Read Needful Things by Stephen King Online


There was a new shop in town, run by a stranger. Needful Things caused some gossip and speculation amongst the good folks of Castle Rock, Maine, while they waited for opening day. The store contained something for everyone. Something they really just had to have. And always at a price that they could just afford. The cash price, that is. Because there was another price toThere was a new shop in town, run by a stranger. Needful Things caused some gossip and speculation amongst the good folks of Castle Rock, Maine, while they waited for opening day. The store contained something for everyone. Something they really just had to have. And always at a price that they could just afford. The cash price, that is. Because there was another price to pay. There always is when your heart's most secret, true desire is for sale....

Title : Needful Things
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780670839537
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 690 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Needful Things Reviews

  • Jeff
    2019-03-06 02:28

    As Jeff turned to go into Needful Things, he bumped into a woman wearing a dazed determined expression, who was hurrying out the door, clutching a stuffed warthog. Entering the store, he was greeted by a tinkling bell and what appeared to be the shop owner, walking toward him with an outstretched hand. Jeff’s first instinct was to back away in revulsion, but he extended his hand and felt a wave of nausea sweep over him.“I’m Leland Gaunt and welcome to my humble establishment. I’ve just opened today and I haven’t gotten all my goods unpacked, but you’re welcome to look around.”Gaunt had the strangest shade of green eyes that Jeff had ever seen. It was as if Jeff was staring into a bowl of spinach.As Jeff walked around the store he noticed that, no matter where he turned his head, Mr. Gaunt never left his peripheral vision.Looking at a glass case, Jeff noticed a paper with writing. It was the cleverest, best written, funniest review he had ever read. And it was a review of the book he was currently reading. Why if Jeff put this out on Goodreads, he’d get thousands of “likes”. Thousands.Gaunt appeared over his left shoulder. “That is something, isn’t it? I just got that in today.”Jeff felt he had to have it. Maybe tens of thousands of likes. “It is pretty good. How much do you want for it?”Gaunt smiled. His teeth reminded Jeff of gravestones. “Well, how much money do you have?”How much money do I have? Jeff checked his wallet. “Only four dollars.”Gaunt gave him his best shark-like smile and said, “What a coincidence, that’s what I’m selling it for.”As Gaunt pulled it out of the case, Jeff could have sworn the page was a shopping list, but once Gaunt handed it over, he saw it was his precious review. The greatest review he had ever read.“By the way Jeff, (Jeff didn’t remember telling Gaunt his name), I’d like you to play a small prank on someone…"

  • Gregor Xane
    2019-03-17 01:35

    Mr. King likes to tell stories about people getting trapped. He's got one about a guy trapped in a bedroom. He's got a whole bunch of these stories, really. He's got people trapped inside a car, in a gas station, a classroom, a grocery store, a hotel, on an island, a city under a giant force field. I'm pretty sure he's got one about a lady handcuffed to a bed for the whole book. I'm just going from memory here. He's probably got a lot more.In Needful Things, the entire town of Castle Rock is trapped by their possessions. Its citizens are punished mercilessly for 700+ pages with some special brand of evil that feeds off the sin of imbuing bric-à-brac with sentimental value.Admittedly, I'm oversimplifying the plot of this book quite a bit. But Needful Things is just a morality tale at its core, a boldfaced warning about materialism. The message of the book seems to boil down to something we all heard as kids, mom saying that you don't need those roller skates, you just want them.But to say that this is only a simple morality tale really does this book a disservice. It's got all the things I like in a King book: suspense, action, gore, folksy humor (the cruel and the crude varieties), characters you can identify with, protagonists you care about, insane people and perverts, monsters and great big explosions. Most importantly, it's got a great villain. Our bad guy, Leland Gaunt, isn't subtle, he chews up the scenery at every turn, but he's exactly what this novel calls for. Done well (and King does them very well), comic book villains are the best kind. All right, maybe just the most fun to read about.And, yes, this book had some of the Stephen King things I don't like so much. I feel sometimes King is writing down to his characters, like he'll create a character just for the sake of mockery. Lester Pratt, the goody two-shoes, Christian 'boy scout' character in this book is a prime example. I would be willing to bet that no one ever--no matter how repressed and/or brainwashed, sheltered, or close-minded--ever, ever had an internal monologue that's featured the celebratory phrase "rooty toot toot" repeatedly while thinking about the prospect of getting some pussy.King also has a tendency to veer into some rather cloying, almost treacly, Garrison Keillor territory, and in this book the opening and closing are perhaps the most nauseating examples of this that I've personally encountered.And then, like with many of King's novels, we have the borderline deus ex machina ending.Now, I know what you're thinking:Wow, it seemed like there for a minute you were saying you like Stephen King. But now it seems like you're being rather hard on the guy.But, you see, the thing is, Stephen King is sort of like the President of the United States of America. (Bear with me here.) The people you hear bitching about the President the most, the people who are the hardest on him, seem to always be the very same people who voted him into office. I've read over thirty books by Stephen King. So, in my mind, that pretty much means I voted that son-of-a-bitch into office over thirty fucking times! I'll say what I want.And now you're probably asking, would you vote for that son-of-a-bitch again?No question.

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-02-22 00:32

    A store has opened in the Maine town of Castle Rock, a store selling objects a person most desires, at a price the buyer can afford. But are the goods worth the cost? Can Sheriff Alan Pangborn get to the bottom of Leland Gaunt and his Needful Things before he falls prey to the madness that's gripping the town?In what originally was intended to be its final appearance, Castle Rock goes out with a bang in this Stephen King tome. It reads like a love letter to Castle Rock at times. I caught references to The Dark Half, Cujo, Sun Dog, The Body, and I think Cycle of the Werewolf. Ace Merrill and Alan Pangborn are the only characters I remember from other books but I'm sure there were probably others.The story starts off slow as, one by one, the citizens of Castle Rock fall prey to Leland Gaunt's charms, buying his trinkets for whatever cash they have on them and doing pranks for him. These pranks are as custom tailored to the victim as the trinkets he sells and soon the denizens of Castle Rock are fuming at one another. Once things escalate to the point of violence, there's no turning back, making Needful Things very hard to put down for such a heavy book.There's not a lot more I can tell without giving things away. Alan Pangborn could have been a Gunslinger in another life and his relationship with Polly was pretty well done. Ace Merrill was a world class douche and fell into the #2 bad guy role pretty well. I thought Needful Things took the gossip and cattiness that's a staple of small town life and turned the dial up until it broke off. Things I'm still pondering:- Was the spider that appeared near the end a relative of the spider from It, only feeding on pain instead of fear?- Are Leland Gaunt and Randall Flag the same person?- What happened to Castle Rock after the conflagration at the end?Needful Things is like cooking a pot roast in a crock pot. It starts out slow, begins to simmer, and is a churning cauldron of deliciousness by the end. Four out of five stars.

  • Edward Lorn
    2019-03-22 05:39

    Some authors write about king slayers. Others write about serial killers. Stephen King? He writes about fuckers capable of leveling entire towns. Whether those responsible are aliens or devils, it doesn't matter. The ride is usually a fun one. Needful Things is no different. It is, however, the epitome of a bloated Stephen King novel. There are entire characters herein that serve zero purpose. George T. Nelson and Frank Jewett's stories could have been left out. Ace Merrill is another pointless character. I simply do not see what he added to the proceedings. I never understood why Buster couldn't do everything by himself. Even when those two split up, they're still only across the street from one another. Even the movie version cut Ace and nobody cared. I theorize that Ace was a loose end for King, the bad guy that got away, so he felt the urge to give the hood a proper send off. Insert Ace in Needful Things. Problem solved.Now I know what you're thinking. "Doesn't sound like you enjoyed this one, E." Well, that's not entirely true. Yeah, I think certain characters are useless and some scenes are pointless, but I dig this book quite a bit. King always impresses me with how he manages to create entire fictional towns populated with such true-to-life personalities and make it seem so fucking effortless. At this point in his career (1991), King had killed two small towns and crippled another three: 'Salem's Lot was sucked dry; Chamberlain was never the same after Carrie White; Derry died a special kind of death but refused to go away completely; Haven would be off-limits for decades; and Castle Rock had one bombastic enima. I remain in awe of that fact. Think about that. In less than fifteen years, one author populated and then ravaged five small towns. And we loved every minute of it.I think several things make readers ignore the bloat in Needful Things. Cora and Myra's Elvis Presley fascination is awfully hilarious, as well as some of the shenanigans other characters get into. The beshitted picture of one townie's mother had me in tears, I was laughing so hard. Buster was blissfully insane, and Nettie and Wilma's fight scene is one of the most gruesome in all of horror literature. This novel is jampacked with awesome occurrences, and that makes the bloat feel worth it. Even the uber goofy ending can be ignored because the rest of the book is... well, it's just a shitload of fun. Obvious Tie-ins:The Dark HalfThe BodyThe Sun DogHidden Gems:Gaunt refers to the items in his shop as "gray things", which supports my theory that all of King's works can be tied back to the Dark Tower series by way of The Tommyknockers or IT. I believe all of King's supernatural villains, all of his monsters, belong to the race of Old Ones known as the Prim. But more on that in my A Decade with King: (1985-1994) post coming in April.Notable Names:Pop MerrillAce MerrillEvvie Chalmers (I love how this woman is in five different King books, but is never on-camera, as it were)George BannermanThad Beaumont (view spoiler)[(This poor fucker made it through The Dark Half only to have one of the longest off-camera downward spirals King has written. It's mentioned here that Thad's wife leaves him and takes the kids with her, and then, ten years later in Bag of Bones, King mentions how Thad ended up killing himself. Poor guy.) (hide spoiler)]In summation: It's not the best book King has ever written, but it's far, far, far from his worst. Needful Things is a favorite for many King fans, and I understand why. I simply think he could have used fewer characters to the same end. Well worth a read, whether you're a King fan or not. But, be forewarned. Whole sections of this book make no sense unless you've read The Dark Half.Final Judgment: Town slaying, like a boss.

  • Bradley
    2019-03-05 00:34

    With this tome of Stephen King small town horror, I'm constantly amazed that I had missed picking this up and geeking out over it when it first came out.I'm certain that I would have. It has all the things I'd been learning to geek out about with his general horror universe, including Cthulhu references, homages to his previous works including events and characters, all of them strung up as if on a map of homicide victims on a perp board, and of course, Castle Rock, itself.Castle Rock Entertainment, indeed. This is the grand blowout of the town, with evil creeping in and changing all of its residents from a patina of middle-class respectability and Rockwellian charm into roving bands of gleeful murderers with very dark hearts.And can we really blame it entirely upon Antique Madness? Roadshow Antiques? That equally weird craze of the early 90's, turned EVIL? Or was it just Mr. Gaunt, aka (Flagg, maybe?) stirring up loads of crap? Nah, it's just the greed and pride of humanity, stoked in just the right way, and that's what Stephen King is really known for.His supernatural aspects are generally underplayed and always in direct support of deep characterizations, of twisting flawed people into even more atrocious examples of humanity, with usually only a few semi-heroic survivors at the end that *sometimes* manage to make it through the fire.This novel is a shining example of all this, taking all the best simmering-pot boil-over of 'Salem's Lot, the twisted madness of Tommyknockers, and throwing in an epic battle of two older ladies eviscerating each other in broad daylight on the street. :)Truly a charming novel. :)

  • Leo .
    2019-02-27 06:36

    What a fantastic book by the great man. Needful things is a great book. A shop owner who gives everybody what they want for a price. Soon the whole town is in chaos and at each others throats. Great concept and well worth the read. The film is great too. Max Von Sydow is amazing as the character Leland Gaunt🐯👍I see a moral to this story. How people covet the things they so desire and will do almost anything to get it. Even if it is out of reach people will covet. Result to murder. Cain and Able springs to mind. This selfish attitude that humanity has come to. Striving to get to the top and step on many to get there.The Black Friday day when hundreds or thousands of people queue outside a department store waiting for it to open. Some even camp outside for days! Just so they can get their hands on the latest TV for a knock down price. People trampling over each other and fighting over merchandise.This book epitomizes the greed, envy, ambition and downright stupidity that us, as human beings, have come too. The temptation. The lure. The deceit.What a crazy Profitable; I say that with my tongue in my cheek for only the top profits; paradigm we live in.👍🐯

  • Paul Nelson
    2019-03-09 01:46

    'Everyone loves something for nothing . . . even if it costs everything.'When new shop Needful Things opens in Castle Rock, there is soon an avalanche of customers desperate to 'buy now' but as the front cover says, you will pay later. Leland Gaunt is the proprietor and he has an extensive stock, something will definitely catch your eye, I guarantee it.Is it the perfect store? Well it possesses the thing you desire most and its available for whatever you think it's worth, with a small proviso, you have to do something in return, a small prank or an undercover delivery. Nothing to worry about, honestly?We then meet what appears to be the whole town as various characters visit Needful Things and become enthralled by what's on offer. Everyone it seems has a trick to play for Leland Gaunt and the repercussions get ever closer to a violent outcome of catastrophic proportions.So once again it's not a review as such but more a gushing of what I loved about Needful Things, so if you've not read it then proceed with caution, there will definitely be spoilers.First off young Brian Rusk and his baseball card, the start point of a particularly harrowing battle between two ladies equal in determination and destined to meet amidst knife and cleaver. Nettie Cobb, Polly's housekeeper, and her enemy Wilma Jerzyck, a strong minded but not really likable woman. A tragic ending befalls all three participants of this game and three brilliant second tier characters. And Brian's Mother Cora, versus Myra Evans in the battle of Elvis, an unhealthy infatuation with the King of rock n roll 'thank you .... thank you very much' and someone will be dying for a hunka-hunka burning love.'He had discovered another large fact about possessions and the peculiar psychological state they induce; the more one has to go through because of something one owns, the more one wants to keep that thing.'Needful Things and Leland Gaunt have a profound and dire effect on anyone who visits his shop and obtains an item, they are bound to him as much as to the item purchased. Not the thing you really, really wanted it to be, but in your mind it is that thing and it’s the only thing you can think of. Possessed mind, body and soul, by the trickster in his lair. Just a touch of his wares or a step into his hide is all it takes and you want it, can't get enough of it and you'll do anything to keep and protect it.'He closed his hand around it in a fist to keep it from falling to the floor . . . and at once a feeling of oddness and distortion swept over him.'My favourite characters were of course Sheriff Alan Pangborn and his partner Polly Chalmers, Alan blessed with speed of hand, is one of the last people to meet the true trickster Leland Gaunt. He is a gifted amateur magician and is able to produce a number of different and complex shadow puppets and sleight-of-hand tricks. After overcoming his own bind to Gaunt at the game end, courtesy of Polly his tricks prove to be the deciding factor in the fight against evil. And Polly is just lovely, the pain, the pills, her terrible loss and the fight to overcome her purchase from Needful Things. Her own Lucifer’s locket in the shape of a magic artefact, a spider that feeds on her pain amongst other things and she so wanted the pain to be gone, it was the thing she wanted most of all but not without cost.’He makes you buy back your own sickness, and he makes you pay double! Don’t you understand that yet? Don’t you get it?’ I love the way Stephen King brushes past a character, almost nonchalantly, he gives you a snippet of what they're about, something that defines them, a piece of their history, a reaction, anything and it leaves them embedded in your memory, like someone you've briefly met. Your first opinion well and truly formed. And we meet plenty of characters in this story, the majority of them memorable not all of them likeable but none without consequence.If I had anything near a criticism it would be an over indulgence in characters, when we hit the religious group action and the street fight, I wasn't bothered so much with the lead up. Just wanted to get back to Alan, Leland Gaunt, Polly and the one and only Ace Merrill.' Misdirection. It was a five-foot-long snake hidden inside a can of nuts . . . or, he thought, thinking of Polly, it’s a disease that looks like a cure.'Loved the ending though, brilliant stuff. So where does Needful Things sit in my list of King Favourites, well if you trawl the net you won't find this book in anyone's top ten it's more likely to be in the bottom half in fact. I really enjoyed it, both the story and the characters sparked my interest immediately, it may have gone round the mountain to get to the top but I like good characterization and this has it in abundance. I think this definitely sits in my top ten, not quite up there with The Stand and IT but not a million miles away.Also posted at

  • Nikoleta
    2019-03-22 02:44

    Μου άρεσε αρκετά στο σύνολο του. Το βιβλίο αποτελείται από 3 μέρη. Το πρώτο μέρος κυλάει αρκετά αργά, αλλά ο συγγραφέας κάνει σπουδαία και βαθιά ανάλυση στους χαρακτήρες της ιστορίας και μας προετοιμάζει άψογα για το τι θα επακολουθήσει. Το δεύτερο μέρος μας βάζει πλέον για τα καλά στην υπόθεση και τα πάντα μπαίνουν σε μία σειρά. Το τρίτο μέρος αν και με γρήγορη πλέον δράση, μου φάνηκε ότι τράβηξε την ιστορία από τα μαλλιά, ότι έγινε λίγο "ότι να’ ναι". Μου φάνηκε ότι αυτό το βιβλίο γράφτηκε από δύο συγγραφείς, έναν προσεκτικό και υπεραναλυτικό στο πρώτο μέρος, και έναν ανυπόμονο και ολίγον τι παρανοϊκό στο τρίτο!3.5/5 αστεράκια.

  • Nicholas Armstrong
    2019-02-26 03:47

    I was going to say that the reason I didn't like this book was the huge cast of characters, but that isn't true. Sure, the huge cast bothered me, but I've read books like that before, the problem was far more to do with the writing. The writing was belabored, tired, and trite. I say this with the utmost respect for King, but it was.For example, the huge cast of characters followed a largely identical format. With a book rocking 730 or so pages of small font, that's a lot of reading, and, as with Atlas Shrugged, it had better be worth it. But it wasn't. Scenes were repeated, almost identically, with different characters. A dozen characters marched into Needful Things, had a nearly identical conversation with Leland Gaunt, and then marched out. Different characters vandalized cars and I had to watch them both. Even though they were there for the same reason, doing the same thing, and it was largely the exact same scene. THAT was the problem with Needful Things. It was that the book was extremely repetitive with no payoff.Additionally, the end was far, far too gimicky. The ending was just a variation of riding off into the sunset but with the identical language that every other book/movie uses. "what happened?" "we'll never know" blah, blah, blah. I know endings are hard, I really do, but using a cliche one is not okay. Use a variation, spice it up, do something new. To top it off, the final, final, ending was the end of 90% of horror movies "Is it REALLY over?" It was unnecessary. It added nothing, and it didn't improve the story or development.Sorry to say, but this is the worst King book I've read, and I really hope it is the worst of them all.

  •  ~Geektastic~
    2019-02-24 02:26

    Stephen King’s approach to horror is much less about the supernatural than I think his reputation suggests. Before approaching his work back in high school, I was vaguely aware of books like Cujo, Pet Sematary, Christine and It (mostly due to their movie incarnations), and based on these, I assumed that King was all about the thrills and chills of the unexplained or just plain weird. It turns out the real horrors of his books are quite easy to explain, but no less frightening for this. Human nature is really all there is to it; there may be a homicidal clown on the loose in a small town, but you can bet it will be the people of that town that demonstrate the most monstrosity. A little boy is raised from the dead by a supernatural force, but is it the force that is frightening, or what it does to people who should leave the dead well enough alone? A teenage girl exhibits frightening telekinetic powers, but would these abilities have turned to destruction without the impetus of cruelty and isolation? The truly horrific is always human in King’s best works; everything else is just the trappings of the tale.Needful Things is very much a story about people and the horrors they inflict on each other, with little or no help from sinister forces. Don’t misunderstand me, there is a very sinister force involved here, but he’s really just working with something that is already there. Leland Gaunt, a charming man with a sixth sense for a deal (and some strange physical attributes), blows into the tiny town of Castle Rock to peddle his wares. Gaunt’s shop, the titular Needful Things, is ordinary and nondescript, and only in a town as small as The Rock would it cause much of a sensation. Well, make a sensation it does, and only King could create such an odd mixture of small-town life and big-time evil working in perfect conjunction with each other.The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has made several appearances in King’s earlier novels; it was the setting for Cujo and The Dark Half, as well as the short stories “The Body” (which became the film Stand By Me), and “The Sun Dog.” Also, the protagonist of The Dead Zone stopped by just long enough to catch the Castle Rock Strangler, twenty years before the events of NF. Needful Things is billed as “the last Castle Rock story,” so from the very beginning it’s almost certain that something pretty sinister is going to go down. Castle Rock is a highly believable community, full of characters that successfully tread the line dividing people from morality tale archetypes. Some of them are “small town types,” but most of them have their own stories and idiosyncrasies, which is imperative to the story, as the psychology of Castle Rock’s inhabitants is the basis from which everything springs. Leland Gaunt offers amazing merchandise for a steal. Brian Rusk, a fairly typical eleven-year-old boy, collects 1956 baseball cards, and when Mr. Gaunt offers him a valuable Sandy Kofax card, signed to a boy named Brian no less, for ninety-eight cents, how can Brian say no? It doesn’t really matter that the rest of the payment is to be made by way of a “harmless prank” on another inhabitant of the town. And it doesn’t seem all that strange that when Brian holds his beloved card, he can see Kofax, smell the grass and dust of the diamond, and hear the long-dead pitcher’s voice clear as day. As Mr. Gaunt meets more of the Castle Rock folks, and sells them more of his astounding merchandise, some strange and sinister events begin to unfold, much to the consternation of Sheriff Alan Pangborn.Alan, like Castle Rock, has made a previous appearance in King’s oeuvre (The Dark Half). Sheriff Pangborn is like many of King’s protagonists in that he is almost too good to be true. He carries some typically heroic emotional baggage (dead wife and son), but his character is essentially untarnished by his suffering, and even a little unnatural. Alan is an amateur magician; when he’s nervous or stressed, he makes elaborate shadow puppets and pulls collapsing bouquets from his sleeves, and he has almost frighteningly good reflexes. He is a bit odd, but in the way that only charming and highly conscientious men can be. He is also the consummate gentleman, as his love affair with the mysterious Polly constantly illustrates. While a character like Alan is usually irritating in a book so fundamentally free of optimism as Needful Things, there is also something very basic and natural about the White Knight Alan facing the sinister Gaunt for the souls of Castle Rock. Alan and Gaunt don’t even meet until the last few chapters, but their face off is inevitable from the start.While Good vs. Evil is a big theme in Needful Things, I think Leland Gaunt’s character could have used a little more subtlety. It is pretty obvious from the start that there is something not quite right about him; he’s up to something, and his plan seems subtle at first, but soon becomes as nuanced as a slap in the face. While the set-up of playing people against each other and their baser instincts is not new to horror, King does take an interesting sort of domino approach to the overall plot, setting up seemingly unrelated characters to force simmering, small town grudges to the murderous boiling point. I also give King credit for using the inherent (and believable) selfishness of the characters to his own advantage, keeping the plot rolling through over 700+ pages. And he is rarely kind to his characters; even the most innocuous and kindly characters are subject to some pretty gruesome stuff. While it’s painful to watch a character you like suffer, it also gives a whiff of realism to an otherwise over-the-top story.There is one element of the story I find a little confusing. About two-thirds of the way through the story, Ace Merrill, an aging hood who works for Gaunt, runs across a bit of bizarre graffiti. Spray painted on a rundown old garage is the phrase “Yog-Sogoth Rules.” I’m not a huge horror fan; in fact, Stephen King is the only horror writer I read with any regularity. I have never been able to slog my way through Lovecraft (though god knows I’ve tried), but I am vaguely aware of the Cthulu mythos, and the association of the name Yog-Sogoth with said mythos. The thing is, I’m not quite sure what this has to do with the story King is telling. After a little research (thank you Wikipedia), I was able to draw a couple of possible conclusions, but they’re foggy, (view spoiler)[ as the name is only mentioned twice in the whole book, and is never satisfactorily tied to Gaunt or any higher power Gaunt may be subject to. (hide spoiler)] Yog Sogoth is also known as “Aforgomon,” (in works by Clark Ashton Smith, whoever that is) and this character/creature/what-have-you is known to only reveal himself to those who anger him. (view spoiler)[There are moments in the book when Gaunt becomes enraged by his customers, and when this happens he does have a tendency to “reveal” himself, which usually consists of a crack in his “kindly old gentleman” façade and the occasional shift in eye color. (hide spoiler)] So there is a connection, but it is either just an interesting bit of horror trivia, or you would have to be a much more informed Lovecraftian than myself to understand any deeper meaning. (If anyone can clarify any of this for me, feel free to comment with your theory.)I was pretty thoroughly immersed in Needful Things, though I can’t rank it with my favorites by King (It, The Dead Zone, Carrie, Firestarter, The Talisman, The Stand, Pet Semetary, The Shiningand ‘Salem’s Lot are all superior, I believe). Oddly enough, this book reminded me of Jane Austen, and no, I’m not losing my mind or trying to make some high flown literary allusion. The two incredibly disparate writers simply share a rare talent for creating highly believable communities that are integral to their storytelling methods. Austen’sEmma relies heavily on the neighborhood surrounding the main plot, and Needful Things has a similar structure. If these were just a few unrelated characters living in proximity to one another, the whole thing would never have held up with any success, but the community feels very real, so it is both sad and terrifying when the whole thing essentially implodes and neighbors show their true colors to one another.Ok, this could go on forever, so I'll wrap it up. This was a top notch read, really. As I said, not the absolute epitome of King’s abilities, but very solid and enjoyable.

  • M.G. Mason
    2019-03-17 04:23

    Despite that The Stand is my favourite King novel, Needful Things comes a very close second.In some ways it is a much more intriguing story in that it deals with a much more base issue: human greed and the things people will do for personal gain.Leland Gaunt arrives in Castle Rock, the setting for a good handful of King’s novels, opening up a bric-a-brac shop. The thing is with this shop is that it always seems to have the customer’s most secret desire and Gaunt never seems to require much money for the sale. But there is always a second price, to perform a small prank on somebody else.Needless to say, the pranks become increasingly malevolent and re-ignites old animosities between individuals. Soon the whole town has descended into chaos and murderous violence and it is down to Sheriff Pangborn to put it right. Long-term fans of King will know Pangborn from The Dark Half and The Sun Dog.Because of the subject matter, the story required a bit more in-depth characterisation than we might be used to from Stephen King. This he does very well and the interactions, positive and negative flow well with the plot.Despite the fantastical setting, the plot is believable because it criticises human greed and explores how it consumes, asking us all the way “how far would you go to obtain your inner-most secret desire?”See more book reviews at my blog

  • Matt Garcia
    2019-02-22 05:41

    A reread for me. Absolutely amazing and epic tale that perfectly captures and creates the quintessential essence of small town America. The large cast of characters are all so unique, perfectly fleshed out and entertaining. Leland Gaunt is badass and so cleverly, evil and cunning that he's one of King's best characters in my opinion. This is a hell of a read and King outdid himself with this one. The plot may seem simple but it's far from it. The way King was able to concoct such a harrowing and complex tale of diabolical wickedness is astounding. It's a long tome but it's well worth the time and it goes by quickly because it's so engrossing. In my top 3 King books of all time. What a book!

  • Cody | codysbookshelf
    2019-02-28 03:27

    Needful Things is my favorite Stephen King novel. Hell, it's probably my favorite novel, period. I felt that way going into this reread, and those feelings did not change upon reading it for the...fourth time, I think it is now. King nails everything here: exceptional character work, horror and comedy in equal measure, and one of his most memorable endings to date. I know this novel has its detractors, and that's cool. Different strokes for different folks, brother. This novel is long (but not extraneous, he emphasized) and stars one of King's largest casts. I dig that, and some readers don't. Personally, I love every character here: Buster Keeton, Nettie Cobb, Hugh Priest, Willie Rose — that old Catholic-hating reverend. This novel is King at his most Dickensian: these small town people are folks all readers can relate to; the way these characters' lives intertwine with one another are an absolute joy to read about. And like the best of Dickens's work, this book is fucking hilarious at times. I laugh until I cry every time I read Needful Things; typically I find King's humor to be a little hit or miss. In this 1991 satire, he hits the nail on the head every. single. time. I would wager SK had a ton of fun writing this novel because it's a blast to read. That's not to say this book is lighthearted or breezy; it's anything but. While it has it's hilarious moments, those are contrasted sharply with some of the darkest, most despairing scenes King has ever penned. Why is this book not mentioned in the same breath as Pet Sematary or Cujo when this author's bleakest works are discussed? Some of the text is almost too downtrodden to bare (I'm thinking, for instance, of Cora Rusk's distraction — her longing to go back to her Elvis fantasy — and inability to understand what has just happened to her son. No spoilers!)As well, it is as relevant today as it was in 1991 — if not more so. For the last eighteen months or thereabouts, I have watched roughly 40% of my country's citizens fall victim to an aging con man, someone who preyed and still preys on the weak, scared, angry and greedy to win the presidential election and further his agenda (or sow chaos; whatever you want to call it). In a sense, this novel feels just as chilling and timely in the Trump era as 1984 or It Can't Happen Here. Needless to say, this is King's masterwork — at least, for me it is. Some folks would say that title falls to the Dark Tower series or It or The Stand. That's fine. Literature is so damn subjective and every Constant Reader is different. But for me, Needful Things is the tome that shows the impossible heights King is capable of climbing to. He's come close since — and he had come close before this novel released — but this is in a class all its own. My highest recommendation, and then some. Favorite Quote "The goods which had so attracted the residents of Castle Rock — the black pearls, the holy relics, the carnival glass, the pipes, the old comic books, the baseball cards, the antique kaleidoscopes — were all gone. Mr. Gaunt had gotten down to his real business, and at the end of things, the business was always the same. The ultimate item had changed with the years, just like everything else, but such changes were surface things, frosting of different flavors on the same dark and bitter cake. At the end, Mr. Gaunt always sold them weapons . . . and they always bought." King ConnectionsConfession: I did not take notes while reading this. I know, I know; bad Cody! I just wanted to enjoy the ride. This is subtitled "The Last Castle Rock Story", so of course it's the punctuation mark on the Castle Rock saga. Connections big and small to The Dead Zone, The Body, Cujo, The Dark Half, and The Sun Dog pop up. The book's epilogue is set in Junction City, Iowa, which was the setting for 1990's novella The Library Policeman. The car Ace Merrill picks up for Mr. Gaunt is a Tucker Talisman — a type of car that does not exist, and I am almost tempted to say its name is a reference to The Talisman. As well, when Ace sits in the Talisman for the first time he thinks about how fine a new car smells. "Nothing smells better," he remarks, "except maybe pussy." This line is almost certainly a throwback to Christine, as that same thought is expressed by a character in that novel. Pretty cool. I am sure there are many more connections to be found here (there are references to Derry and some scenes are set in Cumberland Hospital, which is close to Jerusalem's Lot), but I didn't feel like chasing them. Say sorry. Up NextI am going to reread King's scariest novel; it's Gerald's Game!

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-03-14 02:25

    So are you familiar with the Lemony Snicket book, A Series of Unfortunate Events? Well this book could be, a series of depressing dark events.I am a bit ambivalent about Mr. King's books anyway. I have for years found his books a "mixed bag"...that is for me of course. I know many love his every comma, period and blood stain. I have liked many of his more recent books so when I hit a dry spell recently and no book drew me in I decided to drop back and pick up one of his books I never read.The story here? Our main character is big on making deals. He has a shop with a wide range of...unusual curios or curiosities. What is it that you have looked for constantly for years? It's probably here. That rare baseball card that will complete your collection? maybe you're looking for an undiscovered art object or a rare collector's item. Really it's more than likely here...and at an unbelievable price. You will just be asked a little prank after you buy it.You'd think someone in this book would have learned from Faust's experience.Anyway as always the book is well written as Mr. King is a talented even gifted writer. Of course while this makes up for a lot of the "I saw that coming" telling in this novel it makes the depressing story even more depressing.So, bottom line. Some of you will love this book (and many have). I on the other hand found it tedious and depressing as the inevitable end approaches. Try it for yourself, especially if you're a horror or King fan who happens to have missed this one. I won't be returning to this one.As I've said, to each where taste in books is concerned.

  • Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
    2019-03-21 07:32

    "YOU’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE.   Sure you have. Sure. I never forget a face."Whoever said "nothing in life is free", has apparently read this book. A small town (one Constant Readers have seen many times before) is about to get a brand new business. Anything your tiny heart desires is in that store. Anything at all! There's that rare baseball card you've been hunting for ages! Oh, and look at those sunglasses worn by The King himself! Have you seen that gorgeous lamp you were never able to afford? Well, there it is! Ripe for the pickin'.You can buy all these and more for a small monetary fee. Oh, yes. But there is a catch. Isn't there always? The only thing that remains to be seen is if that price is worth it in the end. This is written by SK, after all."Can I read the sign? You bet I can! It says OPENING SOON on top, and under that, ANSWERED PRAYERS, A NEW KIND OF STORE. And the last line-wait a minute, it’s a little smaller-the last line says You won’t believe your eyes!Interesting name for a store, ain’t it? Answered Prayers. Makes you wonder what’s for sale inside.Why, with a name like that it could be anything.Anything at all.”5 Ninja-Bunnehs-A-Fishin'

  • C.W.
    2019-02-22 08:44

    Always said this was one of my favorites of his, from when I read it many years ago, but never gave it a reread - still good, had a lot of fun listening to it this time around, but didn't enjoy it quite as much as I remembered. Original rating still stands (my tastes have just morphed slightly I suppose) but definitely wanted to give a rating to the audiobook. Still highly recommended, if you're looking for that creepy small-town feel!

  • Reanna
    2019-03-25 06:43

    Absolutely loved this one and yes I should have read all of the Castle Rock ones together but life goes on. :)

  • Jenna
    2019-03-08 01:33

    I read this as part of a buddy read with my fellow King readers : Anasylvia and Kat StarkNever in my life had I read a Stephen King novel until just months ago and now I have marked off three on my list. After skimming through so many of his books, I was surprised that I had no idea that he wrote so many books that I had seen on the big screen. I always assumed that his books were just gore and horror without much of a story to tell and I am not sure how that became implanted into my brain, but I am slowly unwinding that thought entirely.Needful Things tells the story of a town named Castle Rock. It's inhabitants seem to be weary of newcomers especially those who open businesses there. They all seem to have a system as to treating new people and never ever seeming too eager by their presence.This seems to be the case at first with Mr. Gaunt who opens a store named (you guessed it) Needful Things. He seems friendly and has an item that everyone seems to need, and when I say need, I really mean HAVE TO HAVE and would DIE FOR! In exchange for these items, these individuals basically owe themselves to this very demon of a man. Before long, he has the entire town turning on and killing each other or themselves as a madness sweeps over them. I enjoyed this book very much. I didn't like it as much as 11/22/63 or It, but we all have our own favorites. I think at times while it was building up for the final climax that it became a bit slow and I struggled to push through, but that didn't last long and the end surely made up for it. I am now a bonafide King fan and I look forward to checking a fourth book off my King list!

  • FrancoSantos
    2019-03-13 03:28

    ¿Alguna vez les ha pasado que iban a leer un libro con una buenísima idea y les terminó decepcionando? Bueno, este no es el caso. Es una genial idea y King la trató con soberbia, perfectamente; hasta el punto en que superó mis expectativas. Trata sobre un misterioso hombre que abre una nueva tienda llamada "Cosas Necesarias". Resulta que cada quien que entra encuentra siempre lo que quiere y anhela fervorosamente (lo que sea, aunque sea casi imposible su adquisición). El dueño del local, Leland Gaunt, sólo exige un pago monetario mínimo, que ni se acerca a su valor real. Pero... también algo peculiar, y acá es en donde reside la gracia del libro: el señor Gaunt pide que el comprador, a cambio del producto, haga una pequeña broma, aparentemente inofensiva, a alguien. Con esa fórmula va a desatar el caos en Castle Rock. Es un libro original y con mucho humor. Uno de mis favoritos de King. El personaje de Leland Gaunt es formidable. Una historia muy inteligente, muy bien lograda y entrelazada.Lo único que le critico es que me hubiera gustado un final diferente. Me hubiera gustado algo más humano y esperanzador. La representación de las persona es bastante superficial y salvaje... animal. Es una exageración que se da muy bien durante toda la novela, pero en el final el autor debió mostrar que todavía hay algo bueno, que todavía hay humanidad. No pudo llegar a más de lo que ya venía tratando.

  • Will M.
    2019-03-12 01:51

    Special mention to Kat Stark! Because of her 4 star rating of this, and a really favorable review, I decided to pick this up again, as it was lying around on break for over 3 months already. I completely forgot about it (blame the really long to-read shelf). Thanks Kat! Your review was amazing, and it ended up making me finish an amazing novel.Here's a link to her review:my link textFinally finished this, and I'm really glad I did. What a freakin' ending that was. The best Stephen King book that I've read, alongside The Long Walk. Kindly consider though that I've only read three as of this moment. Needful Things, The Long Walk and Carrie. Carrie was another great novel, but Needful Things and The Long Walk were far more superiorfor me. Not really sure why this has a low rating on Goodreads. Better read around and find out.It had a diverse set of characters, and all of them were interesting in their own ways. I'm not going to mention all of them anymore, as it would lengthen this review, and that's quite unnecessary anyway.Some of the notable characters though were Nettie, Polly, Alan, Brian, Ace, and Sean. Okay I was kidding, of course we need to add Mr. Leland Gaunt. He was one of the most powerful characters I've ever encountered. Aside from all the symbolism he portrayed, his character alone made the novel as amazing as it was. All the fighting around town were really interesting in their own ways, and we can all blame the "devil" Leland Gaunt for that.One thing that I didn't like about this novel though was the length. It could've been lessen down to around 300-500 pages, then it would be more bearable than its current state. But aside from the length, I couldn't find anymore flaws. I did bear with it, but it took me around 4 months to finish this. I did take a break during the middle part though. So if I were to exclude the break that I took, I probably finished this in a week or so.Needful Things is the name of the shop where all your wishes can come true, but it's for a price. There's nothing in the world that's free nowadays, unless there's a mad"man" who wants to cause havoc in the vicinity. An interesting name like that would tempt and catch anyone's attention, thus the havoc began.Honestly the blurb alone made me want to pickup this novel right away. Interestingly new for me, so I gave it a try. When I did pick this up though, I was still in the state wherein I didn't like reading huge novels, thus the break commenced. Now though, I am more interested in Fantasy novels, and Sci-Fi, so the length does not bother me anymore. Special mention to you A Song of Ice and Fire. That being said, I think that if I were to reread this right now, I would enjoy it even more, and it might even make it to my favorites shelf, but that's not going to happen right now. With my to-read shelf as long as the great wall of China, I can't really afford to reread as of right now. In the future though, I'm going to read this again for sure.I pretty much rambled on about useless things in the previous paragraph/s, so I'm going to wrap things up right now. A very interestingly good novel. Have yourself a different read, and have a great time in the process too. Honestly a few dull moments here and there, but just a few paragraphs or so, very bearable in my case. This will not be my last ever Stephen King novel, in fact, I have around 5 more sitting impatiently on my bookshelf. I'm going to read another, if not more of his works in the near future.

  • Steven
    2019-02-24 04:24

    I'll never be able to hear one of those little tinkling silver bells in shop doors again without thinking of Leland Gaunt and Needful Things.

  • Ruth Turner
    2019-03-24 01:45

    Audiobook – Narrated by Stephen King – For the most part it was great, although at times he read a little too fast and the words ran together.I first read Needful Things in the early nineties, and I loved it…except for the ending. I sat there, stunned. How could he? How DARE he? I love Castle Rock.And so I sulked. I refused to read any of his books for twelve months, and unlike so many of his other books, I never read it again. That showed him!Then I discovered that he narrated the audio. I’ve come to enjoy listening to him read, so I put it on my ipod, plugged my ears in and listened.THE GOOD:Castle Rock.The beginning. He had me from…”You’ve been here before. Sure you have. Sure. I never forget a face.”Listening to Stephen King give voice to his own characters. And what a great cast of characters they are. Leland Gaunt gave me the creeps!Listening to him singing the lyrics of the songs quoted in the book.Listening to him singing “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain”…at full volume…with a lisp!THE BAD:Music in between chapters. Annoying.Background music over some of the dialogue. Distracting.Listening to him read a mild sex scene. "Oooooooh…Eeeeeeeeee…Ooooooooh…Eeeeeeeee" Not good. Really not good!THE UGLY:What he did to Castle Rock. Ugly, Uncle Steve. Ugly! And you’re still not forgiven after more than twenty years.Stephen King is an exceptional writer and storyteller. Needful Things was, and still is, one of my favourites, except for the ending.So…4 stars instead of 5. I’m still sulking you see.***From the Paris Review interview with Stephen King. This made me laugh.King:You know, people will buy anything and sell anything, even their souls. I always saw Leland Gaunt, the shop owner who buys souls, as the archetypal Ronald Reagan: charismatic, a little bit elderly, selling nothing but junk but it looks bright and shiny.Interviewer:Wait a minute. An autographed Sandy Koufax baseball card, nothing but junk? Come on.King:But that’s not really what the kid’s holding—it looks like a Sandy Koufax card, but it turns out it was somebody else’s card entirely. And holy shit, was Sandy Koufax mad at me. Especially since the last thing the kid says is “Sandy Koufax sucks,” and then, pow! He blows his head off. Koufax said that he had tried to be a role model for youth throughout his entire career as a pitcher, and that he was very angry about playing a part in a child suicide.I tried to explain that the boy doesn’t mean Sandy Koufax sucks, he means that Leland Gaunt and the shop and this whole business sucks. See, this is the only way that the character can say that this whole business of buying things and selling your soul. When they made the movie, they changed it to Mickey Mantle. Mantle didn’t give a shit. He thought it was funny.

  • Jenn Andrew
    2019-03-05 05:32

    Beware of small little antique stores that appear in your town run by a man that makes you nervous. In a small town of Castle Rock where lots of weird things happen and where a number of stories are told, a tall, mysterious man sets up his shop called Needful Things and invites the locals to enter. His name is Leland Gaunt. He appears as a gentleman but under his taunt and dried skin he is made of pure evil. His customers really have nothing to buy from him but he is able to manipulate them into buying his products, which are tainted with evil. He satisfies his customers desires and wants but at a painful and horrific price. This guy is a total freak! You would call him a demon in disguise. The reader can see that he is just using these poor innocent people and all you want to do is stand there and shake them until they wake up! As you read the book, your head shakes from side to side feeling pity for these suckers and thankful that you are not able to fall victim to Leland Gaunt's irresistible glare and hypnotic speech. His small little antique shop is situated in a part of town in just a way so that everyone notices it. You can't help but peek into the tinted windows to see what is offered on the other side. Of course, you can't see through the windows clearly enough so you have to venture in to see the what the store clerk is selling. He shakes the town, plays the characters like puppets in a play and wraps their lives up like a spider's web. He has one character buying a piece of jewelry that helps her arthritis but little does she know what it is really made of. He tries to get a little boy to sell his soul for his favorite baseball card and he has other members of the town doing and thinking ridiculous things! In a situation like this, there seems to be one character that feels as if something is kind of screwy and not quite right. But that very same character is the one that gets to the scene just in time to see everything happening before their eyes but is so shocked by the events that the character stands motionless and helpless. Perhaps the situation continues to delude them in some way which gets you, the reader, so riled up that you are practically yelling at the character to wake up and smell the coffee! This is a typical crazy, weird, mysterious, horrific Stephen King classic. I haven't read such a display of benevolent mischief in all my days. You don't know how the story is going to end, even though you thought you figured it out. This book makes you react like all his other books make you react. You appreciate the fact that you are not a character in his story but a spectator. He is able to draw you into his freakish world and wonder where he gets his creations.

  • Anasylvia
    2019-03-20 03:28

    Buddy Read with these amazing ladies Kat and Jenna. “Everyone loves something for nothing...even if it costs everything”.Damn King knows how to raise a girl’s blood pressure up!I’ve been craving a good scare and Stephen King hit the spot with Needful Things. This book is filled with, terror, smut, and downright creepy shit, and oh man was it ever good.Welcome to “Needful Things” the new little shop in the small town of Castle Rock where they sell you guessed it “things.”Oh yes, anything you’ve ever needed Mr. Leland Gaunt has got you covered. Collector items: CheckSexy pics: CheckWeird animal tails: CheckBooks that promise buried treasures: CheckCure for you ailments: CheckAll you have to do is one small favor for Gaunt, and you'll have your heart's desire.Owned by the enigmatic Leland Gaunt a.k.a The ULTIMATE TRICKSTER. The people of Castle Rock are curious, excited, and a little skeptical about Gaunt and the store. However, their curiosity for both gets the better of them, and before you know it business is a-booming for Gaunt. Meanwhile, the town is lost in schemes of revenge and betrayal.This is my second King book, the first being Salem s Lot and I’ve learned that King don’t play. No one is safe. Nothing is out of line. Nothing is too graphic, and just when you think you’re safe. HahaIt was one hell of a roller coaster, but I loved it! The plot moved at an even pace, it slows down a bit for us to catch our breath, then plunges you back in with no warning and before I knew it I couldn't EVEN. King's characters are so well done. I loved the "good" ones and hated the "villains". Overall, if you're craving some creepiness in your life. Read this!I had a little too much fun with gifs on this one, but here’s another that was too good to pass it up.You’re welcome and don’t forget to stop by (*creepy wink*)

  • Adam Light
    2019-02-24 03:23

    Upon reading NEEDFUL THINGS for the second time -first time since it was originally published- I was thoroughly impressed. I have changed my four-star rating to a well-deserved five. At first, I did not intend to read this again, but if I want to read King's entire backlog again, I will have to do it eventually, so I said what the hell? and dug right in.I remembered very little, aside from the basic premise, of this thick novel for this reread, but I recalled that it had felt bloated and tedious the first time around. Though it is a long book which would not suffer from a bit of trimming here and there, I found that almost all of the story seemed essential to the story. King weaves an intricate tapestry of characters, going into great detail fleshing them out, molding and shaping them, compelling us to either love or hate them. Only when we are comfortable and familiar with the town of Castle Rock and its denizens, it becomes apparent the town's newest shopkeeper, the gleefully sinister Leland Gaunt, has set the stage for a mind-blowing chain of events that will probably shake the whole mess right to its foundations. It seems like there is too much going on, but the pieces all drop into place perfectly. This is classic King, not to be missed. It was especially fun to read right after reading THE DARK HALF, which featured the town's sheriff, Alan Pangborn, as well.

  • Reddish
    2019-03-10 04:48

    Maldigo a Stephen King y esa manera que tiene de escribir que hace que no puedas parar de leer. Además tiene ese poder de crear personajes reales y bien definidos, y hace que te metas en la historia de pleno. La tienda ha sido una mina de altibajos y sorpresas, y el final apoteósico-apocalíptico se disfruta muchísimo. ¡Totalmente recomendado!"Era un asunto extraño la cordura. Cuando uno estaba privado de ella, no se daba cuenta. No notaba su ausencia. Solo la percibía de verdad cuando la recuperaba, como una rara ave silvestre que vivía y cantaba dentro de uno, no por decreto sino por elección."

  • Doreen Petersen
    2019-03-05 00:42

    Another fascinating read from Stephen King. This is definitely a must read for any who like Stephen King!

  • Kathrin
    2019-03-20 07:34

    I avoided the story for a while because there were other books I was more interested in by King. However, as I decided recently to read all his books I wanted to give it a try. Definitely an interesting read but in the end, the story was too predictable for me. What intrigues me about King's books is that I hardly find a character that I don't enjoy reading about. This means a lot of you think about the abundance of different characters in each of his books. Polly and Alan certainly were such characters. I loved to discover their background story and was curious to see where they would end up. Especially Polly's story about loss, pride and shame was a pageturner. Sometimes, with that many characters, one or two of them don't get enough attention and then there is me wanting to know more about them. What surprised me was how quickly actions escalated into violence. I was just getting used to the fact that all of Gaunt's little pranks did work out when suddenly people started dying. I wasn't prepared for this but you could actually see it coming. I love the book's topic of finding exactly what you want (or at least you think it is) but the price you have to pay in the end is just too high. This works especially well in small-town communities and this will forever be my favorite aspect of King's writing. He pictures a place like Castle Rock really well. I'm glad that I finally came around to read this book - the ending was a let-down if you ask me. No real surprise and I felt cheated because it just happened. The book deserved more - nevertheless, great read.

  • Aymen Ben cheikh
    2019-03-12 00:37

    a really good book. It 's a story about the city of castle rock, where a new store opens. the owner, Gaunt, have many items, and all of the customers can find what they always dreamed of owning, but if they want to buy something, they need to do a favour to Gaunt, an "innocent" prank to someone... and slowly, horrible events start happening in castle rock...In this book, Stephen King plays with the obsession of owning things, the fear of loosing them, the jealousy, and the hidden hatred that lives inside people waiting for the opportunity to take over, and destroy everything...

  • Jason Jauron
    2019-03-02 01:36

    The last King book that really had characters I could relate to.There's a Leland Gaunt in every town.Like the Pumpkins said, "The killer in me is the killer in you."Let's face it...our society feeds on envy, lust, and greed.And King painted characters that we either relate to because they were part of our life or at least the characters were people we could easily identify...And that was the genius in this book...and that was the disconnect I had with The Dome