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790 pages, Paperback
First published October 1, 1991
“Everyone loves something for nothing … even if it costs everything.”I suppose for every single one of us there is something material or immaterial that we would do anything it takes to have. Anything. Anything at all. Whatever it takes. No matter the cost — but with double enthusiasm if it conveniently also seems like a bargain.
“What’s the one thing in all the world, the one useless thing, that you want so badly that you get it mixed up with needing it?”
“It’s just small-town life, though—call it Peyton Place or Grover’s Corners or Castle Rock, it’s just folks eatin pie and drinkin coffee and talkin about each other behind their hands.”
“Brian had uncovered one of the great truths of small towns: many secrets—in fact, all the really important secrets—cannot be shared. Because word has a way of getting around, and getting around fast.”
“Perhaps all the really special things I sell aren’t what they appear to be. Perhaps they are actually gray things with only one remarkable property—the ability to take the shapes of those things which haunt the dreams of men and women.” He paused, then added thoughtfully: “Perhaps they are dreams themselves.”
“Because every choice had consequences. Because in America, you could have anything you wanted, just as long as you could pay for it. If you couldn’t pay, or refused to pay, you would remain needful forever.”
“It was funny stuff, sanity. When it was taken away, you didn’t know it. You didn’t feel its departure. You only really knew it when it was restored, like some rare wild bird which lived and sang within you not by decree but by choice.”
“In men like Ace Merrill, the only urge stronger than the urge to dominate is the need to roll over and humbly expose the undefended neck when the real leader of the pack puts in an appearance.”
“Trouble and aggravation’s mostly made up of ordinary things, did you ever notice that? Undramatic things.”
“We bump up against each other every now and then, but mostly things go along all right. Or always have, until now. But I have to tell you a real secret, my friend; it’s mostly why I called you over once I saw you were back in town. I think trouble—real trouble—is on its way. I smell it, just over the horizon, like an out-of-season storm full of lightning.”
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 arms......but YOU WON'T LIKE HIS TOUCH!
"EVERYTHING is for sale."......ALL those things you covet.....AND Mr. icky fingers Gaunt is very fond of playing 'Let's Make A Deal'.
SOON 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 more.)
In a small town like Castle Rock, all the fuse-boxes were lined up neatly side by side. What you had to do was open the boxes … and then start cross-wiring.
…mostly you just laid low until everything was done … and then you turned on the juice.
All the juice.
”Little shop. Little shop of horrors. Little shop. Little....”
”Little shop. Little shop of horrors. Little shop. Little shop of terror. Call a cop. Little shop of horrors...”