Needful Things
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Needful Things

by Stephen King
Release date: 1991
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: horror

With a demonic blend of malice and affection, Stephen King says goodbye to the town he put on the map – Castle Rock, Maine... where Polly Chalmers runs You Sew and Sew and Sheriff Alan Pangborn is in charge of keeping the peace. It's a small town, and Stephen King fans might think they know its secrets pretty well; they've been here before.

Leland Gaunt is a stranger – and he calls his shop Needful Things. Eleven-year-old Brain Rusk is his first customer, and Brian finds just what he wants most in all the world; a '56 Sandy Koufax baseball card. By the end of the week, Mr. Gaunt's business is fairly booming, and why not? At Needful Things, there's something for everyone.

And, of course, there is always a price. For Leland Gaunt, the pleasure of doing business lies chiefly in seeing how much people will pay for their most secret dreams and desires. And as Leland Gaunt always points out, at Needful Things, the prices are high indeed. Does that stop people from buying? Has it ever?

For Alan and Polly, this one week in autumn will be an awful test – a test of will, desire, and pain. Above all, it will be a test of their ability to grasp the true nature of their enemy. They may have a chance... But maybe not, because, as Mr. Gaunt knows, almost everything is for sale: love, hope, even the human soul.

With the potent storytelling authority that millions of readers have come to prize, Stephen King delivers an Out Town with a vengeance, an inimitable farewell to a place his fiction has often and long called home.

(updated 2017-01-17)

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