I love this book and have read it many times.
I love how King peppers in little mentions of other people's "needful things". Hugh Priest's foxtail is actually moldy and bare in places. Myra's sunglasses are actually held together with tape. The foreshadowing is subtle and you almost miss it.
I would only select a narration by Stephen King if it were the only unabridged version, or the only version at all of a book I'd like to listen to.
Stephen King having read it so I didn't have to.
Leland Gaunt? (I am blind I'm guessing at the spelling).
I like the depth of characters, King's performance isn't spectacular but I can forgive that.
They did with Ed Harris and Max Von Sydow. I loved it too!
I believe this to be one of King's best works EVER. The magical weaver of words defines people, places, and actions with an ease that's mesmerizing at times. However, this book, like some of his others can get explicit and gory at times which may drive some away. Nevertheless, the characters and message of this book are truly fascinating and the way it is told is absolutely captivating.
Stephen King reading this book is more of a treat than a performance to me. I love to hear authors read their own works. It's kind of like getting a personal insight as to how they would hear their own characters voices and attitudes.
Overall, buy this book. It's a true classic.
This is a great example of what Stephen King does best: he examines the effect of unusual events on groups of people and watches them descend to their basest or noblest levels.
Paranoid covetousness is a phrase used in the novel, and it perfectly encapsulates the book. What happens when people are free to buy what their hearts desire most? Many, if not all of them, descend to levels of greed and nastiness which are perfectly described.
The novel only takes place over a short period of time, but it has the usual cast of characters, and the interplay between and among the residents of small-town Maine growing progressively more disturbed is riveting.
I for one like the narration by Stephen King. As the author, he doesn't mispronounce words or put emphasis in the wrong places. He has kind of an interesting New England accent, but it fits perfectly. Although he's not a professional reader, he does a very creditable job with women's voices, children's voices, and a host of men's voices.
One of Stephen King's great strengths as an author is his character depiction and development, and Needful Things is another solid example. While it may not be his most epic work, it's a good and satisfying read and listen, and well worth the credit.
I've read this book many times, it's one of my favorites by this author, and the audiobook did not disappoint. Often audiobooks read by their author can be a flat affair, but King does this one justice. It's obvious this is a book he enjoyed writing as he enjoys reading it to us as well.
and do nasty things to each other. The author states this is a black comedy about greed and obsession. It’s not a genre for me. Instead of laughing at people, I was going ugh and oh - too much anger and stupidity.
Gaunt a demon (or devil) comes to town. He meets with many people. He knows each person’s weakness and greatest desire. He has a hypnotizing effect, fulfilling each person’s desire and compelling them to do a task. This task is something mean to another person and keeping it secret.
CAUTION SPOILER an example:
Gaunt tells Brian to throw rocks to break windows, the tv, and other items in Wilma’s home. The rocks have notes saying Nettie did it. Gaunt tells Hugh to kill Nettie’s dog with a note saying Wilma did it. Instead of talking to each other, Wilma and Nettie are enraged. They grab knives and kill each other simultaneously.
Actually the above kill scene was funny. I laughed, but I didn’t laugh at other kill scenes.
So, most of the story is getting to know people and watching them enjoy and obsess about whatever Gaunt gives them. They take extreme measures to protect it because they fear losing it. They do a task which is usually destroying A’s property and leaving a note saying B did it. Then A and B attack each other in a rage. Throughout this, the framed people don’t talk to each other or report damage to the police. No one acts in a rational manner.
A couple of characters eventually do some smart things at the end. It is sort of a happy ending. But so many people were foolish, vicious and dead, that it didn’t feel good. And, the ending was weak. It was the hand of God (or other power) coming in to fix things. Where was this power earlier in the story? Why does it appear only at the end? I can accept it - just mentioning - it was weak.
WHAT I LIKED:
I loved getting to know so many characters living in a small town. The author is great with descriptions and dialogue.
One unexpected reaction I had was feeling grateful that I didn’t have some of the problems these people had. One woman had such severe arthritis in her hands, she couldn’t zip a zipper, and she was in pain most of the time. What an awful way to live. Also a teen who stuttered who wished he didn’t. Stephen does this exceedingly well. I’ve read about similar problems in other authors’ books and didn’t feel as much empathy as I felt here.
Stephen King narrated this book, and his acting was very good. His accent probably fits the characters in the story. But I’d prefer an actor with a “generic accent.” Stephen says Mondeeey, Tuesdeeey, and a few other things that I’m not used to. I kept thinking this is Stephen the author. I’d prefer not thinking about “who” is narrating and just be immersed in the story.
Genre: paranormal suspense.
Ending: somewhat bad for the bad guy, barely good for a few good guys.
Stephen king should stick to writing not telling the story. Not as good as some of his books but no author writes perfect for everyone. his worst is still better than most peoples best.
Stephen King is the pinnacle of horror writers. I read this book years ago and now listening to Mr. King when he narrates it makes it that much better.
Norris Ridgewick was my favorite; he succumbed Gaunt's poison but managed to redeem himself in a big way.
Aunt Evvie was my favorite although just about every character was spot on.
Name is perfect - would not change it.
I tried to read this book when it came out in 1991 and quit after 50 pages.
A few years later I tried to read the book again and made it around 200 pages and quit again. I couldn't get into the story.
Fast forward to 2013 and purchased the book when I saw Stephen King was narrating. I did not want to stop listening. I have always enjoyed Stephen King audiobooks more when he is reading them. He is so engrossing to listen to. I listened to the last seven hours in one day. I even followed along with the novel for the last 50 pages. I would highly recommend this to anyone.
I would have to say I liked actually reading the book vs audio. I love when King narrates his books and using music is a common prop during his readings BUT... the music was loud at times, (which wasn't the main reason for not liking it) and corny??? That is the word that comes to mind when it was played. Almost out of place. Maybe that only makes sense to me??? lol Either way the few issues I had with the music wouldn't stop me from listening again. Like most King books its kind of slow to start but thats why we love King right??? all the details and time he invests in setting up every character. I often wonder what 1 day in his head feels like. Kudos S.K.!
Worth the credit
This is a typical Stephen King book, and I don't mean that in a bad way. If you enjoy his other books, you will (most likely) enjoy this one. The plot is good, good characters and Mr. King is the narrater (and does a great job). Really good except for one thing, the music / sound effects.
I always read reviews before purchasing and quite honestly, I was irritated at all the complaining about the music. Really, how bad could it be? The answer is pretty bad. It is of poor quality, does not fit what is happening in the book, is too loud and many times goes on too long.
When I started listening to the book (remember I had in my mind this one issue was overblown), I was thinking about the review I would write slamming all the people complaining about the music. For awhile, it was not that bad, it could just as easily not have been there, but was not much of a distraction. But as the book progressed, there were times it went on and on, and at a volume that made it difficult to understand Mr. King. The producer was like a kid in a candy store with a pocket full of money, not realizing that just because he could put in the extras, does not mean they should.
Still, I enjoyed the book and the narration. I would recommend this book, even with it's production flaws.