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on 24 April 2006
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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on 7 January 2007
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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on 17 February 2014
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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in a little town its residents are naturally very inquisitive. The shop is called Needful Things and is run by a man called Leland Gaunt.

When people come to buy their hearts desires, the only caveat is that they must play a trick on someone. This leads to murder and mayhem. Can the Sheriff stop it?

This is a really creepy book by the US master of horror.
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on 24 October 2012
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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on 11 January 2005
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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on 9 November 2006
is to not base your opinion of his works on the film adaptations of TV movies. This is the third King book I have read so far and I plan to read many more. Having spent earlier years watching the usual TV and movie versions of his novels, I really wasn't that into him until I picked up IT for want of anything else to read. I was hooked.

Needful things is based in the town of Castlerock which I believe is the setting for a couple of his other novels to which he makes brief reference to in this story.

A new shop opens in Castlerock which seems to sell exactly what the buyer desires. But beware - your heart's desire always comes with a price...

This is a great book which reads at a good pace. There are an awful lot of calendars, buit King's style of writing and the relatively short chapters mean that you don't get bogged down by all the detail and you can enjoy the story that he expertly weaves. King builds up the suspense to an absolutely crazy mad climax which leaves you feeling quite exhausted but with the feeling you've just finished a really excellent book.
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on 4 March 2004
This book is more about the scariness of human nature than the scariness of things external to us, and this makes it a great book. You think again and again about what your own response would be to the kind of temptation that the characters in this book are presented with, and you probably find yourself worrying more than a little.
My big problem with this book is that the bad guy, Leland Gaunt, is not believable. What exactly are his motives? In the first part of the book we are led to believe that he is just a mischief-maker, and this I could accept. But then it turns out that his powers are incredible and that his motives are much more malign, and this is where I can't accept things.
Let's face it, this guy is so powerful that he could start WW III without even working up a sweat. So what's he doing setting up shop in a small New England town and messing with the heads of the local yokels? It doesn't make sense, and this spoils what would otherwise have been a really great book.
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on 2 July 2016
At the heart of this book is the evil that people inflict on others in the name of personal gain. Whilst our villain has supernatural abilities without the ordinary everyday people he would be powerless and that I think is what is truly scary, what we will do to others for a myriad of reasons that we justify to ourselves. An engaging study of the human condition and worth the thousand plus pages that comprise Needful Things.
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on 27 March 2016
It's very creepy this book. Plays on people's insecurities and dislikes of others culminating in absolute hatred and the revenge they take out on each other. Must say the shop he ran was filled with magical things people have always wanted, but the price they pay is enormous.
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