My family went on a road trip to Ontario in the summer of 2011. On the way there, we went out of our way to stop
at as many weird little tourist places, and one place we chose at random was Wawa, home of a giant goose statue. It was a
murky, foggy day by the sea, and the goose was next to a small tourist building which had a book sale on to fund repairs to
that goose. I walked away with two books. One was a Robotech novel, the other was Needles.
Needles was, at the time, the worst book I'd ever read, and I bought it for fifty cents solely because the back promised
me a sadistic Chinese mastermind. Four bits for a crime novel with a cool Chinese doctor? My teenage mind was blown! How could
I don't even know where to start. I've never been so painfully let down by a book before. I read the whole thing all
the way through, save for two pages the prior owner tore out, and I can't remember where that was and it didn't make a difference
anyway. My cousins later set the book on fire once I'd finished it, and I think a ghost came out of it. I thought at the time
that I'd never be able to sit through reviewing it for Toontown.
But this year, I realized I needed it back. People needed to know. I couldn't just go around saying that there was "this
one book"...I need to walk you through it. I went to two places, and I found another copy at the second one, and
with a two-for-a-quarter deal. I paid 1/4th of what I did in the first place, and for the same edition too.
This is Needles by William Deverell, originally published in 1979, my edition from 1981. The guy in the foreground is
Foster Cobb, the girl is Jennifer Tann, the big head is P'ang Wei Au, and I have no fucking idea what the little old man gremlin
is supposed to be. Get ready.