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Needful Things

 
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Zarathustra
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:12 pm    Post subject: Needful Things Reply with quote

My god, this is a lazy book. Hundreds of pages of rinse, lather, repeat. So many minor characters who keep having the same experience: go into Gaunt's shop, find the one thing they want the most, get hypnotized, buy object, play "a little trick." After this same thing happening dozens of times, I'm quite bored. There is no character development, just this one trick over and over. It would have been the easiest book to write of any best seller I've ever read. Just substitute different names, different objects, different tricks, and keep repeating.

I'm not finished yet ... about 3/4 the way through. So maybe my opinion will change. I did like the one scene we get from Gaunt's perspective, at the end of the first half. It answered the most important question: why the hell would this guy care to get people to be shitty to each other? Apparently, it's just his form of entertainment. Unfortunately, it's not mine. I derive absolutely no pleasure in seeing these people be petty and mean to each other.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I quite enjoyed seeing all the different "illusions" they laboured under. Wasn't a huge fan of the ending though to be honest.

--A
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
I quite enjoyed seeing all the different "illusions" they laboured under. Wasn't a huge fan of the ending though to be honest.

--A
I enjoyed it the first dozen times. Laughing

I do think it's an interesting point that we can all be materialistic and addicted to our possessions. These are (some of) the things that drive us a little crazy. People HAVE to have the latest phone, etc.

I wish more time had been given to the main characters, rather than a page or two at a time before it shifted to some other random person we haven't met yet.

I'm almost 500 pages in, and only one significant thing has happened: the "duel" between the two crazy women. Literally everything thing else has been people shopping and playing tricks (usually consisting of leaving a note and perhaps some vandalism). That's a lot of treading water. Very shallow water.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the thing between the two women is/was/gets pretty heavy. One of the more memorable parts. I would have liked more about Gaunt myself.

(Oh, and by the ending, I mean like the last couple pages...I quite enjoyed the climax that all the "tricks" eventually built up to.)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read another 40 or 50 pages today.

I'll have to say that once the feces finally starts hitting the fan, it's quite a shitstorm. My god. Paragraphs become plot points. It's a hell of ride, once it starts moving.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I've read another 40 or 50 pages today.

I'll have to say that once the feces finally starts hitting the fan, it's quite a shitstorm. My god. Paragraphs become plot points. It's a hell of ride, once it starts moving.


This was my experience of the book. Very slow build up, but I loved the climax where the whole place goes apeshit.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I meant. Very Happy I remember a few events that had me flat out laughing. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been forever since I've read it, but I recall enjoying it quite a bit. Considering that his output during that era was almost universally awful, NT really doesn't seem that bad.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I just finished it today, and the last 200 pages are pretty good. It reminds of the writing teacher in Adaptation who advises, "Wow them in the end, and they'll forgive everything else," or something like that. King knows how to finish a story strong. I enjoyed it (though not as much as Bag of Bones).

So, on to the next book. Maybe I'll try something newer ... though I am intrigued about the references to other Castle Rock novels, none of which I've read.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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