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Needful Things

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  220,524 ratings  ·  4,438 reviews
Needful Things, the sign says. The oddest name. A name that causes some gossip and speculation among the good folks of Castle Rock, Maine, while they wait for opening day. There was something for everyone at a price they could just about afford. The cash price that is.
Paperback, 933 pages
Published May 12th 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published October 1991)
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Luis Martinez jr The Body. Dead Zone. The Talisman. Cujo (a lot). Maybe more. Those were the ones I caught, but I haven't read all his stuff. …moreThe Body. Dead Zone. The Talisman. Cujo (a lot). Maybe more. Those were the ones I caught, but I haven't read all his stuff. (less)
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Kevin The simple answer to your question is that we will never know unless he writes Stephen King writes a follow up to this novel. I too would love to read…moreThe simple answer to your question is that we will never know unless he writes Stephen King writes a follow up to this novel. I too would love to read more about the Leland Gaunt and what he does with all the souls he has collected. All the author tells us is that collecting souls is not the main mission. Gaunt above and beyond all else simply wants to entertain himself. He is certainly one of my favorite characters in the SK universe and is more than entertaining.

Now the uncut answer to your question. ow the Uncut answer to your question.... Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. His biggest weaknesses as a writer is probably the fact that he seems to be unable to write endings which are satisfying. This issue is probably most glaring in his novel The Stand. Although I am not familiar with the uncut version but the original is just over 800 pages long and kept me turning pages until the sun came up on more than a few occasions. I've read it three times over the last thirty or so years yet the ending had me wondering if it was not some kind of practical joke. In spite of this I still found it necessary to read it three times in the last thirty years or so. I will not spoil it if you have not read it but, well, it was one of the most pathetic endings to any novel can think of with the exception of probably half a dozen other Stephen King novels can think of. King takes this weakness to new heights in the Dark Tower series which contains six fairly thick novels not including the first of the series which is fairly short. I loved the entire series but the end of the series was much like the end to many of his novels in that it just ended flat in my opinion. (less)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  220,524 ratings  ·  4,438 reviews

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Feb 07, 2014 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
Mario the lone bookwolf
An interesting sociocultural study about the group dynamics of small towns, executed with interesting experiments regarding greed, trying to trigger archaic primate reactions, and manipulating the microeconomics with difficult to grasp, metaphysical values that just subjectively exist. Cool stock market and economic system criticism, by the way.

Also a monument of pop culture history emphasizing and demonstrating the importance of staying away from all that freaking people, neighbors, and friend
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
Johann (jobis89)
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“You’ve been here before.”

Nothing. beats. King’s. small. town. stories. And that’s a fact!

A criminally underrated King novel (outside of bookstagram anyway), Needful Things is a firecracker. My paperback is 900+ pages and at no point did my attention or interest wane. This book is pretty much sheer chaos from beginning to end and I was LIVING for it!!

The premise is simple. There’s a new store in Castle Rock, and no matter what your heart’s deepest desire is, it’s in stock. And the price is exact

Nobody writes small town chaos quite like the King!

Full review to come ((maybe))...stay tuned!!!


Starting my reread of Needful Things with my dearest book buddy, Shannon.

This could take a while because I have a lot of other things I am focused on right now, but I am so happy to be heading back to Castle Rock.

I count this one on my 'Top 5 Kings' list, so let's see if it holds up!

Leo .
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Enter freely and leave some of the happiness you bring."

In the small town of Castle Rock, there's a NEW KIND of store. It has a spiffy new green canvas awning with the name of NEEDFUL THINGS, and the creepy old yellow tooth proprietor, Leland Gaunt welcomes everyone with open arms......but YOU WON'T LIKE HIS TOUCH!

"EVERYTHING is for sale."......ALL those things you covet.....AND Mr. icky fingers Gaunt is very fond of playing 'Let's Make A Deal'.


SOON after the many we

Dan Schwent
Dec 13, 2013 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Needful Things, Stephen King

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 jokes cascade out of control and soon the entire town is doing battle with itself. Only Sheriff Alan
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-shelf, horror
Re-read 11/17/20:

Just sitting back to re-read Needful Things and I was struck by how odd this novel is now, when all Needful Things seem to take the character of toilet paper and gyms.

I just had to think of Gaunt sitting us down to sign up for a 6-month membership, a pass to a bar, or a pack of Costco bum rolls. It's a bargain, you know! Never more than you can afford!!!

Yes. Indeed. And the pranks are all political.

It's still a classic King novel! :) We're not any wiser, that's for sure.

Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-german
Actual reading: 3.5🌟

As always with King, this was a very entertaining and suspenseful read the whole way through. However, somehow I just didn't connect as much to the characters as I usually do, which is why I cannot bring myself to give the full five stars. The plot itself was super interesting and I loved all the mysterious things that happened. There is also no shortage on gruesome scenes, so reading this during the spooky October time was definitely the right decision.

However, as I mention
Jeffrey Keeten
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
It was his Sandy Koufax card.

“And he was not going to give it up.

No way, uh-uh negatory.

Then you better finish paying for it, a voice deep in his mind whispered.

He would. No problem there. He didn’t think the thing he was supposed to do was exactly nice, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t anything totally gross, either. Just a...a…

Just a prank, a voice whispered in his mind, and he saw the eyes of Mr. Gaunt--dark blue, like the sea on a clear day, and strangely soothing. That’s all. Just a little
Edward Lorn
Apr 26, 2013 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
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, 2020
Fantastic!! What an awesome book by Stephen King!

Needful Things has been on my to-read list for years. In fact, I’ve wanted to read this book for at least 10 years now.

One of the draws this book had for me was it was one of the first books that King wrote after getting clean.

Was he still creative? Does he still have it after the booze and cocaine?
I’m here to tell you that he does, and he did in this one!

In fact, the ending of this book felt more finished then in other great books he wrote when h
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I lost count of how many SK books I've read. However, almost all of them are brilliant and the ones that aren't brilliant are still incredibly good. Especially for someone who likes the supernatural as much as dark humour and blood. *evil cackle*

In this standalone story, we're in the (in-)famous town of Castle Rock in Maine. A new shop will be opened shortly, named Needful Things. Avid readers of the author will recognize the shop owner (view spoiler)
Kat (Books are Comfort Food)
DNF at 35% due to animal cruelty. I cannot stand it when authors do this.
A character just played with a cute, sweet dog and then killed it with a corkscrew. It’s going to be awhile before I get that vision out of my head.
This is darker than I’m willing to go.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
King writes small town claustrophobic so well, the idea of a shop that sells any item that a customer need for just the smallest of price is a great Pack with the Devil tale.

Set in Castle Rock this story is bursting with Easter eggs as shop owner Leland Gaunt of the recently opened ‘Needful Things’ slowly manipulates the town against each other.

It’s a great take on materialistic items and the price people are willing to pay for that ‘must have’ item, whilst exploring the effect of one or two sma
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm just sayin' if you live in a small town in Maine, you should expect to be killed by some sort of paranormal fuckery. I don't make the rules.

This one is set in Castle Rock which is near where Cujo guarded Shawshank Prison or whatever. They might even have a Dark Tower... or Tower Records. Same thing.

So some old creepy guy opens a new store in downtown and everyone is just dying to see what's for sale. Literally dying.. .buwahaha!

Okay, not right away. The way Stephen King works is to invest yo
Pantelis Andreou
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: king-family
‘Sooner or later a person in pain should explore even the more questionable paths, if it’s possible those paths might lead to relief’


This surely belongs to my top3 SK books!

It captivated me from the very first sentence all the way to the last! Nothing and nobody can beat Stephen King’s way of telling stories of a town like this here! From small to huge conflicts.

It took me almost two weeks to finish it, simply because I didn’t want it to end! Each and every cha
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
Tyler J Gray

Mr. Gaunt comes to town, opens a shop, Needful Things, and sells people exactly what they want....for a price of course. But that price isn't entirely money. Part money, part deed or trick really. And he always knows exactly what people want.

I really enjoyed the writing, the characters, the plot. Everything really. I liked the messages I got through-out the book and how it made me think. I didn't care for the ending though and, to me, it felt like it lost a bit of the point. A bit too...reli
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
still a solid king entry. read 3 times there is a lot of characterization and setting but also some good king creepiness. having said all that i may deduct 1/2 star upon most recent reread. 3.5 adjusted stars
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, horror
”Little shop. Little shop of horrors. Little shop. Little....”

Hey, it's much better when you sing it.

”Little shop. Little shop of horrors. Little shop. Little shop of terror. Call a cop. Little shop of horrors...”

Kind of fitting? Okay, so not exact. I mean, there's no giant plant inside yelling, “Feeeed me Seymore!” But there might just be a monster of sorts inside the quaint new shop called Needful Things. He doesn't look like a monster. No, monsters never do. He looks l
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like always stephen King knows how to surprises us ???
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dennis by: Tobias
Shelves: horror, favorites
The devil sets up shop in a certain small town in Maine, and people come to have a look. Let the games begin.

Whenever someone would ask me what my favorite Stephen King novel was, I always said Needful Things, even though I gave It a higher rating. Somehow this became one of those books that I retrospectively liked better than at the time of reading. After 4 ½ years I thought it was time to verify my feelings about this particular novel.

Well, I love it.

In a small town like Castle Rock, all the
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this started alright, but waned as it continued. Not one of my King favorites. 4 of 10 stars!
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 provis
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
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is now one of my favorite Stephen King reads so far! All the aspects that make his books so appealing to me are here - the horror, the unbelievable and unexplainable, the setting that I always feel so connected to, the good vs evil standoff, and best of all, the amazing characters who are so relatable and real. This one is well worth the time investment needed for such a long book. Now, on to the next As I try to read through all of his books in publication order.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
first time reading this, have not seen the movie. I had a vague idea what this story was about, though. While is was (kinda) spoiled for me, it was still very enjoyable. I'm always so delighted when the Lovecraft mythos makes an appearance. Yog'sothoth rocks! i liked all the Cujo references and all the others he made (the dead zone, idk what all else). I liked the characters and thought Mr. Gaunt was a very interesting villain. There's some different theories i've seen as to who or what he was. ...more
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Stephen King Fans: Needful Things- Book 30 66 137 Oct 10, 2020 04:01PM  
Horror Aficionados : Needful Things - Stephen King 120 76 Aug 11, 2020 02:02PM  
The Constantly Re...: Chapter 18 - End 13 28 Apr 28, 2020 05:04PM  
The Constantly Re...: Chapter 8 - 12 24 29 Apr 04, 2020 09:50AM  
Stephen King 2021...: April Showers brings Needful Things 12 16 Apr 28, 2019 09:01AM  
Creatures, Creatu...: April 2019 Group Read: Needful Things 91 33 Apr 15, 2019 11:56PM  

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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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