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Needful Things Audiobook

Needful Things

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Publisher's Summary

There was a new shop in town. Run by a stranger. Needful Things, the sign said. The oddest name. A name that caused some gossip and speculation among the good folks of Castle Rock, Maine, while they waited for opening day. Eleven-year-old Brian Rusk was the first customer and he got just what he wanted, a very rare 1956 Sandy Koufax baseball card. Signed. Cyndi Rose Martin was next. A Lalique vase. A perfect match for her living room decor. Something for everyone. Something you really had to have. And always at a price you could just about afford. The cash price that is. Because there was another price. There always is when your heart's most secret, true desire is for sale.

©1991 Stephen King (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A sophisticated literary craftsman . . . his work anatomises . . . the social fabric of small-town American life." (Observer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (59 )
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  • T. Norman
    Dorchester, U.K.
    "On the whole, good..."

    I have nearly finished this story, and have to say how good it has been. It's really enjoyable to hear the author reading the characters, as they will use the accents they imagined at the point of writing.

    But, the music and sound effects interspersed throughout the reading are very off putting and don't really add anything to the atmosphere, but rather puncture it just at a point where I'd found myself lost in the importance of the events.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Caroline
    ambleside, United Kingdom
    "usual Stepehn King"

    Any fans on Mr King, will enjoy his usual style of writing, he brings each character to life in his own special way, and this book is no different.

    The story is great and I found myself waiting for the ring of the shop bell to see who was going in to buy something " needful". I found that the reading by the author added to the book and he little bits of music and the jingling of the door bell also added to the whole experience.

    So why only 4 stars...the ending. I do find a lot of stephen King books have a bit of a let down with the ending. It was not a bad ending, it was such a good and gripping tale that I was expecting something a little more. Having said that, dont let it put you off the book, it is a superb read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ap
    Swindon, United Kingdom
    "Not Great"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I felt this story dragged and I was forcing myself to listen to it as I didn't want to waste my money.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

    I have previously really enjoyed Stephen King so I wont let this book put me off.

    Do you think Needful Things needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no it dragged on too long as it is!

    Any additional comments?

    I felt this book just took far to long to get the end event. after a few chapters you worked out what was happening, it just takes forever to get there! disappointed!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • piers
    Midhurst, United Kingdom
    "Unravelling of the psyche in small town America"

    Needful Things is such a clever idea for a book, the line between order and anarchy and empathy and revenge has always been micro fine in society, nudge something slightly and watch the repercussions. This novel shows how socities and relationships can fall apart at a micro level when a malovelent force is pulling the strings.

    The building of tension in Needful things is brilliantly accomplished - another of Kings great skills. The townspeople and their foibles,weaknesses and desires can be applied to any country, race or religion and so the characters are believable.

    I loved reading this novel and this audiobook is very enjoyble. The only aspects letting it down are the music, which is just dreadful - a school child could have done better and it wouldnt up the production costs dramatically - and the narration. Stephen King reading the novel doesnt really work, I never think an authour reading their own books works. A gifted actor could have made this a perfect listen.

    If you fancy something unsettling then this novel is great. It is not remotely scary however. It's just a study on the worst aspects of the human psychology.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie
    Hitchin, United Kingdom
    "Very engrossing"

    This was my second Stephen King novel and I am now a fan of his. This story is creepy and kept you wondering what each character was up to but to me the best thing about the novel was the way commercialism is portrayed. What would you do for the object you have always wanted? If you are a character in this novel the answer is a lot.

    I'd highly recommend this novel if only to question if anything you own is "needful".

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • bob
    crowthorne, United Kingdom
    "enjoyable but not amazing"

    i'm a long time fan of Kings books, and i would have to say this was another really good example of a page turner, admittedly this is indefinably not his best book, but the chaos created in it was incredibly funny, at times the novelty wore of a bit, but the other characters reaction made it worth it, sometimes parts of the book just seemed to be almost glossed over by other events in the book, in one case a character breaks there neck and not much more than 2 sentences are given about it after, this does in my opinion actually add to the sense of chaos however i can imagine for some people it would be almost annoying. i haven't given to much away i think.

    all in all i would say read through some of the better books like: the dark tower series ( by far the best of his books, and explains a lot of characters in other books like the spider in "IT" however this series is quite an undertaking, i managed to finish all of them in 2 weeks and would say it was really well worth it), i would also suggest listening to the stand, the shining and under the dome. once you have gone through those maybe try some of the other books if your not sick of listening to people read to you by then :)

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Carrie
    "Mr King is not an actor"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I think this book should have been read by an actor as Stephen Kings voice is enough to send you to sleep. A real shame as I love his books.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Drone drone drone

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Dr Zube
    Ross on Wye, United Kingdom
    "A very sinister idea executed really well"

    I haven't listened to many King stories yet but this is a good one, with a central idea that is really quite interesting. It feels too long, and the idea is stretched to breaking point ins some parts but it works, and is pretty gripping. King's narration is good, and you get used to his accent very quickly. Its long, but if you have the time and you like King books I would certainly recommend this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joykie Burger
    Egham, Surrey, United Kingdom
    "Took me to a dark place"
    Where does Needful Things rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Quite low down, probably a 4 out of 10

    What did you like best about this story?

    It kept me intrigued

    What three words best describe Stephen King’s performance?

    Lacklustre, monotone and unclear

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


    Any additional comments?

    Very clever plot, I would have loved it had been read by a person qualified for the job.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mattias
    "Bad pacing"

    Amazing, mysterious start, turned so slow and predictable. A few chapters in the tempo is simply agonizing. Unsatisfying ending.

    Mediocre narration with music so poorly fitting it is close to comical.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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