Brian Rusk had bought a baseball card in Needful Things, and Brian was dead. Nettle Cobb had bought a lampshade in Needful Things, and she was dead, too. How many others in Castle Rock had gone to the well and bought poisoned water from the poison man? Norris had a fishing rod. Polly had a magic charm. Brian Rusk's mother had a pair of cheap sunglasses that had something to do with Elvis Presley. Even Ace Merrill had an old book. Alan was willing to bet that Hugh Priest had also made a purchase ... and Danforth Keeton ...
How many others? How many?
What really happened in that goddam town?
Everything went along peaceful for awhile, and then a squabble broke out.
See that building across Main Street? The one three doors up from the vacant lot where the Emporium Galorium used to stand?
The windows are all soaped over because it's not quite open yet. NEEDFUL THINGS.
You had been here before, but things were about to change.There was a storm on the way.
It said OPENING SOON on top, and under that, ANSWERED PRAYERS, A NEW KIND OF STORE. Interesting name for a store.
Answered Prayers. Makes you wonder what's for sale inside. Why, with a name like that it could be anything. Anything at all.
In a small town, the opening of a new store is big news. there was no other shop in Castle Rock which looked like this.
Needful Things was a curios shop.
All the items, whether trash or treasure, had one thing in common: there were no price-tags on any of them.
Leland Gaunt was proprietor of Needful Things. A tall figure with dark blue- black Indian eyes. The tall man's grip was strong and sure, but not painful.
All the same, there was something unpleasant about it. Something ... smooth. Too hard, somehow.
His teeth were crooked, and they looked rather yellow in the dim light, but Brian found the smile entirely charming just the same.
But when Gaunt's smile grew, it became unpleasantly predatory.
The first and second fingers of his hand were exactly the same length and he usually wore a long red-velvet jacket.
His voice seemed far away. His voice seemed to be coming from the bottom of a deep, dark cave and he looked like the sort of man who might already know.
"I believe in free trade," Mr. Gaunt said. "It's what made this country great.
Sometimes his customers came in little groups, but far more often they seemed to be on their own .
Brian Rusk met the proprietor of Needful Things before anyone else in Castle Rock.
Brian was eleven, and a healthy eleven-year-old boy interested in anything new.
Brian felt a momentary and quite monstrous cramp of fear. The guy was quite old, and his face was very kind. He looked at Brian with interest and pleasure.
"You are my very first customer. Come in, my friend. Enter freely, and leave some of the happiness you bring!"
He smiled and stuck out his hand. The smile was infectious.
Brian felt an instant liking for the proprietor of Needful Things.
"Very good, Mr. Rusk. And since you are my first customer, I think I can offer you a very special price on any item that catches your fancy."
'Brian Rusk, what do you want more than anything else in the world at this moment?' what is your response? Quick!"
"Sandy Koufax," Brian responded promptly.
"Well, not Sandy Koufax himself," Brian said, "but his baseball card. "
"That's the rarest baseball card in the universe!" It was Sandy Koufax. It was a '56 Topps card. And it was signed.
"To my good friend Brian, with best wishes, Sandy Koufax," Brian read in a hoarse whisper.
And then found he could say nothing at all.
"I didn't plan it or plan it, Brian. It's just a coincidence ... but a nice sort of coincidence, don't you think?"
The card wasn't really his yet. This was just sort of a trial run. There was something he had to do before it would really be his.
He had wanted to show it to his father. Coming home from Needful Things, he had imagined just how it would be when he showed it to him.
He sold you a 1956 autographed Sandy Koufax baseball card, in uncirculated condition, for eighty-five cents?
Yeah, that's where the real trouble would start, all right.
What kind of trouble? He didn't know, exactly, but there would be a stink, he was sure of that.
"Brian said Needful Things is a poison place and he's a poison man and I should never go there."
"I've met this man before. Where?
It was diji vu, Polly said."
Alan, the Sheriff, of the town, remembered the day he had come to Needful Things with the specific intention of meeting and talking to Mr. Gaunt, and he remembered the odd sensation that had crept over him as he peered in through the window with his hands cupped at the sides of his face to reduce the glare. He had felt he was being watched, although the shop was clearly empty.
And not only that; he'd felt the watcher was malign, hateful. The feeling had been so strong that for a moment he had actually mistaken his own reflection for the unpleasant (and half-transparent) face of someone else.
Alan found himself remembering something else-something his grandmother used to tell him when he was small: The devil's voice is sweet to hear.
Brian said How had Mr. Gaunt come by his knowledge? And why in God's name would he bother with a wide place in the road like Castle Rock?
-Mr. Gaunt wasn't really a man at all.
Needful Things was the place where everything had started; Needful Things was - where it all must end.
This, just like "Salem's Lot" and many other King's books, is the story of a city.
King shows his ability in slowing depicting the character and the situations, what drives them, what's their relationship with each other, how the city works, giving us insights about each of them, and letting a domino effect rampaging through them.
The story revolves around longing and bargaining, it shows us how deep men could sink for what they really want and how different their desires could be, and it's downright terrifying.
Not because of a monster, or an event, but because of how humans he made each of them, making you understand what drives them and showing what kind of monsters humans could be with just a little push, and you might disagree on that, but I believe that if you don't find anything scary in the accurate description of the thoughts of a child sowly emptied and driven to suicide then something's off in you.
Come al solito un altro incantevole romanzo del terrore che nasconde una delle grandi metafore della vita.
A Castle Rock arriva il misteriose Leland Gaunt, azzarderò chiamandolo "antiquario", per inaugurare una piccola bottega chiamata Cose Preziose.
Leland conosce i desideri più nascosti di ognuno riuscendo a rimediare un affare irrinunciabile per ciascuno, ovviamente l'unica cosa da discutere è il prezzo.
Il denaro non è obbligatoriamente l'unico pegno che interessa a un avido venditore se il "fortunato" acquirente desidera ardentemente entrare in possesso di un oggetto per sé importantissimo.
I personaggi sono magistralmente descritti e non lasciano il lettore indifferente alle proprie passioni e pulsioni, infondo ognuno di noi non cederebbe una parte dei propri valori per possedere una cosa che lo renda veramente appagato?
Ok, Stephen King resta sempre il Re. Ormai tutti sapete che prima non lo sopportavo e poi piano piano sono arrivato a leggerne ventiquattro (con questo). Di conseguenza posso definirmi un fan. Nel bene e nel male. Qui siamo più sul bene, nonostante il mio stato psicologico durante la lettura non sia stato dei migliori. Eppure, nonostante la lunghezza e la sua proverbiale prolissità, sono riuscito a leggerlo tutto d'un fiato. Non nascondo che a tratti sia fangoso, difficile da digerire, ma questo è il suo modo di essere. In altre circostanze son tutte cose che mi fanno piacere, mentre durante questa lettura non vedevo l'ora di arrivare al dunque. Fa parte di una serie di romanzi o racconti ambientati a Castle Rock, tra cui i già recensiti Cujo e La Zona Morta. Purtroppo ho commesso l'errore di leggerlo prima di La Metà Oscura, del quale riporta alcuni avvenimenti. Forse non essenziali per l'economia della trama, ma non certo da sottovalutare. Restiamo comunque su alti livelli, sebbene non lo consideri tra le mie migliori letture, e di sicuro lo consiglio a chi è a secco del maestro dell'horror, ma anche a chi ha già una discreta dimestichezza con il suo modo di scrivere....Continua