If It Bleeds (Unabridged)
*#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*
Includes “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone”—now a Netflix original film starring Donald Sutherland and Jaeden Martell!
From the legendary storyteller and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new “exceptionally compelling novellas that reaffirm [King’s] mastery of the form” (The Washington Post).
Readers adore Stephen King’s novels, and his novellas are their own dark treat, briefer but just as impactful and enduring as his longer fiction. Many of his novellas have been made into iconic films, including “The Body” (Stand by Me) and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption).
The four brilliant tales in If It Bleeds prove as iconic as their predecessors. In the title story, reader favorite Holly Gibney (from the Mr. Mercedes trilogy and The Outsider) must face her fears, and possibly another outsider—this time on her own. In “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” an intergenerational friendship has a disturbing afterlife. “The Life of Chuck” explores, beautifully, how each of us contains multitudes. And in “Rat,” a struggling writer must contend with the darker side of ambition.
If these novellas show King’s range, they also prove that certain themes endure. One of King’s great concerns is evil, and in If It Bleeds, there’s plenty of it. There is also evil’s opposite, which in King’s fiction often manifests as friendship. Holly is reminded that friendship is not only life-affirming but can be life-saving. Young Craig befriends Mr. Harrigan, and the sweetness of this late-in-life connection is its own reward.
“An adroit vehicle to showcase the…nature of evil” (The Boston Globe), If It Bleeds is “exactly what I wanted to read right now,” says Ruth Franklin in The New York Times Book Review.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
What’s better than a new novella by Stephen King? Four of them! There’s the shivers-inducing story of a teenager who discovers he can communicate with a deceased friend and a supernatural mystery involving detective Holly Gibney (a beloved character from King’s novels about dogged investigator Bill Hodges). The awesomely weird “The Life of Chuck” traces a surreal technological apocalypse back to one seemingly regular guy, while the hilariously self-deprecating “Rat” follows a frustrated writer who makes a deal with a force far creepier than the devil. All four stories are filled with King’s trademark freakiness, his sympathetic and relatable characters, and his perfectly tuned ear for the rhythms of everyday dialogue. Narrators Steven Weber, Danny Burstein, and King audiobook vet Will Patton read King’s concoctions with the conversational ease of a ghost story told around a campfire. This isn’t just great genre fiction, it’s simply great fiction.
An exciting read!
I enjoy a good short story. Easy to get into, and easy to fit into a tight schedule. King’s If It Bleeds, fit the criteria perfectly. King has a fabulous writing style. Each felt as big and bold as any of his epics. Nothing super creepy on display here unfortunately. I do enjoy a big scare more often than not, but the supernatural still soaks a good majority of these pages. Certainly worth a read for any King fan, veteran or new.
Not the Steven King I remember. I guess I’ve outgrown his style of writing
The first story had a Hitchcock feel but I felt like it was too long, the second story.. I’m not sure what I read (the three acts are read in backwards order, ending with the beginning of the story.) I enjoyed the last two stories the best, here the pace picked up and I was very intrigued.