Needful Things

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Overview

An evil presence has set up shop in quiet Castle Rock-and is planning to bring the town to its knees...

Leland Gaunt is a stranger in Castle Rock--and he calls his new shop Needful Things, where there is something for everyone. Mr. Gaunt takes pleasure in seeing how much people will pay for their most secret dreams and desires, and he knows that almost everything is for sale: love, hope, even the human soul.

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Needful Things: The Last Castle Rock Story

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Overview

An evil presence has set up shop in quiet Castle Rock-and is planning to bring the town to its knees...

Leland Gaunt is a stranger in Castle Rock--and he calls his new shop Needful Things, where there is something for everyone. Mr. Gaunt takes pleasure in seeing how much people will pay for their most secret dreams and desires, and he knows that almost everything is for sale: love, hope, even the human soul.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the ``Last Castle Rock Story'' King bids a magnificent farewell to the fictional Maine town where much of his previous work has been set. Of grand proportion, the novel ranks with King's best, in both plot and characterization. A new store, Needful Things, opens in town, and its proprietor, Leland Gaunt, offers seemingly unbeatable read: Faustian bargains to Castle Rock's troubled citizens. Among them are Polly Chalmers, lonely seamstress whose arthritis is only one of the physical and psychic pains she must bear; Brian Rusk, the 11-year-old boy whose mother is not precisely attentive; and Alan Pangborn, the new sheriff whose wife and son have recently died. These are only three of the half-dozen or so brilliantly drawn people met in the novel's one-month time span. As the dreams of each strikingly memorable character, major and minor, inexorably turn to nightmare, individuals and soon the community are overwhelmed, while the precise nature of Gaunt's evil thrillingly stays just out of focus. King, like Leland Gaunt, knows just what his customers want.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
King's best...fast-paced, well-constructed...cleverly plotted.
Kirkus Reviews
The old horrormaster in top form, this time with a demonic dealer in magic and spells selling his wares to the folks of Castle Rock, scene of several King novels including The Dead Zone, Cujo—and how many others? King locates his hokey Our Town in Maine, but as ever it's really Consumerville, USA, with everyone's life festooned with brand names. The cast is huge and largely grotesque, since King—wearing a tremendous cat's-smile—means to close the book on Castle Rock and blow it off the map in one of his best climaxes since Salem's Lot. Editing here is supreme. King braids perhaps a dozen storylines—with hardly a drop of blood spilled for the first 250 or so pages—into ever briefer takes that climax in a hurtling, storm-ripped holocaust whose symphonic energies fill the novel's last third. Perhaps only five characters stand out: Leland Gaunt, a gentlemanly stranger who opens the Needful Things curiosity shop; his first customer, Brian Rusk, 11, who sells his soul for a rare Sandy Koufax baseball card; practical Polly Chalmers, who runs the You Sew `n' Sew shop, welcomes Gaunt with a devil's-food cake, and buys an amulet to relieve her arthritis; her lover, Sheriff Alan Pangborn, who buys nothing but is haunted by the driving deaths of his wife and son; and Ace Merrill, coke dealer in a bind, who becomes Gaunt's handydevil and gets to drive Gaunt's Tucker, a car that's faster than radar and uses no gas. As he has for hundreds of years, Gaunt sells citizens whatever pricks and satisfies their inmost desires. But the price dehumanizes them, and soon all the townsfolk vent their barest aggressions on each other with cleaver, knife, andgun: Gaunt even opens a sideline of automatic weapons. By novel's end, the whole town is on a hysterical, psychotic mass rampage that floods morgue and hospital with the delimbed and obliterated. Then comes the big bang. Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Leland King's glee, or Steven Gaunt's, or rather—well, the author's—as he rubs his palms over his let's-blow-'em-away superclimax is wonderfully catching.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816154760
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 1044

Meet the Author

STEPHEN KING is a prolific and perennially bestselling author and an recognized master of the horror genre. He was the 2003 recipient of The National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

STEPHEN KING is a prolific and perennially bestselling author and an recognized master of the horror genre. He was the 2003 recipient of The National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 212 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(98)

4 Star

(64)

3 Star

(38)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 213 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2011

    A must read for the Stephen King fan...pulls you inside the book

    This book grabbed me from the start. I couldn't put the book down once I started reading. The descriptive detail makes the reader feel like he/she is in the book itself. For those who have seen the movie, the book has much, much more......

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    King knocks it right out of the park!

    This is really a spectacular piece of work. Its not like his typical classics such as misery, it, the shining, or cujo but it has this sense of unusualness that makes this novel special i highly reccommend this novel to anyone who likes Stephen King reads and wants to travel down a fun little side path.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2006

    A book that leaves you speechless!

    In this horrifying, yet thrilling novel, Stephen King gives a whole new meaning to the word evil. In small town Castle Rock, Maine, past and present fears are unleashed. This compelling story mixes the everyday drama and gossip of the small town life, with the magic and evil of what people consider ¿the unknown.¿ When newcomer Leland Gaunt arrives in town, and opens what the towns-people consider a suspicious store called Needful Things, people¿s attitudes begin to change. When eleven-year-old Brian Rusk decides to make his way into the store, he begins to think about what his mom would say to him if she found out. At first he is hesitant, but when he decides that maybe the store isn¿t so bad, he discovers that he has found what he has been searching for. Leland Gaunt has his way of wheeling and dealing, and at that moment Brain Rusk signs his soul to the devil, for one particular baseball card and doesn¿t even realize it. Polly Chalmers, a middle-aged woman with arthritis who runs the You Sew `n¿ Sew shop, decides to welcome the newcomer with a sinfully delicious cake. Little does she know the gift he is about to give her is sinful in its own way as well. She buys an amulet to relieve her arthritis and, like little Brian Rusk, she too sells her soul for something so small without realizing it. I honestly believe that this is the most exciting book I have read in a very long time. It definitely kept me wanting more. I would say this is an absolute must read. It is the type of book you never want to end.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    This was a very good read. It had me on the edge of my seat the

    This was a very good read. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time and I could not put it down! This is one of my favorite King books and he is not called King for nothing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    Do you want it or NEED it?

    One of my personal King favorites. We all have them...those things we can't live without...but at what cost? Enjoy the ride as this master of the macabre takes us on a journey which makes us question how much is too much?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2007

    Pretty Good

    This is the only Stephen King book that I really enjoyed. I think the story-line is good, especially the way all the separate elements get woven together.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2006

    Off the chain

    I knew this book was going to be great when I first got it. But I didn't know how good. I just found out that this was off the chain. And Leland Gaunt truely was the demon of all demons. He knew how to make a deal and he also knew how to manipulate you. This is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2005

    Exellent

    Awesome! Needful Things is one of favoites! Leland Gaunt is one of King's best villians! You gotta read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    Good job Stephen King. Needful Things is only the second Stephen King book I've read but I am already hooked to his writing style. He is so talented! I loved how all the characters and "pranks" came together. I loved that there was a detailed back story for every character and I felt like I truly knew every resident of Castle Rock! Such a great read and I would totally recommend this to everyone I know!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Highly recommend this book

    Stephen King is my favorite author and I love this story!! Makes you think! TThis is a must if your on the fence about buying! Great story that hits you in the gut , because it could really happen to all of us!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Still a classic

    Its a must read every year

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Great book

    My sister had to really convincce me to read this book as am not a Stephen KIng fan. I am so glad I finally listened. I couldn't put it down. Great Read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Amazing

    Stephen king did amazing with this book! You cant put it down its packed wih mystery you just want to keep reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    LOVE

    My first Stephen King novel was one with suspense and mystery. Had me gripped from the very first page!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Disappointing

    Certainly not vintage King! Not so much horror as the disturbing pitting against one another in the town and the cruel murder of a beloved pet dog. Will finish it only because I paid for it but it is an immense letdown!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    I became an instant fan after reading this book. Deliciously evi

    I became an instant fan after reading this book. Deliciously evil.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Needful things

    A very great read. Keeps you wanting to see what happens next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2012

    ISH!

    Just like every other King book, it goes on forever with details the reader does not need to know and animals get hurt.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2011

    Not so scary as weird & creepy

    Very interesting plot line. King very artfully pulls you in
    to the story but you have to put it down & digest what's going on
    before proceeding.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 10, 2010

    Great Read!

    Although this book may seem a little long, it is definitely worth the read! This book really brings out the dark side of Castle Rock. This book is about giving up our souls in order to fill some deep deep desire.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 213 Customer Reviews

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