Needful Things
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Needful Things

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  117,452 ratings  ·  1,544 reviews
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 jok...more
Paperback, 790 pages
Published 1992 by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (first published January 1st 1991)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Needful Things, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Needful Things

The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
18th out of 121 books — 2,078 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
26th out of 1,114 books — 3,406 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dan Schwent
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 referen...more
Kat Stark

Buddyread with my lovely ladies: Anasylvia & Jenna (Click to read their reviews)

Thought I'd be a little creative on this one, so here's my little story: (This is not even close to the brilliance of King's writing style, but hey--a girl can dream can't she?)

I am a wary traveler trying to make my way across the country to my hometown. During my travels, I remember a distinct event in time. I remember reaching a town by the name of Castle Rock. It was a small little town that seemed safe enoug...more
Gregor Xane
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 tra...more
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 to...more
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 nat...more
M.G. Mason
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...more
Jenna  *Puddin Tame*
I read this as part of a buddy read with my fellow King readers : Anasylvia and Kat Stark

Never 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...more
JC Andrew
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...more
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 e...more
Jahlia ((thing 10 Evil 1))
This. Book. Is. A. Masterpiece.
I loved when i read it a few years ago. Back then i was even more of a horror freak. I was hungry for it and king was my daily supplier. Needful things was awesome! Freakin amazing and i don't say that about a lot of books. I was a little frustrated by how long it took king to tell us what prices the residents of castle rock paid but this book was so good i couldn't even hold a grudge. Fitzpatrick! Kate! Noel! Casts! And above everybody else; author of once in a fu...more
Will M.
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 text

Finally finished this, and I'm really glad I did. What a freakin' ending that was.

The best Stephen King book th...more
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Nobody does the "nice, kind, small-town folks suddenly turning on one another" like Mr. King. This is one of my favorite King books and I thought it was terrific fun. Highly Recommended!!

Nominee: Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel (1992)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Horror Novel (1992)
Mike (the Paladin)
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.s 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 s...more
Mein erstes Buch vom Meister King: Needful Things Wahnsinn ein Traum dieses Buch! Wie perfide, und bösartig diese Geschichte aufgebaut ist, das kann man nur als diabolische Genialität bezeichnen. Der Teufel höchstpersönlich mischt quasi eine Kleinstadt auf, indem er alle Bewohner mit kleinen Streichen gegeneinander hetzt. Besitzwahn, Gier, Wollust, Wut, verborgene Traumata, religiöser Fanatismus, krankhafte Paranoia... das ganze Potpourri der menschlichen Fehler und Todsünden, sind jedoch dann d...more
E' stato bello tornare a Castle Rock, dopo tanti anni.
Avevo già fatto un giro turistico in questa curiosa e alquanto bizzarra città grazie a "Quattro dopo mezzanotte", "Cujo", "La metà oscura" e "La zona morta".
E' stato nostalgico, e' stato divertente,ma anche un po' deludente.

Non so cosa sia stato a funzionare poco questa volta, e dire che ero partita con le migliori intenzioni. Leggere King è per me come tornare alle origini, come quando torni a casa dopo un lungo viaggio, ti soffermi in fondo...more
Es un libro espectacular de principio a fin, me encantó y lo recomiendo completamente, es de esos libros de King que me hacen que esté entre sus filas de fanáticos jaja
Nicholas Armstrong
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...more
Apr 08, 2011 J.C. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Constant readers
This is definitely one of the best of King's overlooked works. While listening to it I was reminded of the allure that always led me to King's work way back when I first started reading books in the first place. One of the things that is here that is prevalent in his best works (and all my favorites), is that it starts as everything is set in motion, not before. The beginning isn't dull, slow or dry, and as the book continues, things spiral out of control. His best works work the same way, an on...more
Wow, this book was loonngggg. That and the mass of characters to keep up with are the main reasons why I knocked this book down two stars. I'm no good with names, in books or real life, and there were probably 20+ characters in this book and you need to remember who is feuding with who and what trick was played on them to really get it.

That being said, this book is based on a very interesting relationship with people and their stuff. While I knew before that some people love stuff and want to ke...more
I finished reading ‘Needful Things’ a few days ago now, and I know that I really must have enjoyed it, because since then, I’ve often found myself thinking about it.

Initially, the storyline had me intrigued - little second hand-shop with a crazy owner making people in a small town do crazy, malicious, evil deeds in exchange for goods. The novelty started to wear off about half way through. I felt that the story started to become very repetitive and so many characters were introduced that I had...more
As with most Stephen King books, the story starts out normally and gets weirder and weirder with each page.

The concept behind it is a powerful one - greed, and the lengths to which people will go just to get something that they think they need. The town's destruction starts out slowly, but picks up pace very quickly.

There's a lot of blood and gore involved - some may think it's almost unnecessary, but I think, why not? Stephen King goes to that great length to show the effects of greed.

The endin...more
Ah, good ole' Stephen King. It's nice to know that he's always there with a ripping good yarn to give me a break from the steaks of heady non-fiction that I sometimes find myself in. Needful Things is the last of his stories set in the the town of Castle Rock and it follows a common pattern and set of themes that he has developed in other books: a malevolant force comes to a small community (most often in Maine) in order to wreak havok and is finally stopped by a noble hero, usually a law enforc...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I am never moving to Maine. Stephen King has officially instilled a phobia. Needful Things was one of those lightning-fast horror reads. You get caught up in the rhythm of Castle Rock and once things start going bad, they spiral out of control so quickly, you can't put the book down to recover and take a breather. I was waaay too paranoid when reading this at night and you'd think I'd know better by now than to let Mr. King give me nightmares. The true excellence of Needful Things really lies in...more
Jason P
The small town of Castlerock is ripped away from its seams when Mr. Gaunt, the proprietor of a new store called Needful Things shows up in town one day, and everyone is attracted light moths to a flame.

I am super surprised that I haven't read this book before. For some reason it kept on flying under the radar for me. I have always loved small town stories, especially those that revolve around murders, those are the best ones in my humble opinion. Yet, this one swooped over my head and lay dusty,...more
Uncle Stevie does it again! He welcomed me to Castle Rock, introduced me to all the neighbors, and made me feel at home. And then he pulled the rug out from underneath me when I wasn't looking! lol. It's as simple as that. He gets you settled in and liking everyone before he sets the wheels in motion. You are personally invested in what happens before a single things goes awry and thats what makes him special in my mind.
Emma Bafford
I'm not much for details beyond character development, and King has a tendency to ramble on about many different people for many, many pages in a lot of his works, and this book is one of them. Keep it short and sweet King. Keep it interesting.
Flora Bateman
I enjoyed this one right from the beginning as we are introduced to Leland Gaunt. The proprietor of Needful Things in the small town of Castle Rock. Gaunt is such an intriguing character. He is subtle in his business of lies and pranks. He has anything you could ever need and it all comes at a price. Always reminding me of that song Sympathy For the Devil.

This book really wasn't a horror story per se as the real horror is human greed which is all too real. People will kill for their possessions...more
Needful Things, how should I say it, is not a bad novel. It is just different from some of Stephen King's other work. This book doesn't really deal with supernatural events and people with special powers and abilities. Needful Things, all in all, a very good novel with several shocks and twists but to me it was just a very enjoyable story with a clever beginning, middle, and end. When I mention shocks, I do not mean scares. This book is not at all scary but the unexpected turn of events or the r...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What should I read before Needful Things? 13 77 21 hours, 37 min ago  
Stephen King Fans: Needful Things 178 423 Mar 25, 2014 09:54AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add an Edition 2 16 Dec 17, 2012 01:32PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN number problem 3 21 May 04, 2012 10:07AM  
Stephen King Fans: Needful Things Movie 12 91 Feb 05, 2012 11:50PM  
  • The Bad Place
  • Creepshow
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance
  • The Blackstone Chronicles
  • The Inhuman Condition  (Books of Blood, #4)
  • The Stephen King Companion
  • The Servants of Twilight
  • The Association
  • Night Visions 5
  • Necroscope V: Deadspawn (Necroscope, #5)
  • The Dark
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M...more
More about Stephen King...
The Shining (The Shining #1) The Stand It Misery Carrie

Share This Book

“I'm having a magenta day. Not just red, but magenta!” 127 likes
“Everyone loves something for nothing...even if it costs everything.” 33 likes
More quotes…