Monday, 1 October 2007

Needful Things

I can’t say I enjoyed this book: I was hooked by the strong narrative line and read it rapidly; I was fascinated by the dreadful logic of the chain of events; I was disturbed by the believability of the actions of the humans: But enjoyment – No.

Stephen King manages to mix the fantastical with the mundane – evil, personified in a grotesque, with the ordinary, petty trials and tribulations of small community life.

It is a critique of that small community which lies at the heart of this book – and it is the insight Mr. King has into the workings and motivations of the human decision making process which allow him to so believably destroy the fragile bonds which maintain such communities.

The book has its fair share of action and blood, explosion and bullet – but the real horror is the gullibility of the people, the ease with which deceit can be foisted on them and the tenacity with which they hold on to that deceit.

I can’t say I enjoyed it, but I can say it was well worth reading – and that I took a lot from it. I certainly will read more of Mr. King’s works, but I think I want to visit sunnier climes first – maybe a simple murder yarn?

Wiki: Needful Things