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Needful Things

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  150,323 Ratings  ·  1,984 Reviews
Read by the author.

With a demonic blend of malice and affection, Stephen King says goodbye to the town he put on the map—Castle Rock, Maine... where Polly Chalmers runs You Sew and Sew and Sheriff Alan Pangborn is in charge of keeping the peace. It's a small town, and Stephen King fans might think they know its secrets pretty well; they've been here before.

Leland Gaunt is
Audio CD, 23 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Penguin-HighBridge (first published October 1991)
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Madison Oddly enough (since it's not one of his more famous novels), this was the very first King book that I read. It still remains one of my favorites. I…moreOddly enough (since it's not one of his more famous novels), this was the very first King book that I read. It still remains one of my favorites. I fell in love with it. It's a fantastic story and if you're a fan of Stephen King, I would definitely recommend it.(less)
Maria Also The Sun Dog (short story in Four Past Midnight). It's about Pop Merill who is mentioned in the prologue. King said that this short story is…moreAlso The Sun Dog (short story in Four Past Midnight). It's about Pop Merill who is mentioned in the prologue. King said that this short story is settled between The Dark Half and Needful Things.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Mar 12, 2015 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, kitten-squisher
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
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 enough
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
Oct 10, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
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
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Recommended to Edward by: Mom
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 ...more
Paul Nelson
'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,
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
Aug 18, 2012 M.G. Mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Franco  Santos
Apr 18, 2016 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
¿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 ...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
May 01, 2014 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Ruth Turner
Jan 10, 2015 Ruth Turner rated it really liked it

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 c
Jenn 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
Adam Light
Jan 19, 2016 Adam Light rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, the-king
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
May 18, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2016 Reddish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, king
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 recupe
Jason Jauron
Dec 03, 2015 Jason Jauron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Thomas Strömquist
Dec 29, 2015 Thomas Strömquist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who hasn't already read it
I'm glad to find that re-reading this after 20+ years, much of my recollections were true and I totally stand by my former review.

This read gave me two new insights; this is one of the few that works equally well in Swedish as in original language, even if I nowadays prefer the latter as often as possible. The second one is that I'm sure that this book works best the first time around. Very much like another of my King "non-obvious", favorites, The Tommyknockers, it is a bit bloated and could ea
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
This was sOMeCraZysHiT of an idea moulded so well to form about an 800-pager book; in a good way of course ! :) It was way too difficult for me to give a five-star rating (a 4.5 is a certain yes), but the end (which I felt could either be disappointing to some, or contradictorily amazing) just took it away !

A very easy plot to understand, but not so much to plot its course during writing I guess.

Mr. Leland Gaunt sells "the stuffs of every person's heart's desires" in a small town, but which has
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)


Finalmente terminé este clasico de King y me resulto difícil decidirme en qué puntaje ponerle. Estaba en la duda de una puntuación máxima, pero tuve que ser honesta conmigo misma...

Aclaro antes que nada que el libro ME ENCANTÓ. Ni mas ni menos que eso. Como siempre, sus personajes son llamativos e inquietantes, muchos personajes a los cuales seguirles el rumbo y, especialmente acá, a los cuales es conveniente recordar ca
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 13, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
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 st
Mar 11, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Jason P
Mar 20, 2016 Jason P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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.
Jennifer Lucey
Jan 26, 2016 Jennifer Lucey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm not great at reading long books, but this took an exceptionally long time because of the huge break I took early on. I'm not sure why I needed the break though, because every time I actually sat down to really read this, I didn't want to stop. maybe I like making King's little worlds last, and didn't want to finish so soon. I'm sure if I saw the point in being highly critical of books, I would mention plenty of things that are wrong with the book, but I just don't care. It was probably ov
Oct 02, 2013 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Stephen King Fans: Needful Things 179 486 Dec 10, 2014 08:49AM  
What should I read before Needful Things? 13 162 Aug 29, 2014 04:21PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add an Edition 2 18 Dec 17, 2012 01:32PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN number problem 3 21 May 04, 2012 10:07AM  
Stephen King Fans: Needful Things Movie 12 109 Feb 05, 2012 11:50PM  
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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
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“I'm having a magenta day. Not just red, but magenta!” 131 likes
“Everyone loves something for nothing...even if it costs everything.” 49 likes
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