Needful Things - Stephen King

Needful Things took me a month to read. Not because it was bad or boring, I just seem to be going through another reading slump, probably due to work stresses, and I'm not getting much reading done. I nearly gave up on this novel at one point but I am so glad I finished it. It was well worth the read!

A new store has opened in the town of Castle Rock, Maine. It has whatever your heart desires.. if you are willing to pay the price.

Genre: Fiction, Horror
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Year: 1991
Rating: 4/5

In the small town of Castle Rock a new store opens. It's called Needful Things and run by a strange man called Leland Gaunt. At first, the citizens of Castle Rock visit Needful Things out of curiosity, as it's not often a new store opens in their town. Soon, they are all loyal customers, as Gaunt stocks something for everyone.. he sells the one product your heart most desires. 

For Brian Rusk, that something is a Sany Koufax baseball card. For Nettie Cobb it is carnival glass. For Sally Ratcliff it is a splinter of wood, which is said to have come from Noah's Ark. 

Problem is, although these things feel genuine to the people that purchase them, they are not what they seem. 

Gaunt sells these products at a all-time low price, and the promise that the buyer will play a practical joke on a fellow Castle Rock dweller. This seems like the bargain of a life time, but they are paying with so much more than they realise. 

This is a long novel at around 700 pages. It is subtitled as "The Last Castle Rock Story", the fictional Maine town King put on the map. Like most of his horror stories, this novel had the right amount of creepy to keep me interested. 

I did get a little distracted about 200 pages in, as the story was still being set up and my attention waned but I kept reading as I hate to start a book and not finish it. It takes a really bad book for me to put it down. As I said above, I am glad I stuck with it. 

The climax of this story is EXPLOSIVE! Literally and figuratively. There are a lot of characters in this novel, so many I lost count, and King does an excellent job of fleshing them out (even though it takes ages, which is understandable considering how many there are). 

He brings them to life by giving each of them their own personal story, and intertwines it with Leland Gaunt and the main plot. All play a part in the shocking ending. This book is seriously worth the read just for the ending.

This is a must read for King fans, you will not be disappointed by this one! I am not sure I would recommend this as a first time read, if you have never picked up a King before, but old fans with love this novel.
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