Length: 25 hours and 11 minutes
on October 1, 1991
Narrator: Stephen King
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Also by this author: Skeleton Crew, The Outsider, The Stand, Christine, The Institute, Carrie, Later
From the Flap:
With a demonic blend of malice and affection, Stephen King says goodbye to the town he put on the map -- Castle Rock, Maine . . . where Polly Chalmers runs You Sew and Sew and Sheriff Alan Pangborn is in charge of keeping the peace. It's a small town, and Stephen King fans might think they know its secrets pretty well; they've been here before.
Leland Gaunt is a stranger -- and he calls his shop Needful Things. Eleven-year-old Brain Rusk is his first customer, and Brian finds just what he wants most in all the world; a '56 Sandy Koufax baseball card. By the end of the week, Mr. Gaunt's business is fairly booming, and why not? At Needful Things, there's something for everyone.
And, of course, there is always a price. For Leland Gaunt, the pleasure of doing business lies chiefly in seeing how much people will pay for their most secret dreams and desires. And as Leland Gaunt always points out, at Needful Things, the prices are high indeed. Does that stop people from buying? Has it ever?
For Alan and Polly, this one week in autumn will be an awful test -- a test of will, desire, and pain. Above all, it will be a test of their ability to grasp the true nature of their enemy. They may have a chance . . . But maybe not, because, as Mr. Gaunt knows, almost everything is for sale: love, hope, even the human soul.
With the potent storytelling authority that millions of readers have come to prize, Stephen King delivers an Out Town with a vengeance, an inimitable farewell to a place his fiction has often and long called home.
It’s retro horror time and this time Barb decided to join me in rereading Needful Things! I think she might have regretted that and blames it all on me. 🙂 I will say one thing, I think I liked Stephen King a lot more when I was a teen. I can’t stand his long wordy writing anymore! After you read my review, go check out what Barb @ Booker T’s Farm has to say about it. 🙂
Here is what I thought
Leland Gaunt has moved to the small town of Castle Rock and set up a shop called Needful Things, but it’s not a normal store. Inside this store you see the thing you covet the most! You don’t even have to pay that much for it at least not in dollars, but you must pay a prank on the person that Gaunt tells you too, if you don’t he might take back what you wanted or worse.
This is a statement from Polly’s mind and I think it sums up what happens in this book. Everyone was willing do whatever Gaunt wanted because they could get something they wanted free, but it wasn’t really free when it makes the whole down go crazy.
There are a lot of characters in this novel and you learn bit by bit that it’s easy to fool someone into thinking that someone else did something when it really wasn’t them. If two people hate each other they are going to automatically think that person did something bad to them. So when Brian throws mud on Wilma’s clean sheets hanging out to dry, she thinks it was Nettie and when someone did something horrible to Nettie, she thought it was Wilma, etc. It all starts to snowball out of control until it’s like the whole down is going crazy!
It’s like a storm is a brewing in Castle Rock and Leland Gaunt is the natural disaster stirring it all up like a tornado!
Alan is the sheriff and probably the only one who never went to Needful Things and because of this he is Gaunt”s nemesis. Alan did go to the store once and look in but he didn’t like the feel of it and for that reason he never went in which is a good thing because we needed someone to go up against Gaunt, right!? 🙂
I kind of feel like the showdown with Gaunt goes really quick after everything that happened in 600 + pages I would think the showdown would take longer than just a few pages at the end.
Just like with most Stephen King books it took a good two hundred or more pages to get interested in anything that was going on. I am glad I had the 1991 version of the book because 690 pages was long enough! I think he did a revision to this like he did The Stand because when I was trying to follow along with the audio the audio had things in it not in my book. Poor Barb had a copy that had over 800 pages!
Once everyone starts doing the prank and people start getting mad at each other it picks up a bit and gets somewhat interesting, but even then it felt like this book was never going to end! We decided the next time we tackle a large King book we are splitting it up between two months because trying to rush it just made it drag on and on.
So I did like this book but probably not as much as my teen self did. This was my favorite King book when I first read it but it lost a few stars in reread…lol.
Stephen King narrated this and I am not a fan of his voice and I think he should leave that to other narrators. Why oh why did he have to narrate this when he has Will Patton for a lot of his other books!! :/