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A reader's guide to Needful Things

Updated Monday, 1st October 2007

In the novel, "Needful Things", the citizens of Castle Rock are enticed by the bargains in their new shop. Unknown to them, evil is at work.

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Stephanie Forward introduces our October 2007 choice for the book club

Imagine yourself outside a shop, entranced by the window display. There before you is the object of your deepest desires. You negotiate a bargain price, and you simply can’t resist buying the item.

The citizens of Castle Rock, in the novel Needful Things, find themselves in this seemingly fortunate position.

Schoolboy Brian Rusk purchases a baseball card featuring a famous star.

Elvis fans Cora and Myra become enemies as they vie for memorabilia of the King.

Hugh Priest is obsessed with a beautiful orange fox-brush.

Depressed by overwhelming debts, 'Buster' Keeton puts his faith in a board game about horse racing.

Polly Chalmers finds an amulet which wards off her agonizing arthritic pain.

For Ave Merrill, the lure is a book containing a treasure map.

The enigmatic owner of the shop, creepy Leland Gaunt, seems to know exactly what each customer is yearning for.

From an early stage, the anxious reader witnesses Gaunt's machinations as he lures his hapless victims into a web of intrigue anddeceit. How long will it take for the locals to realize the grim truth? When will they grasp that they are participants in the eternal battle between Good and Evil?

Stephen King, author of Needful Things Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
Stephen King, author of Needful Things.

Many threads are woven into the fabric of this intriguing story, but Stephen King ties up the loose ends with consummate skill.

So: picture yourself outside that shop. Can you see your Needful Thing? It’s a bargain, and it’s right there within your grasp! Just remember – there is always a price to pay...

Have you read the book? Are you reading along with us? Share your thoughts with us.

 

 

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