[Reading] ➶ Needful Things: The Last Castle Rock Story ➽ Stephen King – 3q1.co

still a solid king entry read 3 times there is a lot of characterization and setting but also some good king creepiness having said all that i may deduct 1 2 star upon most recent reread 3.5 adjusted stars Actual reading 3.5 As always with King, this was a very entertaining and suspenseful read the whole way through However, somehow I just didn t connect as much to the characters as I usually do, which is why I cannot bring myself to give the full five stars The plot itself was super interesting and I loved all the mysterious things that happened There is also no shortage on gruesome scenes, so reading this during the spooky October time was definitely the right decision.However, as I mentioned, the characters just didn t quite appeal to me this time around I found them interesting for the time being, but none of them truly stuck in my mind for long which is usually the case whenever I read a book by King.I m someone who finds good charactersimportant than an exciting plot, so the fact that I didn t feel close to the characters bothered me a lot If you re someone who caresabout a plot, I m sure you will love this book, because the story on its own is unique and quite clever. 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 A store has opened in the Maine town of Castle Rock, a store selling objects a person most desires, at a price the buyer can afford But are the goods worth the cost Can Sheriff Alan Pangborn get to the bottom of Leland Gaunt and his Needful Things before he falls prey to the madness that s gripping the town In what originally was intended to be its final appearance, Castle Rock goes out with a bang in this Stephen King tome It reads like a love letter to Castle Rock at times I caught references to The Dark Half, Cujo, Sun Dog, The Body, and I think Cycle of the Werewolf Ace Merrill and Alan Pangborn are the only characters I remember from other books but I m sure there were probably others.The story starts off slow as, one by one, the citizens of Castle Rock fall prey to Leland Gaunt s charms, buying his trinkets for whatever cash they have on them and doing pranks for him These pranks are as custom tailored to the victim as the trinkets he sells and soon the denizens of Castle Rock are fuming at one another Once things escalate to the point of violence, there s no turning back, making Needful Things very hard to put down for such a heavy book.There s not a lotI can tell without giving things away Alan Pangborn could have been a Gunslinger in another life and his relationship with Polly was pretty well done Ace Merrill was a world class douche and fell into the 2 bad guy role pretty well I thought Needful Things took the gossip and cattiness that s a staple of small town life and turned the dial up until it broke off Things I m still pondering Was the spider that appeared near the end a relative of the spider from It, only feeding on pain instead of fear Are Leland Gaunt and Randall Flag the same person What happened to Castle Rock after the conflagration at the end Needful Things is like cooking a pot roast in a crock pot It starts out slow, begins to simmer, and is a churning cauldron of deliciousness by the end Four out of five stars. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is This is the basic premise of Needful Things, one of the strangest Stephen King books I ve ever read starring a really well developed antagonist and a great balance of horror and fantasy The story seems simple enough, a typical town sheriff pitted against Leland Gaunt, the mysterious and creepy owner of a shop that gives the citizens of Castle Rock anything they want for no price at all but of course, everything has a price, and the people who don t ask why are left to regret it later As a strange bout of madness grips the town and things start to get dangerous, the book takes a very sinister turn.If you ve ever watched the 1990 s show Eerie Indiana s episode featuring a sinister investor who turns a small town shop into a hub of madness for desperate shoppers, or if you ve ever watched Gremlins, you ll definitely like the kind of spooky store atmosphere Needful Things casts out Stephen King crafts brilliant characters as usual, and though the Maine setting is a bit old considering it s chosen for almost all his books, the plot itself and the surprising events which unfold are definitely worth it. Some authors write about king slayers Others write about serial killers Stephen King He writes about fuckers capable of leveling entire towns Whether those responsible are aliens or devils, it doesn t matter The ride is usually a fun one Needful Things is no different It is, however, the epitome of a bloated Stephen King novel There are entire characters herein that serve zero purpose George T Nelson and Frank Jewett s stories could have been left out Ace Merrill is another pointless character I simply do not see what he added to the proceedings I never understood why Buster couldn t do everything by himself Even when those two split up, they re still only across the street from one another Even the movie version cut Ace and nobody cared I theorize that Ace was a loose end for King, the bad guy that got away, so he felt the urge to give the hood a proper send off Insert Ace in Needful Things Problem solved.Now I know what you re thinking Doesn t sound like you enjoyed this one, E Well, that s not entirely true Yeah, I think certain characters are useless and some scenes are pointless, but I dig this book quite a bit King always impresses me with how he manages to create entire fictional towns populated with such true to life personalities and make it seem so fucking effortless At this point in his career 1991 , King had killed two small towns and crippled another three Salem s Lot was sucked dry Chamberlain was never the same after Carrie White Derry died a special kind of death but refused to go away completely Haven would be off limits for decades and Castle Rock had one bombastic enima I remain in awe of that fact Think about that In less than fifteen years, one author populated and then ravaged five small towns And we loved every minute of it.I think several things make readers ignore the bloat in Needful Things Cora and Myra s Elvis Presley fascination is awfully hilarious, as well as some of the shenanigans other characters get into The beshitted picture of one townie s mother had me in tears, I was laughing so hard Buster was blissfully insane, and Nettie and Wilma s fight scene is one of the most gruesome in all of horror literature This novel is jampacked with awesome occurrences, and that makes the bloat feel worth it Even the uber goofy ending can be ignored because the rest of the book is well, it s just a shitload of fun Obvious Tie ins The Dark Half The Body The Sun DogHidden Gems Gaunt refers to the items in his shop as gray things , which supports my theory that all of King s works can be tied back to the Dark Tower series by way of The Tommyknockers or IT I believe all of King s supernatural villains, all of his monsters, belong to the race of Old Ones known as the Prim Buton that in my A Decade with King 1985 1994post coming in April.Notable Names Pop MerrillAce MerrillEvvie Chalmers I love how this woman is in five different King books, but is never on camera, as it were George BannermanThad Beaumont view spoiler This poor fucker made it through The Dark Half only to have one of the longest off camera downward spirals King has written It s mentioned here that Thad s wife leaves him and takes the kids with her, and then, ten years later in Bag of Bones, King mentions how Thad ended up killing himself Poor guy hide spoiler What a fantastic book by the great man Needful things is a great book A shop owner who gives everybody what they want for a price Soon the whole town is in chaos and at each others throats Great concept and well worth the read The film is great too Max Von Sydow is amazing as the character Leland Gaunt I see a moral to this story How people covet the things they so desire and will do almost anything to get it Even if it is out of reach people will covet Result to murder Cain and Able springs to mind This selfish attitude that humanity has come to Striving to get to the top and step on many to get there.The Black Friday day when hundreds or thousands of people queue outside a department store waiting for it to open Some even camp outside for days Just so they can get their hands on the latest TV for a knock down price People trampling over each other and fighting over merchandise.This book epitomizes the greed, envy, ambition and downright stupidity that us, as human beings, have come too The temptation The lure The deceit.What a crazy Profitable I say that with my tongue in my cheek for only the top profits paradigm we live in. King writes small town claustrophobic so well, the idea of a shop that sells any item that a customer need for just the smallest of price is a great Pack with the Devil tale.Set in Castle Rock this story is bursting with Easter eggs as shop owner Leland Gaunt of the recently opened Needful Things slowly manipulates the town against each other.It s a great take on materialistic items and the price people are willing to pay for that must have item, whilst exploring the effect of one or two small incidents can slowly snowball into something bigger.It s one of my favourite King stories, a great good vs evil battle along with at the time a final hurrah around Castle Rock. Mr King likes to tell stories about people getting trapped He s got one about a guy trapped in a bedroom He s got a whole bunch of these stories, really He s got people trapped inside a car, in a gas station, a classroom, a grocery store, a hotel, on an island, a city under a giant force field I m pretty sure he s got one about a lady handcuffed to a bed for the whole book I m just going from memory here He s probably got a lot .In Needful Things, the entire town of Castle Rock is trapped by their possessions Its citizens are punished mercilessly for 700 pages with some special brand of evil that feeds off the sin of imbuing bric brac with sentimental value.Admittedly, I m oversimplifying the plot of this book quite a bit But Needful Things is just a morality tale at its core, a boldfaced warning about materialism The message of the book seems to boil down to something we all heard as kids, mom saying that you don t need those roller skates, you just want them.But to say that this is only a simple morality tale really does this book a disservice It s got all the things I like in a King book suspense, action, gore, folksy humor the cruel and the crude varieties , characters you can identify with, protagonists you care about, insane people and perverts, monsters and great big explosions Most importantly, it s got a great villain Our bad guy, Leland Gaunt, isn t subtle, he chews up the scenery at every turn, but he s exactly what this novel calls for Done well and King does them very well , comic book villains are the best kind All right, maybe just the most fun to read about.And, yes, this book had some of the Stephen King things I don t like so much I feel sometimes King is writing down to his characters, like he ll create a character just for the sake of mockery Lester Pratt, the goody two shoes, Christian boy scout character in this book is a prime example I would be willing to bet that no one ever no matter how repressed and or brainwashed, sheltered, or close minded ever, ever had an internal monologue that s featured the celebratory phrase rooty toot toot repeatedly while thinking about the prospect of getting some pussy.King also has a tendency to veer into some rather cloying, almost treacly, Garrison Keillor territory, and in this book the opening and closing are perhaps the most nauseating examples of this that I ve personally encountered.And then, like with many of King s novels, we have the borderline deus ex machina ending.Now, I know what you re thinking Wow, it seemed like there for a minute you were saying you like Stephen King But now it seems like you re being rather hard on the guy.But, you see, the thing is, Stephen King is sort of like the President of the United States of America Bear with me here The people you hear bitching about the President the most, the people who are the hardest on him, seem to always be the very same people who voted him into office I ve read over thirty books by Stephen King So, in my mind, that pretty much means I voted that son of a bitch into office over thirty fucking timesI ll say what I want.And now you re probably asking, would you vote for that son of a bitch again No question. Enter freely and leave some of the happiness you bring In the small town of Castle Rock, there s a NEW KIND of store It has a spiffy new green canvas awning with the name of NEEDFUL THINGS, and the creepy old yellow tooth proprietor, Leland Gaunt welcomes everyone with open armsbut YOU WON T LIKE HIS TOUCHEVERYTHING is for sale ALL those things you covet..AND Mr icky fingers Gaunt is very fond of playing Let s Make A Deal. BUT..BUYER BEWARESOON after the many well defined characters make their purchases.and play a few harmless tricks.tempers flare.town residents become hostile, and all HELL breaks loose.with deadly results.The ending is definitely explosive, but not particularly frightening.not like jailbird bully Ace Merrill s encounter with evil, but still cleverly plotted and creepy SO..come play some mind games, see a bit of powerful magic and find out what Mr Gaunt likes to collect Fast read for 702 pages Enjoyed the macabre journey As is the norm for KING, caught a few familiar names here and there.like CUJO, SHAWSHANK, TALISMAN and FULL DARK.and betting I probably missed