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Needful Things

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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 Pangborn suspects that Gaunt is behind the population's increasingly violent behavior.

790 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 1991

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About the author

Stephen King

2,529 books827k 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, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men's magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale ("The Glass Floor") to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men's magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,930 reviews
Profile Image for Jeff .
912 reviews707 followers
October 10, 2014
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 today and I haven’t gotten all my goods unpacked, but you’re welcome to look around.”

Gaunt had the strangest shade of green eyes that Jeff had ever seen. It was as if Jeff was staring into a bowl of spinach.

As Jeff walked around the store he noticed that, no matter where he turned his head, Mr. Gaunt never left his peripheral vision.

Looking at a glass case, Jeff noticed a paper with writing. It was the cleverest, best written, funniest review he had ever read. And it was a review of the book he was currently reading. Why if Jeff put this out on Goodreads, he’d get thousands of “likes”. Thousands.

Gaunt appeared over his left shoulder. “That is something, isn’t it? I just got that in today.”

Jeff felt he had to have it. Maybe tens of thousands of likes. “It is pretty good. How much do you want for it?”

Gaunt smiled. His teeth reminded Jeff of gravestones. “Well, how much money do you have?”

How much money do I have? Jeff checked his wallet. “Only four dollars.”

Gaunt gave him his best shark-like smile and said, “What a coincidence, that’s what I’m selling it for.”

As Gaunt pulled it out of the case, Jeff could have sworn the page was a shopping list, but once Gaunt handed it over, he saw it was his precious review. The greatest review he had ever read.

“By the way Jeff, (Jeff didn’t remember telling Gaunt his name), I’d like you to play a small prank on someone…"
Profile Image for Gregor Xane.
Author 19 books327 followers
February 1, 2014
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 trapped by their possessions. Its citizens are punished mercilessly for 700+ pages with some special brand of evil that feeds off the sin of imbuing bric-à-brac with sentimental value.

Admittedly, I'm oversimplifying the plot of this book quite a bit. But Needful Things is just a morality tale at its core, a boldfaced warning about materialism. The message of the book seems to boil down to something we all heard as kids, mom saying that you don't need those roller skates, you just want them.

But to say that this is only a simple morality tale really does this book a disservice. It's got all the things I like in a King book: suspense, action, gore, folksy humor (the cruel and the crude varieties), characters you can identify with, protagonists you care about, insane people and perverts, monsters and great big explosions. Most importantly, it's got a great villain. Our bad guy, Leland Gaunt, isn't subtle, he chews up the scenery at every turn, but he's exactly what this novel calls for. Done well (and King does them very well), comic book villains are the best kind. All right, maybe just the most fun to read about.

And, yes, this book had some of the Stephen King things I don't like so much. I feel sometimes King is writing down to his characters, like he'll create a character just for the sake of mockery. Lester Pratt, the goody two-shoes, Christian 'boy scout' character in this book is a prime example. I would be willing to bet that no one ever--no matter how repressed and/or brainwashed, sheltered, or close-minded--ever, ever had an internal monologue that's featured the celebratory phrase "rooty toot toot" repeatedly while thinking about the prospect of getting some pussy.

King also has a tendency to veer into some rather cloying, almost treacly, Garrison Keillor territory, and in this book the opening and closing are perhaps the most nauseating examples of this that I've personally encountered.

And then, like with many of King's novels, we have the borderline deus ex machina ending.

Now, I know what you're thinking:

Wow, it seemed like there for a minute you were saying you like Stephen King. But now it seems like you're being rather hard on the guy.

But, you see, the thing is, Stephen King is sort of like the President of the United States of America. (Bear with me here.) The people you hear bitching about the President the most, the people who are the hardest on him, seem to always be the very same people who voted him into office. I've read over thirty books by Stephen King. So, in my mind, that pretty much means I voted that son-of-a-bitch into office over thirty fucking times!

I'll say what I want.

And now you're probably asking, would you vote for that son-of-a-bitch again?

No question.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,849 followers
September 13, 2020
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 friends, because their dark desires, mental illnesses, and pure evilness is nothing for the faint of heart, especially if they can´t even understand harmless, little jokes among friends from the same street.

There are some soft spoilers, but I am too lazy to differentiate and add a simple template, sorry. I mean, deal with it, what am I, a nebulous new shop owner?

There it is, the neighborhood, friendly greetings, short waste of time, accumulating to hours and days, small talk chats, and, depending on states of mind, subconsciously or hardly to suppress willing to mutilate, kill, or sleep with someone, not always in that order. The sadism, gruesomeness, and envy naturally growing in any good human society can already be brought to light or misused by demagogues, sociopaths, salesmen, and politicians, but add a grain of dark conventional and mind magic to the mix and perfection is sure.

It´s not as if a demon would have to try hard to turn angels into devils, it´s a bit more of playing with snowballs on top of a huge mountain when avalanche alert level is at ridiculous heights. I live in an alpine country, better don´t do it (obviously) and especially don´t get caught, the souls could haunt you, not to speak of the cops. Philosophizing about if there is inherent evil in all humans, if it´s a decision of choice, if turning people evil is evil or just natural, and, most important, what new products and services may wait to be enjoyed, are underlying ideas. Focus on that last one, who cares about the other stuff, consume.

The McGuffins are delicious in this one, you should try! I´ll ship them to you for free and add a 20 Euro, Dollar, or whatever gift card for the online shop of your choice on the dark web. You would be crazy to not agree to this amazing offer, I must be really bonkers to do this. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, what could go wrong. It´s not as if each positive, free offer comes with terrible butterfly effects, chain reactions, hidden problems, and bloody anarchy. That I am secretly filming and streaming on the same dark web you got that stuff from, to add ads and get rich with monetarization.

I´m a bit wondering how quickly something like this would escalate in real life, but sadly no reality tv show format would dare to do it because of stupid laws, boring human rights, and this damned rarity of personified devils and haunted magic artifacts. They could cooperate with museums, get haunted objects, blood gold, torture equipment, and work together with private collectors who could give items on loan from their private collections to get this thing started.

Seriously, I´ve already said this before, I am a cold, reasonable person, but for some strange reason I don´t visit haunted, strange places where terrible things happened, sometimes over centuries, or, would be a bit expensive too, collect old, haunted, objects to decorate my house and bedroom with. No making sandwiches with the strangely glowing obsidian blade used for human sacrifice to celebrate whatever unspeakable, and difficult to pronounce too, god, also a bit unhygienic, yuck, say hello to my little OCD mysophobia hybrid. Whoever has the same „I am so sophisticated“ excuse and self-deceit should think why we are such wimps if there is really nothing to fear. Hint: Science knows nothing about some essential fields that would be important to go up to 100 percent certainly nothing terrifying, although we don´t know.

Oh, and don´t buy in small local shops owned by creepy men with too good to be true offers, just in big retail store chains to protect yourself or, even better, online. There are rumors that AIs are trained with algorithms to detect paranormal activities before they even happen, predictive psi protection against perverted ghosts, ghouls, dwarfs, succubi, and incubi and money back offers if one gets still haunted. Hopefully, the evil, small, one man, dark magic shops never grow big and dominate the world market, that would be terrible.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Rebecca.
265 reviews275 followers
October 28, 2022
You’ve been here before.
Sure you have. Sure. I never forget a face. Come on over here?
Let me shake your hand! Tell you somethin:

….there’s a storm on the way.

Castle rock, Maine. Where Polly Chalmers runs You Sew and Sew and sheriff Alan Pangborn is in charge of keeping the peace.

But then a new store, Needful Things, opens in town and its proprietor, Leland Gaunt, offers seemingly unbelievable bargains to the people of Castle rock. His prices are too good to be true, but they always come with a catch. Evil little tricks that end up turning all of Castle rock against one another and ultimately the demise of the town.

‘Needful Things’ has quite possibly the best introduction I’ve ever read. The narration is flawless and after the intro the novel is just one giant game…

The evolution of the story happens in a really satisfying way, developing the characters well and making them cross paths, resulting in shocking violent and horrific moments as the tricks requested by Leland Gaunt end up having horrible consequences.

I really liked how Stephen King exploited the greed of humans and how this characteristic can lead people to do horrible things. The book has a supernatural element, but it only serves to give a little push for the characters to show the evil already existing within them.

Leland Gaunt is an incredible villain with such malice and hypnotic purpose. So much viciousness and chaos. It’s incredible. The last 250 pages of the novel were pure mayhem and I absolutely loved it!

Needful things was a wild and crazy ride! Like being on one of those super old wooden rickety roller coasters!! I highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic story 👌🏻
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
June 12, 2023

Nobody writes small town chaos quite like the King!!!


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!

Profile Image for Baba.
3,618 reviews984 followers
July 27, 2021
Stephen King brings us back to Castle Rock a few years after the events of The Dark Half. New in town, Leland Gaunt opens up his old curiosity shop, Needful Things, offering you something, that before you entered, you didn't realise that you really really wanted... or indeed, what ~Gaunt felt you needed to further his own aims! One by one, Gaunt gets the town folk seeking what they want and not what they need. What ensues, well it's Stephen King , what ensues is horror! A captivating read, that sees the suspense tighten to a fury, with this deadly wrapping up of the Castle Rock reality... for now! 7 out of 12, up to 8 after my 2016 reread.
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
672 reviews4,290 followers
April 17, 2020
“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 exactly what you can afford. You just gotta play a little prank for Leland Gaunt to get your hands on it...

King’s ability to create a fictional town with an entire cast of real, distinguishable characters will never cease to amaze me. The way that Gaunt plays the town members off each other, demonstrating how dangerous materialism can be, is such a genius idea, and you can really feel that King is having an absolute blast writing this one! And I had a blast reading it. I was downright CACKLING at some parts - the battle between Cora Rusk and Myra Evans over Elvis artefacts was a highlight for me, as well as a character literally shitting on a photograph of someone’s mother!! I told you this one is CHAOS!

In terms of characters, I love Sheriff Alan Pangborn and you really gotta feel for his heartbreaking backstory. You can see why he and Polly Chalmers are drawn to each other, they have both been through a lot of pain and find some solace in each other. Although one of their sex scenes was just... uncomfortable for me to read. I don’t know why, but I just imagine 70 year old King writing this and it makes me feel icky - even though this was written back in the early 90s.

ANYWHO, absolutely loved this reread. Might have to reshuffle my top 10 King yet again... 5 stars.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews46 followers
May 23, 2022
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 Pangborn suspects that Gaunt is behind the population's increasingly violent behavior.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه اکتبر سال2014میلادی

عنوان: چیزهای ضروری؛ نویسنده: استیفن کینگ ؛ مترجم: سهیلا فرزین‌نژاد؛ تهران، نشر روشنگران و مطالعات زنان‏‫، سال‫1391؛ در778ص؛ ‬‬شابک9789641940968؛ موضوع داستانهای ترسناک از نویسندگان ایالات متحده امریکا - سده20م

باز شدن یک فروشگاه تازه بنام «چیزهای ضروری» در یک شهر کوچک به نام «کاسل» در ایالت «مین»، جوششی در شهر پدیدار می‌کند؛ مدیر فروشگاه یک مرد میانسال خوش چهره، و آقامنش به نام «لیلاند گرانت» است، که به نظر میرسد همیشه چیزی در فروشگاهش دارد، تا مناسب خواسته ی یکی از اهالی شهر باشد؛ چیزهای متنوع، از بلیت «مسابقه‌ ی بیسبال» گرفته، تا «چوب ماهیگیری»؛ اما آیا هدف واقعی او جلب رضایت مردم شهر است، یا هدف خبیثانه‌ ی دیگری، در پشت این چهره‌ ی به ظاهر آرام پنهان است؟

نقل نمونه متن: (تو پیش از اینم اینجا بودی: آره جونم، معلومه؛ من هیچ وقت قیافه ی کسی رو فراموش نمیکنم؛ بیا اینجا، بذار دستتو فشار بدم! بذار یه چیزی رو بهت بگم؛ حتی پیش از اینکه صورتتو خوب ببینم، از راه رفتنت شناختمت؛ دیگه هیچ روزی بهتر از اینو نمیتونستی برای برگشتن به «کاسل راک» پیدا کنی؛ راستی شهرعجیبی نیست؟ فصل شکار همین روزا شروع میشه؛ احمقا تو جنگل به طرف هر چیزی که تکون بخوره، تیر در میکنن، تازه جلیقه ی نارنجی تندشونم نمیپوشن؛ بعدشم برف و بوران تموم میشه، ولی اون مال بعده؛ حالا فعلا اکتبره، اینجا تو «راک»، ما میذاریم اکتبر هر چی دلش میخواد طول بکشه؛ به نظر من این بهترین وقت ساله؛ بهار اینجا قشنگه، اما من همیشه اکتبرو به «مه» ترجیح میدم؛ «ماین غربی» یه قسمت از ایالته، که وقتی تابستون تموم میشه، و اون مردمیکه لب دریاچه، یا بالای «ویو»، کلبه ی ییلاقی دارن، برمیگردن «نیویورک» و «ماساچوست»، دیگه پاک فراموش میشه؛ مردم اینجا اونا رو تماشا میکنن، که هرسال میآن و میرن؛ سلام، سلام، سلام؛ خدافظ، خدافظ، خدافظ؛

وقتی که میآن خوبه، چون دلارهای شهرشونو میآرن، اما وقتی هم که میرن خوبه، چون موقع اومدن دردسرای شهرشونم میآرن؛ منم بیشتر میخوام درباره ی دردسرا با تو حرف بزنم؛ میتونی یه کم پیش من بشینی؟ اینجا روی پله های جای ارکستر، خوبه! آفتاب گرمه و از اینجا، درست وسط میدون اجتماعات شهر، میتونیم تقریبا تموم مرکز شهرو ببینیم؛ فقط باید تراشه ها رو بپایی، همین؛ این پله ها باید سمباده بخورن، و بعدشم رنگ بشن؛ این کارم باید «هیو پریست» بکنه، اما «هیو» هنوز وقتشو پیدا نکرده؛ میدونی، عرق میخوره؛ این دیگه یه راز نیست؛ تو «کاسل راک»، اسرار رو میشه نگه داشت، و همین طورم هست، منتها باید خیلی سعی کنی تا موفق بشی، بیشتر ماها میدونیم که از اون زمانهایی که «هیو» میونه اش با کار سخت خوب بود، خیلی گذشته

چی گفتی؟ آهان! اون! میگم ها، پسر – این خودش کاریه ها؛ این همه اعلامیه تو همه جای شهر چسبوندن؛ من فکر میکنم «وندا همفیل» - که شوهرش «دان» فروشگاه «همفیل» رو میگردونه- خودش تنهایی بیشتر اونا رو چسبونده؛ از روی اون میله بکن، بدش به من؛ خجالت نکش، تازه از اولش هم کسی حق نداشته که روی جای ارکستر میدون اجتماعات، اعلامیه بچسبونه؛ لعنت خدا! اینو نیگا گن، میبینی؟

همین بالاش چاپ زدن «تاس و ابلیس»؛ حروف قرمز درشت، که ازشون دود میآد بیرون، و انگاری با پست سفارشی از «توفت» اومدن اینجا؛ هه! فکر کنم اگه کسی راس راسی ندونه این شهر، چه جای کوچولوی خواب آلودیه، فکر میکنه که جدی جدی، ما داریم فنا میشیم؛ اما میدونی توی یه شهر اینقدری، بعضی وقتها چه طوری همه چی گنده میشه؛ و جناب کشیش «ویلی» این دفعه دیگه حتما کک به تنبونش افتاده، هیچ شکی دراینباره نیست؛ کلیساها تو شهرای کوچیک…؛ خب فکر کنم، مجبور نیستم که بهت بگم، وضع از چه قراره؛ یه جورایی با هم کنار میآن، اما خب هیچ وقت از همدیگه راضی نیستن؛ یه مدتی همه چی آروم پیش میره، و بعدش یه هو جنجالی به پا میشه

گرچه این دفعه جنجال تقریبا شدید بود، با کلی دلخوری، میدونی «کاتولیکها» دارن اونور شهر، تو تالار شوالیه های «کلمبوس»، یه چیزی راه میاندازن، که اسمشو گذاشتن «کازینو نایت»؛ شنیدم پنج شنبه ی آخر هر ماه؛ سودش هم قراره که برای تعمیر سقف کلیسای «بانوی آبهای آرام» ما مصرف بشه؛ اگه از طرف «کاسل ویو» اومده باشی تو شهر، حتما اونو سر راهت دیدی؛ کلیسای کوچولوی قشنگیه، مگه نه؟ «کازینو نایت» اولش فکر «پدر برایهام» بود، اما دخترهای «ایزابلا» در واقع کسایی بودن، که فکرو گرفتن و رفتن دنبالش، مخصوصا «بتسی ویگ»؛

فکر کنم خوشش میآد که چسبونترین لباس مشکیشو بپوشه، و سر میز بیست و یک، ورق بده، یا صفحه ی رولتو بچرخونه، و بگه «پولاتونو بذارین، خانمها و آقایون، لطفا پولاتونو بذارین»؛ وای که فکر میکنم همشون یه جورایی از این ایده خوششون میآد؛ فقط سرِ چندرغازه، بیضرره، اما خوب فرقی نمیکنه، یه کمی هم به نظرشون شریرانه میآد؛ فقط به نظر «عالیجناب ویلی» این موضوع بیضرر نمیآد، و از نظر اون و جماعتش خیلی بیشتر از یه کم شریرانه ست؛ راستشو بخوای «عالیجناب ویلیام رز» اسم اصلیشه، هیچ وقتم از «پدر برایهام» خوشش نمیاومده، «پدر برایهام» هم علاقه ای به اون نداره؛ در واقع اول از همه «��در برایهام» بود، که اسم «کشتی بخار ویلی» رو روی «عالیجناب رز» گذاشت، و خود «عالیجناب ویلی» هم این موضوعو میدونه؛ قبلاً هم جرقه هایی بین این دوتا جادوگر قبیله، رد و بدل شده بود، اما این مسئاله ی «کازینو نایت»، دیگه از جرقه یه کمی بیشتره؛ گمون کنم بتونی بهش بگی آتیش تند؛

وقتی «ویلی» شنید که کاتولیکها میخوان یه شبو تو تالار «شوالیه های کلمبوس»، به قمار بگذرونن، کم مونده بود از عصبانیت اون کله ی تیز و کوچولوشو، بکوبه به طاق؛ اون اعلامیه های «تاس و ابلیس» رو هم، با پول خودش درست کرد، و «وندا همفیل» با دوستای دوره ی خیاطیش، اونارو به همه جا چسبوندن؛ از اونوقت به بعدم تنها جایی که «کاتولیکها» و «بابتیستها» با هم حرف میزنن، ستون «نامه ها»ی هفته نامه ی کوچیک ماست، که اونجا هم به همدیگه بد و بیراه میگن، و پرت و پلا، بار هم میکنن، و به همدیگه میگن، که جاشون ته جهنمه؛

اونجا رو نیگا کن، خودت میفهمی من چی میگم؛ اون «نان روبرتس» بود، که همین الان از بانک دراومد بیرون؛ صاحاب غذاخوری «نانه»؛ فکر کنم الان که «پوپ مریل» به اون بازار مکاره ی بزرگ، تو آسمونا رفته، «نان» تقریبا پولدارترین آدم شهره؛ از وقتی هم که «هکتور» یه توله ی کوچولو بود، «نان» «بابتیست» بوده؛ از اونطرف هم «ال گندرون بزرگ» داره میآد؛ یارو اونقدر کاتولیکه که «پاپ» پیش اون کاشر به نظر میآد، بهترین دوستش هم «جانی برایهام» ایرلندیه؛ حالا، خوب بپا! میبینی چه جوری دماغاشونو بالا گرفتن؟ هی هی، خنده دار نیست؟ من سر یه دلار به یه دونات، باهات شرط میبندم درست جایی که اون دوتا، از بغل همدیگه رد شدن، درجه حرارت بیست درجه پایین افتاد؛

به قول مادرم، آدما از همه بیشتر خوش میگذرونن، غیر از اسبها، و اونام نمیتونن؛ حالا اون ورو بپا؛ ماشین گشت کلانترو میبینی که دم پیاده رو نزدیک مغازه ی «ویدیو» پارک شده؟ اونم «جان لاپوینت» که توی مغازه اس؛ قراره مواظب کسایی باشه که تند میرونن، آخه میدونی مرکز شهر محدوده ی سرعت کمه، مخصوصا وقتی که بچه های مدرسه میریزن بیرون، اما اگه دستتو سایبون چشمت کنی، و درست نیگا کنی، میبینی کاری که واقعا داره میکنه اینه که، زل زده به یه عکس، که از توی کیفش درآورده؛ از اینجا نمیتونم اونو ببینم، اما عکسیه که تقریبا یه سال پیش «اندی کلاترباک» از «جان» و «سالی راتکلیف»، تو نمایشگاه ایالتی «فرایبرگ» گرفت؛ تو اون عکس، بازوی «جانی» دور شونه ی «سالیه» و «سالی» هم یه «خرس عروسکی» رو، که «جانی» تو سالن تیراندازی برنده شده، دستش گرفته، و هردوشونم اونقدر خوشن، که نزدیکه از خنده روده بر بشن؛ اما اون مال اون روزا بود، نه الان؛ اینطور که میگن این روزا «سالی» با «لستر پرات» مربی تربیت بدنی دبیرستان، نامزد کرده؛ اونم مث «سالی» یه «بابتیست» خالص و پروپا قرصه؛ «جان» هنوز از شوک از دست دادن «سالی» بیرون نیومده؛ دیدی چه آهی کشید؟ اون سر این مسئاله خیلی ناراحت شده؛ فقط مردی که هنوز عاشقه -یا فکر میکنه که هست- میتونه آهی به این عمیقی بکشه؛ ...؛)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Nataliya.
782 reviews12.4k followers
July 4, 2022
“Everyone loves something for nothing … even if it costs everything.”
I suppose for every single one of us there is something material or immaterial that we would do anything it takes to have. Anything. Anything at all. Whatever it takes. No matter the cost — but with double enthusiasm if it conveniently also seems like a bargain.
“What’s the one thing in all the world, the one useless thing, that you want so badly that you get it mixed up with needing it?”

Once again King brings his best — small-town horror. We are in Castle Rock, one of his early creations, a tiny rural town where everyone knows everyone, where no secrets can stay secret for long because everyone is in everyone’s business, where familiarity can breed distrust and resentments are refined over the years. Smallmindedness, pettiness and tribalism have found fertile soil here, and it doesn’t take that much of a spark to start a fire where before there used to be ominous simmering.
“It’s just small-town life, though—call it Peyton Place or Grover’s Corners or Castle Rock, it’s just folks eatin pie and drinkin coffee and talkin about each other behind their hands.”
“Brian had uncovered one of the great truths of small towns: many secrets—in fact, all the really important secrets—cannot be shared. Because word has a way of getting around, and getting around fast.”

This spark of evil comes in the form on one Leland Gaunt, a salesman opening a new store, the titular Needful Things, a curiosity shop where everyone, it seems, is able to find something that they don’t just want but simply and overwhelmingly *need*, the things with special meaning, the things they are willing to do anything to obtain — and Leland Gaunt can sell them to you for a bargain price - and a prank on one of your neighbors. It sounds harmless, doesn’t it?
“Perhaps all the really special things I sell aren’t what they appear to be. Perhaps they are actually gray things with only one remarkable property—the ability to take the shapes of those things which haunt the dreams of men and women.” He paused, then added thoughtfully: “Perhaps they are dreams themselves.”

But every choice has consequences. Free cheese is only in a mousetrap and there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, right?
“Because every choice had consequences. Because in America, you could have anything you wanted, just as long as you could pay for it. If you couldn’t pay, or refused to pay, you would remain needful forever.”

King is certainly having some fun in this supposedly “last Castle Rock story”. The fireworks fly and you can just imagine Uncle Stevie gleefully rubbing his hands in that signature supervillain fashion, looking at all the cinematic destruction his imagination has wrought. Usually it’s his smaller scale evil that tends to get to me, but what he does here is also fun — for a very specific definition of “fun”, granted. Let’s just say that Castle Rock real estate will hit truly bargain prices after this book conclusion.
“It was funny stuff, sanity. When it was taken away, you didn’t know it. You didn’t feel its departure. You only really knew it when it was restored, like some rare wild bird which lived and sang within you not by decree but by choice.”

Since King has pretty much created a metaverse by 1991, so we meet or at least hear about quite a few of his earlier characters and plots - Cujo, The Dead Zone, The Dark Half, The Sun Dog, The Body. Sheriff Alan Pangborn from The Dark Half is our protagonist (I’m quite sure Roland Deschain would have recognized a fellow gunslinger soul in him), and Ace Merrill of The Body gets involved as well. You don’t need to be familiar with those books to appreciate this one — but if you are, it makes for a cozy feeling — that is, until the fireworks start to fly.
“In men like Ace Merrill, the only urge stronger than the urge to dominate is the need to roll over and humbly expose the undefended neck when the real leader of the pack puts in an appearance.”

As always with King, we get a pretty in-depth exploration of regular Joes populating the doomed small town — the good, the bad, the connections tying them together into the webs of resentment and the support networks. It’s the ordinary and the mundane that, as always, is creepier and scarier than any monster’s doing, and King excels at showing us exactly how small evils can lead to bigger ones. We don’t need much encouragement to be cruel to others, apparently. Human nature is the biggest horror of it all, but that way also lies hope.
“Trouble and aggravation’s mostly made up of ordinary things, did you ever notice that? Undramatic things.”

It is one of his now-customary doorstoppers (or as I read others refer to them, kitten-squishers) — and yet there’s little that should have been trimmed here since it all serves the purpose of really showing us Castle Rock and those unfortunate souls that did not realize it would have been better to move elsewhere (as long as it’s not Derry, I suppose).

My teenage self loathed this book a couple of decades ago. Now, with an admonishing look at that young me I upgrade it to solid 4 stars.

(Yes, Dennis, you were right — it’s pretty great).
“We bump up against each other every now and then, but mostly things go along all right. Or always have, until now. But I have to tell you a real secret, my friend; it’s mostly why I called you over once I saw you were back in town. I think trouble—real trouble—is on its way. I smell it, just over the horizon, like an out-of-season storm full of lightning.”

Recommended by: Dennis
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,005 reviews10.6k followers
March 12, 2015
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 references to The Dark Half, Cujo, Sun Dog, The Body, and I think Cycle of the Werewolf. Ace Merrill and Alan Pangborn are the only characters I remember from other books but I'm sure there were probably others.

The story starts off slow as, one by one, the citizens of Castle Rock fall prey to Leland Gaunt's charms, buying his trinkets for whatever cash they have on them and doing pranks for him. These pranks are as custom tailored to the victim as the trinkets he sells and soon the denizens of Castle Rock are fuming at one another. Once things escalate to the point of violence, there's no turning back, making Needful Things very hard to put down for such a heavy book.

There's not a lot more I can tell without giving things away. Alan Pangborn could have been a Gunslinger in another life and his relationship with Polly was pretty well done. Ace Merrill was a world class douche and fell into the #2 bad guy role pretty well. I thought Needful Things took the gossip and cattiness that's a staple of small town life and turned the dial up until it broke off.

Things I'm still pondering:
- Was the spider that appeared near the end a relative of the spider from It, only feeding on pain instead of fear?
- Are Leland Gaunt and Randall Flag the same person?
- What happened to Castle Rock after the conflagration at the end?

Needful Things is like cooking a pot roast in a crock pot. It starts out slow, begins to simmer, and is a churning cauldron of deliciousness by the end. Four out of five stars.
Profile Image for Leo ..
Author 2 books382 followers
June 5, 2021
What a fantastic book by the great man. Needful things is a great book. A shop owner who gives everybody what they want for a price. Soon the whole town is in chaos and at each others throats. Great concept and well worth the read. The film is great too. Max Von Sydow is amazing as the character Leland Gaunt🐯👍

I see a moral to this story. How people covet the things they so desire and will do almost anything to get it. Even if it is out of reach people will covet. Result to murder. Cain and Able springs to mind. This selfish attitude that humanity has come to. Striving to get to the top and step on many to get there.

The Black Friday day when hundreds or thousands of people queue outside a department store waiting for it to open. Some even camp outside for days! Just so they can get their hands on the latest TV for a knock down price. People trampling over each other and fighting over merchandise.

This book epitomizes the greed, envy, ambition and downright stupidity that us, as human beings, have come too. The temptation. The lure. The deceit.

What a crazy Profitable; I say that with my tongue in my cheek for only the top profits; paradigm we live in.���🐯
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,155 followers
June 26, 2018
"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 well-defined characters make their purchases....and play a few harmless tricks....tempers flare....town residents become hostile, and all HELL breaks loose....with deadly results.

The ending is definitely explosive, but not particularly frightening....not like jailbird bully Ace Merrill's encounter with evil, but still cleverly plotted and creepy.

SO........come play some mind games, see a bit of powerful magic and find out what Mr. Gaunt likes to collect. Fast read for 702 pages. Enjoyed the macabre journey!

(As is the norm for KING, caught a few familiar names here and there....like CUJO, SHAWSHANK, TALISMAN and FULL DARK....and betting I probably missed more.)

Profile Image for Ginger.
786 reviews366 followers
August 9, 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 he was self-medicating. I’m looking at you It!

Needful Things is about Castle Rock and the people that live in this town. It’s an unassuming town and has its typical issues that most all small towns have.
Gossip, religious competition, who got arrested last night, etc.

But one day, a new store opens in Castle Rock.

And this store can give you exactly what you “think” you need.

Enter Leland Gaunt, the owner of “Needful Things”.
He’s a charismatic man that will cure you with your broken heart, your crippled body or sale you something that happens to be a memory of one of the happiest days in your life.

So please enter "Needful Things" and Leland will take care of all of your needs.

Needful Things has fantastic characters that I will remember for years to come. It also has a excellent plot and epic ending.
The ending of the book felt right and I really loved how King brings the good vs evil together for a satisfying ending and fight.
There are moments in this book that are so brutal and descriptive.
King has a way of writing horror that just keeps building and building. The dread and anxiety just keeps escalating until it just…SNAPS.

I highly recommend this book to fans of Stephen King along with anyone that loves the horror genre. Go pick up this door stopper and get to it today!
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
August 4, 2020
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 prank.

Yeah, just a prank, whatever it was.

No problem.”

Brian Rusk owns a lot of baseball cards, but he doesn't have a 1956 Sandy Koufax card. It has proven elusive, and wanting it has evolved from a pleasant aspiration into an impulsive, desperate need. He will do almost anything to own that card. I understand these desires, but of course, I don’t have a whispering, demanding voice in my head tormenting me. When I was baseball crazy in the 1980s and my favorite team, the Kansas City Royals, were contenders every year, I wanted nothing more than to find the 1975 rookie card of George Brett. While pining for that card, I bought package after package of the current baseball cards, hoping with every pack to find the new Brett card. In those days, I couldn’t afford books, but a couple of times a week I could afford a pack of baseball cards. It wasn’t until I left home for college and worked for a bookstore in Phoenix that I walked into a Sports Memorabilia store and bought a 1975 George Brett rookie card. I still have it. Did it mean as much as it would have to me a few years earlier? No, but it was still pretty damn cool to finally own the object I had desired for so long.

So I understand Brian’s vulnerability when he walks into the new store in town called Needful Things and meets the enigmatic Leland Gaunt. Brian is in need, and Leland has what he needs.

Even if you don’t know what you need, Leland Gaunt is able to sift through your hidden thoughts until he finds something that you once coveted. He also sees the lingering ghosts of everyone’s insecurities. Stoke desire, rattle the cages of self-doubt, and it becomes a maelstrom in anyone’s brain.

I am struck by the Stephen King tagline on the front cover: THE LAST CASTLE ROCK STORY. Assuredly, that sounds ominous and met with a certain amount of skepticism because Castle Rock has been a fruitful place of murder, mayhem, and terrifying horror for King for most of his career. Does he feel he has squeezed every drop of blood and dread out of this town? Has he tormented and persecuted the residents of Castle Rock enough that he is finally, after one more bloodbath, going to leave them in peace? So, what is he going to do, kill the town? Stab a stake through its hideous, beating heart? Nuke it? Wipe it out with a pandemic? Drop some ominous creature in their midst who will use their own longings and evil thoughts against them?


”Because the devil’s voice is sweet to hear.”

This novel has a large cast of characters, and some of them will be familiar to people who have read the other novels and stories set in Castle Rock. The two characters that I was glad to meet again are Sheriff Alan Pangborn and his deputy, Norris Ridgewick, who are also in The Dark Half, which is one of my favorite Stephen King novels. Leland Gaunt is another wonderfully insidious King creation and can very well be an alter ego of King. After all, King is the GOD of Castle Rock, and Gaunt plays a God-like figure, not in the cold-shoulder, Christian God type way, but more like the playful God of Norse Mythology, Loki. Gaunt is playful in the way a cat is playful with a mouse.

Needful Things has what you need. Poverty is not a deterrent. Turn out your pockets, and let's see how many coins you have. The whole point of any transaction at Needful Things is to make each customer feel like they just received the deal of a lifetime, but also leave them feeling like they still owe Gaunt something more than money. All Gaunt requires is that you play a “fun” prank on someone else. Nothing involving violence, but something that will most definitely lead to violence.

Oh yeah, Stevie is going to tear this town apart.

The book may look like a door stopper to a potential reader’s critical eye, but I effortlessly read big chunks of it every time I opened the cover. As we see the fears exploited and the secrets revealed of each resident, it becomes evident that, regardless of who we are or from what walk of life we come, all people can too easily be manipulated into doing insane things.

”Alan felt sanity begin to fill him again. It was funny stuff, sanity. When it was taken away, you didn’t know it. You didn’t feel its departure. You only really knew it when it was restored, like some rare wild bird which lived and sang within you not by decree but by choice.”

Can everyone reacquire their sanity in time to save themselves and Castle Rock?

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/jeffreykeeten/
Profile Image for Dennis.
658 reviews276 followers
July 4, 2022
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 fuse-boxes were lined up neatly side by side. What you had to do was open the boxes … and then start cross-wiring.

Castle Rock is like no other small town. But then again, maybe it is like all the other small towns. A place where everyone knows everyone, and you can’t escape anybody. Neither the good people, nor the bad ones. And then there are also those people that look at you with their smiling-masks on, and then go on talking about you behind your back. The fake ones. Those are the worst, right?

…mostly you just laid low until everything was done … and then you turned on the juice.

All the juice.

All those fake smiles and passive-aggressiveness are turned into evil deeds and all-out war. It’s so much fun. But what about the openly bad and the truly good people? Well, everyone has their little secrets. Their secret needs. The devil has something in store for all of them. In return for those (needful) things he just wants to have a little bit of fun.

This book is maybe most memorable for two ladies (one quarrelsome and one a little jittery) going Mortal Kombat at each other on the streets. But that's only the first climax, before in the second act everything descends into delightfully evil and truly hilarious chaos.

What a book!

It does not get the same love from me on an emotional level that It does. But on the hellishly fun scale this scores full marks. It's a different kind of love. But it's a strong love too. I was having a blast.

This leapfrogs several books on my favorites shelf and enters the top 20 after this second read. So, in a way I was right. I had given it too low a rating the first time around. But I was also wrong. It lands a couple of spots behind It. But there is not much between them. I'd say they share the distinction of being my favorite Stephen King novel. They are just two very different kinds of treasures, that get two different kinds of love from me.

Buddy read with I Think I Saw Trish Passing By and Future Brad.

2021 addendum:

And this third read-through concludes my Castle Rock reading project. Now, knowing the preceding works and noticing all the little easter eggs in here, it was even more fun. Besides, Needful Things just remains a great work of dark humor and small-town horror.

My ratings/reviews for all the stories (note: there are different recommended reading orders for this):

It Grows on You ★★★☆☆
The Dead Zone ★★★★☆
Cujo ★★★☆☆
The Body ★★★★★
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption ★★★★★ (This has been on my list of Castle Rock stories, but at the time of reading I didn’t quite see why. In retrospect it probably makes sense, because Shawshank (the prison) comes up in the other works from time to time. It might not be strictly necessary to read this, but then again, it is a great story.)
Uncle Otto’s Truck ★★★☆☆
Mrs. Todd's Shortcut ★★★★☆
The Dark Half ★★★★☆
The Sun Dog ★★☆☆☆
Needful Things ★★★★★

All in all, it was fun.

Recommended by Tobias
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,100 followers
November 17, 2020
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.

Original Review:

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 Entertainment, indeed. This is the grand blowout of the town, with evil creeping in and changing all of its residents from a patina of middle-class respectability and Rockwellian charm into roving bands of gleeful murderers with very dark hearts.

And can we really blame it entirely upon Antique Madness? Roadshow Antiques? That equally weird craze of the early '90s, turned EVIL? Or was it just Mr. Gaunt, aka (Flagg, maybe?) stirring up loads of crap? Nah, it's just the greed and pride of humanity, stoked in just the right way, and that's what Stephen King is really known for.

His supernatural aspects are generally underplayed and always in direct support of deep characterizations, of twisting flawed people into even more atrocious examples of humanity, with usually only a few semi-heroic survivors at the end that *sometimes* manage to make it through the fire.

This novel is a shining example of all this, taking all the best simmering-pot boil-over of 'Salem's Lot, the twisted madness of Tommyknockers, and throwing in an epic battle of two older ladies eviscerating each other in broad daylight on the street. :)

Truly a charming novel. :)
Profile Image for Annemarie.
250 reviews696 followers
November 11, 2018
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 mentioned, the characters just didn't quite appeal to me this time around. I found them interesting for the time being, but none of them truly stuck in my mind for long (which is usually the case whenever I read a book by King).
I'm someone who finds good characters more important than an exciting plot, so the fact that I didn't feel close to the characters bothered me a lot. If you're someone who cares more about a plot, I'm sure you will love this book, because the story on its own is unique and quite clever.
Profile Image for Nicholas Armstrong.
264 reviews49 followers
July 31, 2012
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 Atlas Shrugged, it had better be worth it. But it wasn't. Scenes were repeated, almost identically, with different characters. A dozen characters marched into Needful Things, had a nearly identical conversation with Leland Gaunt, and then marched out. Different characters vandalized cars and I had to watch them both. Even though they were there for the same reason, doing the same thing, and it was largely the exact same scene. THAT was the problem with Needful Things. It was that the book was extremely repetitive with no payoff.

Additionally, the end was far, far too gimicky. The ending was just a variation of riding off into the sunset but with the identical language that every other book/movie uses. "what happened?" "we'll never know" blah, blah, blah. I know endings are hard, I really do, but using a cliche one is not okay. Use a variation, spice it up, do something new. To top it off, the final, final, ending was the end of 90% of horror movies "Is it REALLY over?" It was unnecessary. It added nothing, and it didn't improve the story or development.

Sorry to say, but this is the worst King book I've read, and I really hope it is the worst of them all.
Profile Image for Gabriel.
501 reviews707 followers
August 12, 2023
Al pueblo de Castle Rock llega una nueva tienda llamada "Cosas Necesarias", la cual tiene una multitud de objetos disponibles para cualquier persona a la orden del día. El dueño y dependiente del lugar es Leland Gaunt (un hombre en apariencia), que en realidad toma distintos aspectos físicos como ir al armario y cambiarse de ropa. Es alguien que en definitiva nació para generar el caos por donde sea que camine y al que solo le importa las recompensas que pueda obtener con la tienda y sus objetos; además del entretenimiento que le facilita ocasionar una vorágine de conflictos tensos y sangrientos en el pueblo con la gran mayoría de sus habitantes.

Leland es un villano con la indumentaria bien puesta. Así como me gustan; de los que como lector te encanta y lo aborreces al mismo tiempo pero que en general disfrutas con sus actos despreciables que van dejando huella tras sus pasos. Y para más deleite, el tipo solo es un titiritero, él no se ensucia las manos al completo; para eso solo utiliza como medio a los demás. Leland se encarga de sembrar las semillas que germinarán en las cabezas chuecas de las personajes; generando peleas y tensiones entre distintos habitantes; ya sean vecinas, parejas, amigos, compañeros de trabajo, grupos religiosos, etc. Todo un maestro en la manipulación; sabe jugar muy bien las piezas en el tablero. Y aunque es previsible lo que está por suceder lo disfrutas al máximo porque solo te esperas que las cosas se vayan más y más al carajo.

La tienda es una novela coral. Hay un amplio abanico de personajes que conocemos y desconocemos por momentos. Tienen esa maldad y deseos oscuros reprimidos muy en el fondo, donde el detonante es una sola persona que los empuja a cometer actos deleznables. Lo mejor de la historia definitivamente es Leland, a quien no le importa el dinero si recibe a cambio entretenimiento por unas bromas que deben realizar los compradores si quieren obtener lo que desean; porque créanme que el dinero es lo de menos. ¿Las bromitas? Esas si que hay que tomarselas muy en serio.

Y sí, sé que solo he hablado de Leland pero es que me ha encantado. Para mí, es lo mejor del libro. Con el resto de los personajes pues depende de los intereses personales de cada quien, hay unos que gustan más que otros o hay algunos que simplemente te aburren u otros que quieres que aparezcan todo el rato. Como único pero (porque no todo puede ser perfecto) es la cantidad de relleno que traen algunos personajes en sus historias. Se la pasan recalcando su pasado o lo que han hecho o están haciendo en ese mismo momento que llega el punto que cansa. Ojo, no es con todos pero sí se me fue diluyendo el interés poco a poco. Era solo ver que venía cierto personaje y ya me daba flojera.

Sin embargo, eso es algo que tiene King con sus historias de larga extensión; hay que temer el grosor de sus libros por la paja completamente innecesaria que mete sin remordimientos. Además, SK se tomó todo su tiempo para introducirnos en la historia con un desarrollo bastante lento, para que el final se torne muy precipitado y a las carreras. Eso también le resta muchos puntos a una historia que perfectamente pudo estar en mi top.

La nota es un 3.5 en realidad pero le doy las cuatro estrellas porque la idea de contar una historia de un pueblo con muchos personajes envueltos en el maní siempre me resulta atractiva. Solo añado que es más disfrutable para quien ya está acostumbrado a King y como va cociendo a fuego lento ese conflicto de grandes proporciones con una buena variedad de personajes idos de la olla en menor o mayor medida. Y también es chévere encontrar referencias a otros de sus libros ambientados en el mismo lugar.
Profile Image for Trish.
2,015 reviews3,434 followers
November 16, 2020
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 .
Anyway, the shop starts selling special items to the townspeople for practically nothing ... plus a prank. And it's these pranks that start the downfall of the town and its people (though the foundations have been there before Mr. Gaunt opened his shop).

The premise is very simple but the author took his time to introduce us to the people populating Castle Rock as well as their connections. This was important to set the scene for what was to come once Gaunt's magic started working.
From little kids with terrible parents, sick but very nice people and their cooks, to town drunks, gamblers and pedophiles - we got everything here. Once again, SK shows us that the true horror lies in the ordinary. I mean , to say nothing of . And those are the "ordinary" people.

This book had a wonderful writing style. One might expect the beginning to drag due to the introductions, but King managed to sweep us along with the mystery of the shop and Mr. Gaunt right from the start. The relationships between the characters were peppered throughout to spice things up (a bit like gossip, which went very well with the small town setting and feel of this). Thus, what started as harmless pranks that seriously made me laugh soon turned not just ugly but extremely violent - not that I didn't laugh about that as well. ;P

There are some truly shocking moments, such as when . Sure, by the time it happens, there was enough foreshadowing already so it wasn't actually surprising per se, but it is still a blow. After all, . However, I must admit that I generally like that nobody is safe in SK's stories as it adds that little bit of dark realism to the mix and makes you truly be afraid for everybody, no matter who you happen to be rooting for. Also, it lets the reader feel just how high the stakes really are (too often I feel like the threat isn't actually all that bad in stories as authors don't dare going to certain places - not so with SK).
The other thing I always enjoy in SK's stories is the journey of discovery of the supernatural element (). And that didn't disappoint here, either.

One other really neat thing I enjoyed was - that was especially nice, stylistically.

It took me a long time to read this book (it was meant as the final read in Spooktober) but not because of the book itself (some people will know just how bad 2020 has gotten for me by the end of last month). Sorry to my buddy-readers, Dennis and Brad, it really wasn't my fault.
I can honestly say that this book now ranks high up there with Pet Sematary and It as one of my favourite stories by this author.
Profile Image for Michael || TheNeverendingTBR.
479 reviews191 followers
June 13, 2021
“Why is it that so many people think all the answers are in their wallet?”

Tried to read this book years ago and got 50 or so pages into it and never went back to it.

I've now made this my 57th King read and I really enjoyed it, it's a great book and the writing is excellent.

What I loved most about it is the characters, it's set in Castle Rock and certain characters from his other work appear in it.

The antagonist Leland Gaunt is such a mysterious and creepy character.

The whole book seemed to be a build up to what was going to happen with thd Needful Things store and it's owner and when the ending came around it was far too abrupt and limited to a few pages; so that's why I've given it a 4/5 rating.

Other than that it was an enjoyable, atmospheric, character driven book.

I'm looking forward to watching the adaptation of this one.
Profile Image for ALet.
292 reviews240 followers
November 2, 2021
The concept was interesting and had a lot of potential to be a very fascinating story about human nature, but sadly execution of this story felt a little bit lackluster for me. Beside the concept itself, nothing really hooked me in, I had couple characters I liked, but no one really intrigued me enough, the book just simply fell flat. It makes sense why this book is so long, it mainly does character work, shows character dynamics with each other, and in my opinion, it does it well, but as I said before, I didn’t really care about the characters, so naturally I didn't care about the story too.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,244 followers
September 16, 2020
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 you in all of the gazillion characters so that it hurts more when they die. He's such a sadist.

Our most invested-in person is the sheriff, who of course has a horrible back-story of tragedy and loss. The sheriff doesn't get over to the new shop soon enough, so when things go waaaaay south, he realizes he forgot to buy an antique ventriloquist dummy that would have told him to kill everyone. Darn. Missed out on that fun!

But, everyone else has their not-even-good-enough-for-ebay crap, I mean treasures that they must hold on to and never share with anyone ever!!!! And, if some son of a bitch even thinks about trying to get their grubby hands on it, they are perfectly within their rights to kill all the people, right?

Daddy better sleep with one eye open tonight!

Anyway, I couldn't put this down. It was compelling and there was enough bloody killing to satisfy any sadistic fuck horror book lover.

Read this one!
Oh, but keep in mind that it has pretty much ALL the triggers. So, maybe don't read this one. It's up to you. I'm not your mother.
Profile Image for Rachelle.
368 reviews81 followers
July 24, 2022
"You've been here before, but things are about to change. I know it. I feel it.
There's a storm on the way."

Pure anarchy descends upon the residents of Castle Rock, due to the arrival of Mr. Leland Gaunt.  His unique new shop, in my most favorite of imaginary towns, has something for everyone... and it comes with the heaviest of prices!
Profile Image for Ken.
2,204 reviews1,329 followers
November 16, 2018
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 small incidents can slowly snowball into something bigger.

It’s one of my favourite King stories, a great good vs evil battle along with at the time a final hurrah around Castle Rock.
Profile Image for Pantelis Andreou.
275 reviews58 followers
August 20, 2020
‘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 character here is special and so fleshed out! I felt for them, i adored them i hated them at the same time!

But by far my favorite has to be Leland Gaunt! This guy is mysterious and evil and creepy and all the things only King’s mind could have figured out!

The shocking and chaotic parts come one after the other! And they are a delight to read! I went back to read whole paragraphs just because i love the way things rolled out!

A hugely underrated book that many neglect! More people need to know the masterpiece this read is!

Profile Image for HaMiT.
169 reviews32 followers
August 31, 2021
ادامه‌اش نمی‌دم چون ورژن ضعیف‌تر و حجیم‌تر سیلمزلات حساب می‌شه و داستان به همون سمت پیش می‌ره
شخصیت‌هاش هم اونقدر جالب نیستن که بخوام اون پونصد صفحه‌ی اول رو صبر کنم که تهش دویست صفحه‌ی خفن نصیبم بشه
شاید بعدها خیلی دیگه دلم خواست یه کینگ بخونم بیام سراغش
Profile Image for Ron.
394 reviews96 followers
August 15, 2018
”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 like a man of course. Nice enough looking guy, the owner. Trustworthy eyes too. Brown...or were they blue? Sells the most interesting items in that new shop on Main. Things you hadn't thought about before, or even knew you needed. Now that I think about it, a very kind man, that Leland Gaunt is. Cares about the community of Castle Rock and the people here. Strange how he cares, seeing he's only just arrived.

Yeah, the horror is not in the shop. It's on the outside. Them people in town. Stir the pot Leland Gaunt. Just a little stir required. Cause it don't take much in the town of Castle Rock to get things a going.

I passed the shop today, but I won't be buying. Nope, not me. Hmm, would you look at that thing sittin' in the window. Well, maybe I'll just pop in real quick. But I won't be buyin'.
Profile Image for Paul.
308 reviews73 followers
August 13, 2018
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
Profile Image for AMEERA.
277 reviews321 followers
September 13, 2018
Like always stephen King knows how to surprises us ???
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