Needful Things – Stephen King

I must admit, even though I’m a horror fiend, I haven’t got through all of Mr King’s books yet. It’s probably worth pointing out that his books don’t always gel with me, but when they do they DO. Up until now my favourites have been Misery (one of the best books I’ve ever read), IT and The Shining. And now I’ll be adding Needful Things to my list of King favourites.

So, what’s it about and why should you read it?

When a new shop called Needful Things opens in the small town of Castle Rock, everything in the community goes to shit. The shop’s owner, sinister Mr Gaunt, is very persuasive at encouraging people to buy things for more than a monetary fee, and soon people find they are paying far more than they’d expected.

In King’s typical style of adding dark humour to any situation, Needful Things is a whole lot of fun. He expertly fleshes out a cast of village residents then goes on to create a whole spate of neighbourly rifts between them. So much so, it gets a little tense at times.

The character I ended up rooting for most was Sheriff Alan Pangbourn – as well as his girlfriend Polly. Compared to the rest of Castle Rock’s petty, conniving and generally messed up residents, Alan and Polly seem to be pretty decent people with their own sets of issues, which makes you warm to them even more.

Needful Things is a bit of a whopper at 800 pages, but it’s a fast-paced read and doesn’t lose momentum, not for a moment. Overall I’d give it five stars, because there really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about it.

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4 comments on “Needful Things – Stephen King
  1. Mandie Hines says:

    Thanks for the book suggestion, R.H. I’m like you, Stephen King’s are hits or misses for me, but the ones I love are truly fantastic. When I’ve read about his writing process, it really resonates with me too.
    My favorites include The Shining and The Langoliers. I have not read Needful Things yet though, so I’m excited to hear that it’s good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never heard of The Langoliers before…I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mandie Hines says:

        I read it in high school and loved it. I’m afraid to read it now though. I loved The Stand the first time I read it, which was also in high school, and I read it a few years ago and it just didn’t hold up to the memory I had of it. I don’t want to have that experience with The Langoliers, so I just hang onto the memory. Although, I remember parts of it which still seem intriguing to me, so there’s a chance I would still like it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve done that a few times too…ruined the memory of a book I’d read in my teens by reading it again in recent years :-\

        Liked by 1 person

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