Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Halloween! Stephen King's Best Books: #11 -- Needful Things


Halloween is right around the corner, so to commemorate my favorite holiday, I'm going to do another top 10 countdown list leading up to the big day.

Last year, I tackled the scariest movies of all time.  This year I'm going to count down my favorite books from the master of horror himself, Stephen King.  Since there are actually eleven days left until Halloween, I'm going to channel my inner Spinal Tap and provide a bonus recommendation [truth be told, I had a difficult time narrowing the list down to ten].  

So without further ado, I present this year's Halloween countdown...

#11     Needful Things

Needful Things [1991] is a devious, cleverly written tale with a pervasive undercurrent of wry humor not often prevalent in Stephen King books.  Set in fictional Castle Rock, Maine [a frequently used locale that King enthusiasts will recognize], this book chronicles what happens when a mysterious curio shop proprietor, Leland Gaunt, opens a store in town that is capable of producing any rare item that patrons  desire.  The absurdly low cost of these items comes with a sinister hidden cost, however, as Gaunt forces each greedy patron to do something mean-spirited to other town residents—a situation that triggers a disastrous chain of events that eventually wreak havoc on the town.  Filled with acerbic wit and a familiar cast of characters borrowed from several other memorable King works, Needful Things is a deceptively fast paced page turner that packs an entertaining punch. 

The book was adapted into a major motion picture in 1993, featuring a virtuoso performance by Max von Sydow as Leland Gaunt.

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