From #1 New York Times bestselling author, legendary storyteller, and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas—Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, Rat, and the title story If It Bleeds—each pulling you into intriguing and frightening places.
The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, including “The Body” (Stand By Me) and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption). Like Four Past Midnight, Different Seasons, and most recently Full Dark, No Stars, If It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
What’s better than a new novella by Stephen King? How about four of them, all bundled together? There’s the shivers-inducing story of a teenager who discovers he can communicate with a deceased friend and a mystery involving detective Holly Gibney—a beloved recurring King character from The Outsider and the Bill Hodges series—who’s hot on the trail of a supernatural predator. The awesomely weird “The Life of Chuck” traces a surreal technological apocalypse back to one seemingly regular guy, while the funnily self-deprecating “Rat” follows a frustrated writer who makes a deal with a force even creepier than the devil. All the novellas in If It Bleeds are filled with King’s trademark dark freakiness and sympathetic characters and showcase his perfectly tuned ear for the rhythms of everyday dialogue. This isn’t just great genre fiction, it’s simply great fiction. That’s not to say that King’s book didn’t occasionally make us pull the covers up over our head. He sure knows how to find the horror in humanity.
The four never-before-published novellas in this collection represent horror master King at his finest, using the weird and uncanny to riff on mortality, the price of creativity, and the unpredictable consequences of material attachments. A teenager discovers that a dead friend's cell phone, which was buried with the body, still communicates from beyond the grave in "Mr. Harrigan's Phone," which reads like a Twilight Zone episode infused with an EC Comics vibe. In the profoundly moving "The Life of Chuck," a series of apocalyptic incidents bear out one character's claim that "when a man or a woman dies, a whole world falls to ruin." "Rat" sees a frustrated writer strike a Faustian bargain to complete his novel, and in the title story, private investigator Holly Gibney, the recurring heroine of King's Bill Hodges trilogy and The Outsider, faces off against a ghoulish television newscaster who vampirically feeds off the anguish he provokes in his audience by covering horrific tragedies. King clearly loves his characters, and the care with which he develops their personalities draws the reader ineluctably into their deeply unsettling experiences. This excellent collection delivers exactly the kind of bravura storytelling King's readers expect.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It’s King, the master story teller
Good book. I especially liked hanging with Hollyberry again. I read 100 + books a year and no one writes like Mr. King. It is simply a joy to read his prose. There’s not a Shawshank or A Body here, but all the stories are solid and entertaining. Well worth your time and $.
Just an offset
Had to offset the one jerk who gave it a one star before it released
As always, 5 stars
I don’t know how he does it but Stephen King always remains constant as far as expanding my mind! Every book I read of his takes me completely out of myself and into his fictional world, and this one is no exception. I especially love If It Bleeds, which is a Holly Gibney story, with references to the phenomenal The Outsider (and a few other non-related stories he’s written). If you are a Stephen King fan this book will not disappoint!!