Needful Things by Stephen King

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In a way it’s hard to review a real Stephen King classic like this one. It’s Stephen King. And it’s vintage Stephen King, you know?

But these types of books are classics for a reason, and I can talk to you about those reasons.

I think if you’re a horror reader, you have to have at least dipped into one of King’s books, and though many of you will cringe at the film adaptations, don’t let that blind you to the joys of his prose.

In this tale, a small town in Maine (of course) is a happy place, where people keep their animosity and secrets hidden behind the facade of small town lives. Everyone knows everyone and they all know each others business. But then an empty store is opened up. Needful Things. And the guy that works there is so charming, he has just the item you need. That rare baseball card to complete your collection? A fox tail for your car just like you had in high school? That perfect carnival glass that you thought you could never afford? He has them, and at a really reasonable price.

But trouble is easy to stir up in a small town, and when part of the price is a little harmless prank on someone you barely know, and when you start feeling like maybe you shouldn’t leave your priceless new possession at home alone… well, it all gets pretty dark and ugly pretty quickly, and it’s delightful carnage in Castle Rock.

Stephen King writes beautifully, and draws you in to whatever he’s imagining. I really enjoyed this book, especially as in London, Winter is dark, perfect time for curling up with a horror story. His characters are so well written and just like people you know, which makes it so much more chilling, and since this book was written a few decades back, I really liked the feel of the time and place. Really gripping.

Read It If: If you’ve never read a Stephen King, this isn’t a bad choice to start with. I think it will please horror fans or anyone who has ever lived in a small town.

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