me. I was so pleased to find that King kept everything on track and making sense to the very end. And as always, King shines when he focuses on internal character development and Needful Things showcases that on a large scale. We see into the entire town's inner desires, secrets and greed. Things get scary well before you realize anything supernatural is even going on.

What disappointed me: So long. So very, very long. This fantastic story just dragged on unnecessarily. Since the start of his career, people seem just completely unwilling to really edit King's books. The story works as is, but could have worked as well and been less intimidating to readers had it been cut down a bit.

Recommended: Definitely. This is classic horror. Not to be missed.

No comments :

Post a Comment