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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Need for Needful Things
Well, what a page-turner from the very start! Flying from the Caribbean to Blitey I couldn't put it down. There are a lot of characters in this book which, at times, become tricky to keep up with but they all make for a thrilling read and are essential to the thickening plot. The compelling story about a shop that can sell you anything 'your heart desires' - at a price...
Published on 24 April 2006 by CK

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too too much
Stephen King is a very good writer - EXCEPT he just doesn't know when to shut the f*** up. All his stories start well and then lose their way in a frenzy of excess. This is no exception; King takes a promising story line to such a confusion of extremes that it is hard to know or care what is happening, and to whom.
Published 14 months ago by KittyG26


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Need for Needful Things, 24 April 2006
This review is from: Needful Things (Paperback)
Well, what a page-turner from the very start! Flying from the Caribbean to Blitey I couldn't put it down. There are a lot of characters in this book which, at times, become tricky to keep up with but they all make for a thrilling read and are essential to the thickening plot. The compelling story about a shop that can sell you anything 'your heart desires' - at a price - whizzes along and by the end its quick, short chapters encourages you still to reach its conclusion (which I'm sure was a clever tool that Mr King deliberately used!)

I have been an avid reader of this author's style for more than 20 years, and this has to go down as one of his best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King At His Best, 17 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Needful Things (Kindle Edition)
Needful Things is the reason I became a writer. I'm not sure if it was the first King novel I read, but it was the first book that captured me and didn't let go. I was about thirteen or fourteen, I think--maybe younger, I'm not sure. I remember picking it, with the help of my mum, and taking it on holiday to Spain. And then I spent most of my time on the beach, reading this book, gripped by the convoluted plot and its plethora of characters.

It's the story of Leland Gaunt, proprietor of Needful Things, and the residents of Castle Rock. Needful Things is a new store that sells everything and nothing, and many of the town's populace, over the course of the book, find their way inside the shop. There's something for everybody. Whatever they want, Leland Gaunt has it--no matter how random or rare the item--and for a price they can afford. But there's a catch: as well as a small payment, the buyer also has to play a trick on somebody. The first few tricks, organised and architected by Leland Gaunt, lead to the double murder of two women. Then, as the book progresses, Mr Gaunt manages to wire most of the town, through these "tricks", against each other, building into a massive, almost apocalyptic showdown between the residents.

It's an amazing story; intricately woven and filled with complexity, yet written with such simplicity and style that it never seems overly complicated. And it's the reason I wanted to write--hoping I'd one day be able to create something so sprawling and epic and satisfying, and know that I left the reader with the same feeling I had when I finished this for the first time.

Read this book, then read it again.

This is King at his best.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Horror Story..., 7 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Needful Things (Paperback)
After reading The Shining I was very quick in wanting to explore more of Stephen King's mastery and see what his other stories had to offer. I managed to get a handful including Insomniac, The Tommyknockers, The Dark Half and 'Salems Lot. However the first one that really grabbed my attention was this story i'm reviewing right now.

Needful Things is set in the town of Castle Rock, Maine, and a new shop of the title's name has just opened, and folks are intrigued by what the store has to offer. Business is flowing for the owner Mr Leland Gaunt, but soon all these happy customers will find they are paying for more than just their possessions.

This story is fantastic in the way that mixes affection with the malice of the whole theme. Much like The Shining, there is almost an elemental of reality in here, and I find the concept of seeing how far people will go to have their needful thing just spectacular.

There's dozens and dozens of characters throughout each with their own identifying features including the three main characters - The Sheriff Alan Pangborn, the girlfriend Polly Chalmers and the charming yet mysterious Leland Gaunt - and with such a huge story its just manageable to remember them all.

Of course, since this is a Stephen King novel, the violence here is absolutely of the richter scale, old grudges come to heads, friendships fall apart and religious beliefs become more than war of words. The images are really good, spot on in fact, that it can paint an image of these scenarios in the reader's mind.

I think as I went through the book, I felt a mixture of happiness, terror, sadness and curiosity, but there was a moment where I didn't feel hooked and did not enjoy it.

Buy this now ! :-) after all 'EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE'
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little shop of horrors!, 11 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Needful Things (Paperback)
By far one of Kings best novels, I first read this when i was about 16 and when i re-read it this year, it was even better!
I love the continuity of the Castle Rock inhabitants and the intrigue, excitement and gossip the new shop causes is so lifelike in it's depiction of how a small town community would react. It starts off almost sickly sweet as Leland Gaunt and his velvet jacket seduces all of the towns residents. Then with a sudden sadistic twist theres suddenly treachery, murder and, possibly the best scene in the book, a graphic bloodbath consisting of two of the female characters and some very sharp kitchen implements!
Kings style is so unique and enthralling i couldn't put it down either time i read it. Combining fantasy and horror with some well known characters this book is a must read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Story telling at it's best., 21 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Needful Things (Paperback)
What makes Kings books so good is the way he realises that horror is not all about having blood dripping from the pages. This story is a prime example on how to blend horror with other emotions to make the book fullfilling. I always like the way he gives a sense of mystery to what is a happening right through to the end of the book.
The story centres aroud a mysterious man who opens a shop in a little town selling unusual things. (who is he ?)Without giving the plot away let's say his pleasant exterior hides evil intentions which set the towns people against each other.The novel itself is a gathering of a number of smaller stories that all centre around this man and his shop. The ending fits in well which I think gives it its five stars instead of four.
If you like horror that is traditional and yet takes place in a contemporary setting you should find NEEDFUL THINGS meet your NEEDS.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill, but let down by the ending, 1 Nov. 2005
By 
J. E. W. Jackson "funky_ben" (surrey, england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Needful Things (Hardcover)
The book was great, and although the beginnning was alittle slow, once you get into it, there is rarely more than a dozen pages where nothing much happens. The ending I felt was rushed, and I felt that it was as though King didn't have much in the way of ideas.
Apart from that, I would recommend this book as the best steven king book aside from The Green Mile
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical King, 23 Aug. 2010
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Needful Things (Paperback)
I've met a few people who seem to put Stephen King down for the same reason The Beatles are often criticised: he's popular and therefore needs taking down a peg or two. In addition, of course, his main genre is horror, which tends to devalue his reputation. I turn to King now and then and don't like everything I've read of his, which amounts to twelve books at most. In general, though, I think he's a terrific writer.

In 'Needful Things', as with many of his novels, the horror element, rather than being the main attraction, is simply a magnifier for human behaviour and relationships. He's a kind of Charles Dickens for small town USA. He sets up a cast of ordinary Joes, such as the local mechanic, the bored kid and the careworn cop, most of whom have been drifting cosily along and introduces a threat which brings their darkest fears, secrets and traits to he surface. King explains in his 'On Writing' that he asks 'what if?' and lets the characters do their stuff. He doesn't know how his stories will end. This probably explains his major weakness: his endings are often clumsy, fudged affairs. In my opinion, the same is true here, though it certainly isn't his worst.

It is also a familiar tale: a mysterious stranger arrives in a small town and chaos results. Several King novels are built on the same foundations as 'Salem's Lot'. Even so, his characters always come to life, his plot development usually keeps the pages turning, and his writing is riddled with equal doses of humour and suspense. This is true of 'Needful Things', which, I would also add, is far better than the film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too too much, 23 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Needful Things (Kindle Edition)
Stephen King is a very good writer - EXCEPT he just doesn't know when to shut the f*** up. All his stories start well and then lose their way in a frenzy of excess. This is no exception; King takes a promising story line to such a confusion of extremes that it is hard to know or care what is happening, and to whom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first King book...........and well worth it indeed!, 1 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Needful Things (Paperback)
This was the first King I read and I was fascinated by the author's clever and intriguing plot, centering around a sadistic and evil man who opens a small shop in the town of Castle Rock, Maine. Slowly his smiling, pleasant and superficial demeaneur becomes more hypnotic and terrible as he gradually turns the people against each other. Whilst this book has its fair share of gruesome bloodshed, it combines excitement and suspense to produce a fantastic read.
Indeed, I went on to read Rose Madder and Pet Samatary, and I would definately recommend this to anyone with hunger for horror!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needful Things - need to read!, 24 Oct. 2012
By 
D. Lawrence (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Needful Things (Paperback)
I know Stephen King principally from his works made into movies. I bought Needful Things at a charity bookstall. I liked it from the beginning and so downloaded the Kindle version! It's a lengthy novel and you know what Leland Gaunt is from quite early on; but the way King describes what 'lies beneath' the differing characters is what makes it a really good read. It's about peoples' inner personality, e.g. their desire to recapture lost childhood times; sexual frustration; jealousy; guilt etc.. Mr Gaunt uses these feelings to sell people 'needful things'; things they can't resist and must have. But there is a price. In exchange for the cheap prices he charges for the articles they covet there is a price to pay - a literally deadly price!

As well as the frankly gory scenes you find in King's works, he can also be extremely comical, as for example in how he describes the pet at Nan's place. ................................."a scrofulous parrot who sometimes said, ' I f.....d your mamma, Frank' in a morose and thoughtful voice............................"

Stephen King can really use the English language; so well that you think it would be easy to write as he does!
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Needful Things
Needful Things by Stephen King (Paperback - 12 May 2011)
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