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Needful Things

Narrated by: Stephen King
Length: 25 hrs and 10 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (1,227 ratings)

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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

Critic reviews

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

What listeners say about Needful Things

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrated by the author

Perfect! Stephen King knows his characters and their inner voices better than anyone else could! You get the full 3D version here!!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Naff ending

Reminiscent of Salem's Lot in that an old guy opens a shop in a quaint town and is not all he seems. The residents find themselves buying items they feel they 'need' and go to extremes to keep them.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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".

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed

As it is read by the author you know the story is being told as intended to be.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Rereading an old favourite

Rereading in a fashion, as this is the first time I've listened to the audio version. An added bonus was that it is read by the author, and that gives it a special feeling. There's nothing not to enjoy about this book.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The music ruins it massively.

Overall, Needful Things is a fantastic book. Hell, it’s SK, what more can we expect? However, the one thing that lets this audiobook down is the excessive use of music during the opening scenes. There have been times when I’ve actually been unable to hear the story because for some reason, there is ‘atmospheric’ music playing in the background. If the music played for 10/15 seconds at the most, it’d be bearable. But no, you’re talking about 5 minutes of music playing OVER the narration. Why? Please someone, why?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

why ?

the music was terrible there was even a slow xmas carol at 1 point . and during a gruesome scene when there was knifes and a cleaver involved u couldn't hear the narration for the stupid music. there was static noises throughout the recording aswell

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Billy
  • 20-04-16

Great Book and narration

Great story and wonderful narration from the author. The only thing out of place is the music. Totally unnecessary. Still worth a listen though!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nikki
  • 25-01-14

Why ?

What did you like best about Needful Things? What did you like least?

What is WITH the random music ? I'm really not liking it !

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

No loud unexpected music !

What aspect of Stephen King’s performance would you have changed?

The music

Was Needful Things worth the listening time?

I'm sure the story is worthy of the master wordsmith that is Stephen King but I just can't concentrate on it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Toni
  • 09-10-12

Hang in there.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not bad, at first it took some time for me to get used to Stephen King's raspy voice, I am not always a fan of Authors reading their own work, just because you can write dosn't mean you should read it. However, once through that it was ok.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The characters, I always like Kings mix of busy characters coming and going and their individual lives within the story. As usual I am finding all this effort goes into the story and characters yet the ends don't seem to hold or produce the impact I expected.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The use of Raul Esparza [Narrator for Under the Dome] may have been a better choice than the Author himself.

Could you see Needful Things being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

This book was made into a movie in the 80's I believe.

Any additional comments?

All in all an ok book to listen to, just allow yourself to get beyond Mr King's rough voice.
Enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sally earl
  • 23-09-20

Another spell binder from mr king

I read lots of reviews before listening to this book and was a bit worried about the comments on the music. Have no fear. The music is appropriate and fits in wonderfully. As for Mr King narrating the book. I love it. He does it best of all. The story was very clever and I enjoyed every bit of this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzanne Beacroft
  • 26-05-20

Rivetting!!

This is a " can't put it down" kind of book. Fast moving plot with believable characters. Great read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-09-19

Superb

Superb book. No one knows a book like it’s author, Stephen Kings delivery is excellent.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karl
  • 26-03-19

Simply great

While Mr King might arguably not have the best voice for audiobook narration, there’s something very special (to me any way) hearing the author read his own tale. More so, Mr King’s voice, particularly when narrating Leland Gaunt, took on a slight Vincent Price tone, which I loved. I devoured this book, finding reasons to keep my headphones in for longer each day. Some reviews also lambasted the music, though I found it helped the story - each key character had his own theme - which helped me keep track as to who was being featured, particularly when the story jumped from character to character. After giving this a listen, my next step is to look up the movie version, with Ed Harris.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Fen
  • 17-03-16

Typical early King quality, poor performance

Why did King narrate this himself? How on earth has he been allowed to narrate 3 (that I know of) of his books? He really needs to stick to the writing, at which he's brilliant. As a narrator... Let's just say I don't think he'd make a living if that was his day job. Good story, but perhaps not up to the awesome standard of most of the work he's produced in the last few years, but hard to recommend in terms of this recording because of his boring, toneless and dreary delivery.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kobus slabbert
  • 31-10-15

Needful things

The best reader I hat the pleasure listening to.
The best writer.
I only rate books with stars and don't write a review.
This is my first review. It was so good I must say something.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jo
  • 09-08-15

Wonderfully compelling

Would you listen to Needful Things again? Why?

I would listen to this over and over. This book keeps you entranced from beginning to end. This was the second book of Stephen King's I have read and it will not be last.