©1991 Viking Penguin; (P)1991 Penguin HighBridge Audio
King is a great writer however, His narration is to monotone. The Background music is very distracting.
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.
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 rarely give up on a book or find myself not listening. And that goes double for Stephen King books!!! He should stick to writing. He has an awful nasal quality to his voice and has added strange noises and sound effects to this. Not to mention the book is just plain boring!!!! Don't waste a credit.
I would be willing to listen to Needful Things again simply because I love the story - I think it's one of Stephen King's best, most genuinely fiendish books - it's clever, wicked, tragic, and fun, if you can imagine all those attributes rubbing elbows in a novel.
The character of Leland Gaunt is amazing, and his powers of manipulation are unparalleled. He plays everyone in Castle Rock like a cheap guitar, absolutely everyone - and the fallout is amazing to watch.
I have a problem with most authors narrating their own books, and it's usually for the same reason every time. Mr. King is a native New Englander and, being from the South myself, it is difficult to forget that I am listening to Stephen King the guy from Maine, rather than simply listening to the story itself.
There are places in the audiobook where the speaker is drowned out by overly-enthusiastic (and overly long) keyboarding, and some of it is just downright painful. I'd list the character of Ace Merrill, who somehow earned his own theme music, as an example. Whenever his character makes an appearance, queue the theme music ... Also, there are several places in which loud static seems to have made its way onto the master copy. The audiobook needs a complete overhaul: a narrator with a neutral accent, and the removal of sound effects and music, which distract from rather than enhance the listening.
Needful Things for Your Heart's Every Desire: Caveat Emptor! While I realize a lot of people might not know what the Latin phrase means, it might inspire them to Google it, at least.
I feel a little guilty about this review because (1) I'm an enthusiastic Stephen King reader, and (2) I've read this particular book many times, so my review seems a little harsher than I mean it to. I love the story, and am not sorry I bought or listened to it, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't need some help in the production department.
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.
Something that didn't include irrational killing of innocent animals
King's performance is never as good as those of professional readers. He lacks the depth needed. Great writer, but lousy reader.
King is a fascinating writer, but sometimes he steps over boundaries for readers who don't want to deal with murder, especially killing of innocent animals that serve only to paint a darker picture of a story..
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.
Report Inappropriate Content