Monday, January 31, 2011

Needful Things

Usually, you have to do something awesome to be labelled King. Stephen King has been given that title from birth...

Needful Things is an exceptional novel. Taking place in a small town in Maine called Little Rock, King completely immerses his reader is small town life. From the religious fanatics, to the sense of duty peace officers usually feel, King creates a town from the people up.

And then destroys it.

Complete mayhem and destruction. This book should be banned outright because it shows how easy it is to influence americans to annihilate one another. The equation is simple (warning, spoilers):

1. Play to greed
-Leland Gaunt, the proprietor of Needful Things plays this role perfectly. He gives everyone what they want most, in exchange for small pranks.

2. Play on emotions
-The planks played on individuals of the town preyed upon their already pent up emotions, to the point where anger, religious bigotry, and past feuds begin to escalate to the point where people want to kill each other.

3. Set off a chain reaction of destruction in different parts of the town simultaneously.
-Ace Merril and Buster handle this with their bombs, under the direction of Leland Gaunt.

4. Profit
-This is how Leland Gaunt successfully, and nearly-single-handedly destroyed Little Rock, Maine.

Sometimes I am just in the mood to read about something being blown up, or about someone who couldn't arrive in time to save someone else's life. This book is not about how the heroes win. It is about how the bad guys destroy. And at Needful Things (the store owned by Mr. Gaunt), every purchase leads to a little piece of the town dying.

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