The shadows gather around us once again. Take our hands and wander with us into the darkness where the monsters gather. We’re bringing you 31 horror reviews in October. Whatever you do, don’t let go of our hands lest you find out what truly goes bump in the night.
Imagine that there is a store that has the one item your heart desires more than anything in the world. Even better, the seemingly kind shop owner will let you have that item for practically nothing. You just have to do a small favor for him. How could that possibly be bad?
Needful Things is a novel by Stephen King originally published in 1991. It was billed as “the last Castle Rock story” though the fictional town in Maine has been referenced in later works by King. There are some recurring characters such as Sheriff Alan Pangborn and Deputy Norris Ridgewick appear in the story along with plenty of new characters such as Polly Chalmers, a love interest for Alan.
A new store named Needful Things has opened in Castle Rock. One of the first customers is a young boy who is shocked to discover that the owner, Leland Gaunt, has an extraordinarily rare baseball card for sale. Though the boy experiences strange feelings around Mr. Gaunt, he agrees to play a little prank for the shop owner in exchange for the card.
As for Leland Gaunt, he appears to be a middle aged human but a few oddities indicate he may be something more. His index fingers are precisely the same length as his middle fingers and the skin on his hands has no lines.
More and more customers make their way to the shop and the favors they do for Leland Gauntlet set events in motion that will change Castle Rock forever.
I don’t want to spoil the story so I will refrain from further details. Needful Things is as much a character study and commentary on human nature as it is a spooky story. The explosive finale ensures Castle Rock’s “final story” goes out with a bang.
This book is a great read in the middle of the night. Be sure to set the mood by turning off most of the lights and try to have the fireplace lit or a candle nearby.