Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Needful Things” as Want to Read:
Needful Things
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Needful Things

by
3.92  ·  Rating details ·  200,028 ratings  ·  3,829 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 October 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.
Popular Answered Questions
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.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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)
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
146 books — 3,450 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
1,728 books — 5,211 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  200,028 ratings  ·  3,829 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Needful Things
Jeff
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
...more
Gregor Xane
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Johann (jobis89)
“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
...more
Carol
"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'.

BUT........BUYER BEWARE!

SOON after the many we

...more
Leo .
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Schwent
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is the basic premise of Needful Things, one of the strangest Stephen King books I've ever read starring a really well-developed antagonist and a great balance of horror and fantasy. The story seems simple enough, a typical town sheriff pitted against Leland Gaunt, the mysterious and creepy owner of a shop that gives the citizens of Castle Rock anything they want for no price at all - but of course, everything has a price, and the peop ...more
Anne(marie)
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
...more
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
Ken
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Bradley
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-shelf, horror
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 Entertainm
...more
Paul
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
AMEERA
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Like always stephen King knows how to surprises us ???
Ron
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, own
”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
...more
Nicholas Armstrong
Jul 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Raeleen Lemay
I enjoyed this, but it was wayyyy longer than it needed to be. I loved the concept though, it made for a very interesting read. Also the audiobook, read by Stephen King, was enjoyable, even with the creepy music and sound effects.
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
...more
Tyler J Gray
3.5

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
...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 provis
...more
Ashley Daviau
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t feel quite right giving this book 4 and not 5 stars because I really did love it and it features one of my new favourite villains. But there’s one aspect of the book that just won’t let me give it a full 5 stars. And that is the fact that there’s SO many damn characters and it was incredibly difficult for me to keep them all straight and remember their stories. There were a few I obviously couldn’t help but remember but some didn’t stick and I’d have to go back and find where they were i ...more
Latasha
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
 ~Geektastic~
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
Matt
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
MG Mason
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Cody | CodysBookshelf
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 e
...more
Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
See this review and more like it on www.bookbastion.net!
_____

So, we all have establish that I love horror – I love being scared – but one author’s catalog that I’ve been woefully under-read in is Stephen King. I read a few of his books as a young teenager, but those years are so far behind me now that I barely remember most of them! This is the year of reading things that have been on my list for awhile, and reading what’s been calling to me and this book was on the top of the list.

When an autho
...more
Celeste
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

“Ladies and gentlemen, attention, please!
Come in close where everyone can see!
I got a tale to tell, it isn’t gonna cost a dime!
(And if you believe that,
we’re gonna get along just fine.)”


Are you a seasonal reader? I sure am. Winter is for classics and childhood favorites and romances. Spring is for fiction that builds my faith and fantasies that build intricate worlds in my mind. Summer is for rereads when I’m feeling lazy and new-to-me real
...more
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. 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
...more
Bren
“There were people who lied for gain, people who lied from pain, people who lied simply because the concept of telling the truth was utterly alien to them . . . and then there were people who lied because they were waiting for it to be time to tell the truth.”
― Stephen King, Needful Things


I still can't believe I enjoyed this book as much as I did but enjoy it I did. What a wonderful read.

I have never been a really big Stephen King fan although I am the first to admit he is a great writer. It is
...more
Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤

"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 ab
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Constantly Re...: Chapter 18 - End 13 26 Apr 28, 2020 05:04PM  
The Constantly Re...: Chapter 8 - 12 24 27 Apr 04, 2020 09:50AM  
Stephen King 2020...: April Showers brings Needful Things 12 15 Apr 28, 2019 09:01AM  
Creatures, Creatu...: April 2019 Group Read: Needful Things 91 31 Apr 15, 2019 11:56PM  
a outra mafalda [...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Leitura Conjunta - Needful Things (Dezembro) 3 4 Nov 08, 2018 12:00PM  
Stephen King Fans: Needful Things 205 695 Apr 04, 2018 02:41PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Thinner
  • The Long Walk
  • The Regulators
  • Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)
  • The Exorcist
  • NOS4A2
  • Roadwork
  • Heart-Shaped Box
  • The Running Man
  • Misery
  • Horns
  • The Green Mile: The Screenplay
  • Blaze
  • Rage
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
  • The Amityville Horror
  • The Body
  • House of Leaves
See similar books…
716,386 followers
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

Articles featuring this book

You know winter is coming. You don't blink around statues. You're a true believer. When it comes to escapism, you're an expert. To...
82 likes · 21 comments
“I'm having a magenta day. Not just red, but magenta!” 147 likes
“Everyone loves something for nothing...even if it costs everything.” 80 likes
More quotes…