Needful Things
Needful Things
Needful Things
Price: $41.95 FREE for Members
Type: Audio Book
Format: mp3
Language: English

The old horrormaster in top form, this time with a demonic dealer in
magic and spells selling his wares to the folks of Castle Rock, scene
of several King novels including The Dead Zone, Cujo--and how many
others? King locates his hokey Our Town in Maine, but as ever it's
really Consumerville, USA, with everyone's life festooned with brand
names. The cast is huge and largely grotesque, since King--wearing a
tremendous cat's-smile--means to close the book on Castle Rock and
blow it off the map in one of his best climaxes since Salem's Lot.
Editing here is supreme. King braids perhaps a dozen storylines--with
hardly a drop of blood spilled for the first 250 or so pages--into
ever briefer takes that climax in a hurtling, storm-ripped holocaust
whose symphonic energies fill the novel's last third. Perhaps only
five characters stand out: Leland Gaunt, a gentlemanly stranger who
opens the Needful Things curiosity shop; his first customer, Brian
Rusk, 11, who sells his soul for a rare Sandy Koufax baseball card;
practical Polly Chalmers, who runs the You Sew `n' Sew shop, welcomes
Gaunt with a devil's-food cake, and buys an amulet to relieve her
arthritis; her lover, Sheriff Alan Pangborn, who buys nothing but is
haunted by the driving deaths of his wife and son; and Ace Merrill,
coke dealer in a bind, who becomes Gaunt's handydevil and gets to
drive Gaunt's Tucker, a car that's faster than radar and uses no gas.
As he has for hundreds of years, Gaunt sells citizens whatever pricks
and satisfies their inmost desires. But the price dehumanizes them,
and soon all the townsfolk vent their barest aggressions on each
other with cleaver, knife, and gun: Gaunt even opens a sideline of
automatic weapons. By novel's end, the whole town is on a hysterical,
psychotic mass rampage that floods morgue and hospital with the
delimbed and obliterated. Then comes the big bang. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!
Leland King's glee, or Steven Gaunt's, or rather--well,the author's-
-as he rubs his palms over his let's-blow-'em-away
superclimax is wonderfully catching. (Book-of-the-Month Main Selection
for Fall) -- Copyright 1991, Kirkus Associates, LP.

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