Needful Things Art
Works / Novels

Needful Things

Needful Things Art


October 1991

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Viking Press

Leland Gaunt opens a new shop in Castle Rock called Needful Things. Anyone who enters his store finds the object of his or her lifelong dreams and desires: a prized baseball card, a healing amulet. In addition to a token payment, Gaunt requests that each person perform a little "deed," usually a seemingly innocent prank played on someone else from town. These practical jokes cascade out of control and soon the entire town is doing battle with itself. Only Sheriff Alan Pangborn suspects that Gaunt is behind the population's increasingly violent behavior.

From the Flap

With a demonic blend of malice and affection, Stephen King says goodbye to the town he put on the map -- Castle Rock, Maine . . . where Polly Chalmers runs You Sew and Sew and Sheriff Alan Pangborn is in charge of keeping the peace. It's a small town, and Stephen King fans might think they know its secrets pretty well; they've been here before.

Leland Gaunt is a stranger -- and he calls his shop Needful Things. Eleven-year-old Brain Rusk is his first customer, and Brian finds just what he wants most in all the world; a '56 Sandy Koufax baseball card. By the end of the week, Mr. Gaunt's business is fairly booming, and why not? At Needful Things, there's something for everyone.

And, of course, there is always a price. For Leland Gaunt, the pleasure of doing business lies chiefly in seeing how much people will pay for their most secret dreams and desires. And as Leland Gaunt always points out, at Needful Things, the prices are high indeed. Does that stop people from buying? Has it ever?

For Alan and Polly, this one week in autumn will be an awful test -- a test of will, desire, and pain. Above all, it will be a test of their ability to grasp the true nature of their enemy. They may have a chance . . . But maybe not, because, as Mr. Gaunt knows, almost everything is for sale: love, hope, even the human soul.

With the potent storytelling authority that millions of readers have come to prize, Stephen King delivers an Out Town with a vengeance, an inimitable farewell to a place his fiction has often and long called home.


I guess I was one of the few people in the United States who thought the eighties were really funny. It was a decade in which people decided, for awhile, at least, that greed was good and that hypocrisy was simply another tool for getting along. It was the last hurrah for cigarettes, unsafe sex, and all sorts of drugs. It was the final corruption of the Love and Peace Generation--The Big Cop-out--and I thought it was a case of having to laugh. It was either that, or cry. I was thinking about all this one night while driving home from a basketball game, and my thoughts centered on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, of the PTL Club. It occurred to me that in the eighties, everything had come with a price tag, that the decade quite literally was the sale of the century. The final items up on the block had been honor, integrity, self-respect, and innocence. By the time I got home that night, I had decided to turn the eighties into a small-town curio shop called Needful Things and see what happened. I told myself to keep it light and surreal; that if I just kept in mind the Bakkers' doghouse, which had been equipped with heaters and running water, I would be okay. And that's what I did. The book didn't review well. Either a lot of critics didn't get the joke or didn't appreciate it. The readers liked it, though, and that's what matters to me.


Hide List Show List
The dog who went rabid
Cat of Myra Evans
Nettie Cobbs dog
Castle Rock Trout
Tammy Faye
George T Nelson's pet parakeet
?, Felicia
Took the Photo of Lester Pratt and Judy Libby
?, Irvina
Kid at school
?, Sarah
Aunt of Polly Chalmers
?, Timmy (Too-Tall)
Driver for the Flying Corson Brothers
Bannerman, George
Retired sheriff
Bates, Norville
Short order cook at Yor Best Diner.
Beaufort, Henry
Owner & Bartender of the Mellow Tiger bar.
Beaulieu, Donna
Best Friend of Erin McAvoy
Beaumont, Thaddeus (Thad)
Mentioned by Alan Pangborn.
Bellingham, ?
Boy Brian Rusk's age
Bissette, Antonia
Died of a broken neck
Bissonette, Ricky
Worked at Sonny's Sunoco
Bonsaint, Mr.
Husband of Stephanie
Bonsaint, Stephanie
Part of the Ash Street Bridge Club
Bradford, Deke
Public Works boss.
Brigham, John
Local priest
Brigham, Sheila
Sheriff's dispatcher
Brooks, ?
State Police officer
Burgermeyer, Phil
In Church fight
Burgmeyer, Helen
Had a seizure through the night
Camber, Charity
Wife of Joe Camber
Camber, Joe
Owner of Cujo
Catlin, Jimmy
Computer whiz who went to school with Al Pangborn
Chalmers, Evelyn (Aunt Evvie)
Great Aunt of Polly
Chalmers, Kelton
Deceased son of Polly Chalmers.
Chalmers, Lorraine
Mother of Polly.
Chalmers, Newton
Father of Polly Chalmers
Chalmers, Patricia (Polly)
Runs "You Sew and Sew" in Castle Rock. Girlfriend of Alan Pangborn.
Chambers, Chris
Once terrorized by Ace Merrill
Chung, Martin D.
Chief legal council for San Francisco Department of Child Welfare
Clooney, ?
Broke the Jerzyck's window playing baseball
Clutterbuck, Andy
Police officer in Castle Rock. Husband of Melissa
Clutterbuck, Melissa
Town Treasurer. Wife of Andy
Cobb, Albion
Husband of Nettie.
Cobb, Netitia (Nettie)
House keeper for Polly Chalmers.
Constatine, Mr.
Pharmacist at LaVerdiere's super drug
Copeland, Nat
In jail with Ace Merrill.
Corson, Dave
Firearms and drug dealer. Brother of Mike
Corson, Mike
Firearms and drug dealer. Brother of Dave
Crompton, George
Cop who drank at the Blue Door Bar
Cross, Harry
Cop who drank at the Blue Door Bar
Dawson, Stanley
Friend of Brian Rusk
Delkey, Kevin
Friend of Sean Rusk
DeLois, ?
Boy Brian Rusk's age
DeWeese, Mrs.
Dodd, Frank
Castle Rock Police officer
Dodd, Mrs.
Mother of Slopey Dodd
Dodd, Slopey
In school with Brian Rusk.
Dorfman, Carl
Roommate of Al Pangborn
Doyon, Peter
Friend of Hugh Priest
Drake, Rosalie
Works with Polly Chalmers
Duchamp, Teddy
Once terrorized by Ace Merrill
Dugas, Bobby
Works at the Public Works Department
Dunham, Lucille
Waitress at Nan's Diner
Edwards, Steve
Friend of Lester Pratt
Emerson, Mr.
Bought a gun at Needful Things
Evans, Chuck
Husband of Myra
Evans, Mrs.
Nurse at the Northern Cumberland Hospital
Evans, Myra Josephine
Best friend of Cora Rusk.
Fortin, Charlie
Drinks in the Mellow Tiger bar
Frankel, Donny
In school with Brian Rusk
Frankel, Everett
Physicians assistant working with Dr Van Allen.
Frazier, Steve
Former Castle Rock Head Selectman
Friedman, David
Ballistics expert for State Police
Fullerton, Bill
Second Selectman of Castle Rock, and the town barber
Gagnon, Timmy
Owner of Riverside BBQ Delish
Gamache, Homer
Beaten to death with his artificial arm near Homeland Cemetery
Garson, Scott
Castle Rock barber
Gaunt, Leland
Proprietor of Needful Things
Gavineaux, June
Wife of a dairy farmer.
Gendron, Albert
Dentist in Castle Rock
Gendron, Henry
Husband of Yvette
Gendron, Yvette
Wife of Henry.
Hanlon, Jay
One of the Hanlon twins
Harper, Norman
In the Baptist church. Friend of Reverend Rose
Haverhill, Mrs.
Lived next door to the Jerzyck's.
Hemphill, Don
On the Republican State Committee
Hemphill, Wanda
Wife of Don Hemphill
Hendrie, Miss
Nurse at the Northern Cumberland Hospital
Higgins, Naomi Sarah
Maiden name of Naomi Peebles
Hopewell, Mark
Real Estate agent
Horton, Mike
Journalist from Norway's "Journal-Register"
Jackett, Sonny
Jerzyck, Peter Michael
Husband of Wilma. Real estate agent
Jerzyck, Wilma Wadlowski
The woman who Brian Rusk had to upset
Jessup, Naomi
In the Church
Jewett, Frank M.
Johnstone, Deborah
In the Baptist church
Keeton, Bill
Uncle of Danforth, and Brother of Ronald.
Keeton, Danforth (Buster)
Castle Rock Head Selectman
Keeton, Myrtle
Wife of Danforth
Keeton, Ronald
Father of Danforth Keeton.
Killingsworth, Reverend Tom
Methodist Minister
Lachance, Gordon (Gordie)
Was picked on by Ace Merrill
LaPointe, John
Police officer in Castle Rock
Laurence, Shirley
Danforth Keeton's secretary
Lawes, ?
One of the Lawes Boys
Lawless, Mona
Teacher. Friend of Sally Rutcliffe
Libby, Judy
In a photo with Lester Pratt. His ex-girlfriend
Longman, Henrietta
Owned and operated the Beauty Rest
Lutjens, Irene
Friend of Sally Rutcliffe
MacFarland, Bill
Friend of Lester Pratt
Marchant, Billy
Student at School
Martin, Albert
Lawyer husband of Cynthia Martin.
Martin, Cynthia Rose
Part of the Ash Street Bridge Club
Martin, Nonie
In school with Brian Rusk
McAvoy, Erin
8th Grader who saw "dirty" books in Jewett's office.
McDonald, John D.
McEntire, Reba
Drinks in the Mellow Tiger bar
McGinley, Brion
School Geography teacher
McMillan, Sandra
Part time police Dispatcher
Mellon, Fred
Baptist Deacon
Merrill, John (Ace)
Childhood boyfriend of Myra Evans. Came back to town to work at Needful Things.
Merrill, Reginald Marion (Pop)
Used to run The Emporium Galorium, a junkshop. Uncle of Ace Merrill.
Meyers, Sally
In school with Brian Rusk
Miller, Barbara (Babs)
Part of the Ash Street Bridge Club
Milliken, Len
In church fight
Milliken, Miss
Bought a gun from Gaunt
Mislaburski, Jillian
Next door neighbor of the Jerzyck's
Morin, Ducky
Supplier of drugs to Ace Merrill
Morris, Trooper
State Trooper
Morrison, ?
State Police Officer
Myers, Rose Ellen
Friend of Lucille Dunham
Neadeau, Butch
Castle Rock Overseer of County and Social Services
Nelson, George T.
Gay Woodshop teacher
O'Neal, Father
Castle Rock priest
Palin, John
Vet in South Portland
Pangborn, Al
Son of Alan and Annie
Pangborn, Alan J.
Sheriff. Boyfriend of Polly Chalmers
Pangborn, Annie
Wife of Alan. Died
Pangborn, Todd
Son of Alan. Died
Partridge, Lenny
Oldest man in Castle Rock.
Payton, Henry
Head of Oxford Barracks
Peebles, Naomi Sarah
Wife of Sam Peebles
Peebles, Sam
Owner of the store where Needful Things opened.
Pelletier, Francine
Part of the Ash Street Bridge Club
Perlmutter, John L.
Deputy director of San Francisco Department of Child Welfare
Pervier, Gary
Killed by Cujo
Pollard, ?
Neighbor of Nettie Cobb
Potter, Howard
Friend of Albert Martin.
Potter, Lenore
Bought Howdy Doodie puppet
Potter, Mr.
Husband of Lenore. Boss of Mr Bonsaint
Pratt, Lester Ivanhoe
Fiancee of Sally Rutcliffe. School physical education teacher
Price, Joe
State Policeman
Priest, Hugh Albert
Works for the Public Works department.
Priest, Natalie
Best friend of Darlene Vickery
Pulaski, Frieda
Friend of Wilma Jerzyck. Wife of Jake
Pulaski, Jake
Friend of Pete Jerzyck. Husband of Frieda
Ramage, Nancy
Head Nurse at Castle Rock Family Practice
Ratcliffe, Sally
Brian Rusk's speech therapy teacher.
Ridgewick, Henry
Father of Norris
Ridgewick, Norris
Castle Rock Sheriff
Ridgewick, Phil
Brother of Henry
Roberts, Nan
Owner of Nan's luncheonette
Rose, William
Castle Rock Reverend
Rossignoi, Meade
Threw up on Gendron
Rubin, Fred
Friend of George T Nelson
Rusk, Brian
Gaunt's first customer
Rusk, Cora
Mother of Brian
Rusk, Mr.
Father of Brian.
Rusk, Sean
Brother of Brian
Ryan, Dr. Henry
State chief medical examiner
Samuels, Harry
Only mortician in Castle Rock and Castle Rock Selectman
Sayers, Bill
Worked at Western Auto
Scopes, Dr.
Neurologist from Portland
Seguin, Brian
Boy who asked Sandy Koufax to sign his baseball card, which was sold to Brian Rusk by Gaunt
Sheehan, Paul (Duke)
Ex- boyfriend of Polly Chalmers
Skillins, Irma
Principal of Junction City High School
Smith, Johnny
Discovered the identity of Frank Dodd
Sparrows, The
Thought about by Alan Pangborn (
St. Clare, Ariadne
Full time secretary for council selectmen
Stark, George
Character in Alan Pangborn's dream.
Tanner, Alice
School secretary
Tessio, Vern (Penny)
Once terrorized by Ace Merrill
Thomas, Seaton (Seat)
Police officer in Castle Rock
Tierney, Tim
State Attorney General
Treblehorn, ?
Old man whose land was given to Pop Merrill as payment for a loan
Tremayne, Vic
Friend of Lester Pratt
Trenton, Donna
Attacked by Cujo. Mother of Tad
Trenton, Theodore (Tad)
Son of Donna
Tucker, Preston
Owner of Tuckers Automobiles.
Tupper, William (Billy)
Cleaner at the Mellow Tiger bar
Van Allen, Ray
The only family doctor in Castle Rock
Vickery, Darlene
8th Grader who saw "dirty" books in Jewett's office.
Vigue, Betsy
Daughters of Isabella Activities chairwoman
Warburton, Eddie
Head custodian of Municipal building
Whitman, Charles
Eagle Scout who climbed to the top of the Texas tower and killed over 24 people
Williams, Amanda (Mandy)
One of the Board of Selectmen of Castle Rock. Friend of Myrtle Keeton
Williams, Tansy
Daughter of Amanda Williams
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