Needful Things (Oct 1991)

Leland Gaunt opens a new shop in Castle Rock called Needful Things. Anyone who enters his store finds the object of his or her lifelong dreams and desires: a prized baseball card, a healing amulet. In addition to a token payment, Gaunt requests that each person perform a little "deed," usually a seemingly innocent prank played on someone else from town. These practical jokes cascade out of control and soon the entire town is doing battle with itself. Only Sheriff Alan Pangborn suspects that Gaunt is behind the population's increasingly violent behavior.

Common King themes:

  • Laughter used to defeat evil (Alan Pangborn ultimately defeats Leland Gaunt with his magic tricks.)

Needful Things has connections to the following books:

Chapter 2 : Alan Pangborn

First instance of many of Sheriff Alan Pangborn in the book.

The girl who had left on a Greyhound with a bun in her oven was now a woman of almost forty and had been back, living and doing business in town, for four years, and no one even knew the sex of the child that had caused her to leave. just lately Polly Chalmers had given the town a fresh demonstration of her eccentricity, if one was needed: she had been keeping company with Alan Pangborn, Castle County's Sheriff, and Sheriff Pangborn had buried his wife and younger son only a year and a half ago.

Prologue : Castle Rock, ME

Takes place in Castle Rock.

Come on over here, let me shake your hand! Tell you something: I recognized you by the way you walk even before I saw your face good. You couldn’t have picked a better day to come back to Castle Rock.

Prologue : Ace Merrill

His nephew Ace says something spooky happened to his uncle before that fire-something like on The Twilight Zone. Of course, Ace wasn’t even around when his uncle bit the dust; he was finishing a four-year stretch in Shawshank Prison for breaking and entering in the nighttime. (People always knew Ace Merrill would come to a bad end; when he was in school he was one of the worst bullies this town has ever seen, and there must have been a hundred kids who crossed to the far side of the street when they saw Ace comin toward em with the buckles and zippers on his motorcycle jacket jingling and the cleats on his engineer boots clockin along the sidewalk.)

References will be here!