critical book reader
A wonderfully told eternal story of temptations, desires, and a price we are willing to pay!
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.
I really enjoyed hearing Stephen King tell me a story. He's a master at his craft and it was wonderful to hear him tell it. Just enough authentic Maine in his voice to do the story right.
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.
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.
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.
I love Patricia Cornwell, Ann Rule and all true crime stroies. However my very favorite is The Help
I am new to the Stephen King experience and I love most of them and his narration makes the stories more personal somehow. Needful things gives me food for thought, it’s true in life we all have something or a memory most of us would do just about anything to have or have that time back. Again the story is good not his best in my opinion but the music is distracting and takes away from the experience.
Stephen King is one of those authors who make more than decent readers for their own books, and my quarrel lies not with his rather good performance. No, it is the quality of the recording that bothered me throughout. It sounds like the audio file was made by copying the original cassette tapes, without adjusting or polishing up the sound. King's voice seems to come from far away and the 1990's sound effects distract from the story and make it seem dated. Too frequent and distracting bits of late 80s music interrupt the flow of the narrative. Very disappointing, because the book remains a solid read.
King is a great writer however, His narration is to monotone. The Background music is very distracting.