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If it Bleeds

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,709608,525 (3.84)34
A collection of four uniquely wonderful long stories, including a stand-alone sequel to the No. 1 bestseller THE OUTSIDER.News people have a saying: 'If it bleeds, it leads'. And a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School is guaranteed to lead any bulletin.Holly Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case of a missing dog - and on her own need to be more assertive - when she sees the footage on TV. But when she tunes in again, to the late-night report, she realises there is something not quite right about the correspondent who was first on the scene. So begins 'If It Bleeds', a stand-alone sequel to the No. 1 bestselling THE OUTSIDER featuring the incomparable Holly on her first solo case - and also the riveting title story in Stephen King's brilliant new collection.Dancing alongside are three more wonderful long stories from this 'formidably versatile author' (The Sunday Times) - 'Mr Harrigan's Phone', 'The Life of Chuck' and 'Rat'. All four display the richness of King's storytelling with grace, humour, horror and breathtaking suspense. A fascinating Author's Note gives us a wonderful insight into the origin of each story and the writer's unparalleled imagination… (more)
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» See also 34 mentions

English (58)  French (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I love King's short stories/novellas and this is another great collection. ( )
  huntersun9 | Sep 1, 2022 |
I've been undecided whether to bother leaving a review or not. It's not like Stephen King needs my input or opinion to boost his book sales. I will just say I enjoyed the first story the most because I like coming of age tales with a spooky twist. The last story didn't do it for me at all. Stories of writers striking deals with...whatever in order to write a great book have kind of played out and been done to death. The second and third stories were just ok. If I rated the 4 stories in order of appearance it would be 5 stars 4 stars 3 stars and 2 stars. For me the stories grew progressively worse. If I add that up and divide it by 4 stories I would rate the book at 3.5 stars. ( )
  IreneCole | Jul 27, 2022 |
3.5 ( )
  McBeezie | Jul 27, 2022 |
Another great selection of short stories by the Master of Horror!

There are only four stories in this book and I will set them out with a tiny tidbit of what to expect without giving away spoilers.

Mr. Harrigan's Phone:

This was told in the first person of Craig and how he was involved with an elderly neighbor man by the name of Mr. Harrigan. The story revolves around a cell phone that Craig gives Mr. Harrigan for Christmas one year and how their friendship grows.

Life of Chuck:

The apocalypse has happened within this story which revolves around a man named Chuck and why there are billboards with his name etched into them.

If It Bleeds:

This story revolves around characters from the Stephen King's book "The Outsider" and with an explosion that happens at a middle school. It is best to read the book The Outsider to understand this story as it not only involves the characters from that book it also has references to that story as well.

Rat:

This story is about a man named Drew who seems to be struggling trying to finish a novel, but when during a storm a rat comes across his path things go awry after that which really becomes a strange story, but then again this is a King novel and it is to be expected that there are strange things brewing within the pages.

Thoughts for all the stories:

All of them were very good, but my favorites were Mr. Harrigan's Phone and If It Bleeds. All the stories were classic King though and when this book was released I was excited about the one story " If It Bleeds" as I have been wanting to reconnect with the characters from "The Outsider" as that book is one of my favorites, so I really wanted to sink my teeth into this book. As always the Master of Horror has done it again with creating short stories that give the reader something to think about. Five stars for creative horror!
( )
  BookNookRetreat7 | Jul 25, 2022 |
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone:
This was probably my least favorite of the stories, which isn't saying much because it was still a great story. A dilemma of whether Craig should accept help beyond the grave and whether he stops himself before going to far.

Life of Chuck:
This story was so unique and honestly unlike anything I have read before. How one person's world is the center of another whole world. Written in a very unique backwards format and it just makes you think.

If It Bleeds:
I have not read The Outsiders. I did read the Mr Mercedes trilogy. It was so great to be pulled back into this world with Holly as the lead. Based on the ending, I do hope to read more about these characters that King has made me fall in love with.

Rat:
I ADORED this short story. A writer who's only dream is to finish that elusive novel without letting himself be broken makes a hard choice. Was it worth it to finally write a novel, especially when it wasn't truly his own will that wrote it? ( )
  kayfeif | Jul 7, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
...as classic as his novels are, his shorter fiction has been just as gripping over the years, and includes such classics as "The Body" and "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption."...King still owns the fright business like none other, but the iconic author will keep you up late at night engrossed in four tales about our dreams and our frailties.
added by Lemeritus | editUSA Today, Brian Truitt (Apr 29, 2020)
 
...the mid-length narrative suits his talents particularly well, permitting a degree of expansiveness while maintaining a controlled, disciplined approach to the material at hand. The results are stories that cover a surprising amount of emotional territory but can still be read in a sitting....In “If It Bleeds,” King continues to draw from a rich and varied reservoir of stories. At its best, his work remains deeply empathetic and compulsively readable. May the reservoir never run dry.
added by Lemeritus | editWashington Post, Bill Sheehan (pay site) (Apr 20, 2020)
 
The straightforward cadences of King’s voice, paired with his signature sit-down-and-let-me-tell-you-a-story style, were immediately soothing. And the stories he was telling — about the seductions and corruptions of technology, the extremes of beauty and depravity in even the most ordinary life, the workings of a universe we can never entirely understand — were somehow exactly what I wanted to read right now.... I wouldn’t begrudge any reader refuge in familiar pleasures, least of all now. We all need solace wherever we can find it... As sirens blare outside my Brooklyn window and the headlines grow more apocalyptic by the day, I might start working my way through King’s backlist. He’s good company in the dark.
added by Lemeritus | editNew York Times, Ruth Franklin (pay site) (Apr 19, 2020)
 
The master of supernatural disaster returns with four horror-laced novellas....King has gone a far piece from the killer clowns and vampires of old, with his monsters and monstrosities taking on far more quotidian forms—which makes them all the scarier. Vintage King: a pleasure for his many fans and not a bad place to start if you’re new to him.
added by Lemeritus | editKirkus Reviews (Mar 15, 2020)
 
This set of novellas is thought-provoking, terrifying, and, at times, outright charming, showcasing King’s breadth as a master storyteller. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: King’s love of short fiction makes this a powerful addition to his megapopular oeuvre and fans will be on the hunt.
added by Lemeritus | editBooklist, Craig Clark (Mar 15, 2020)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jean EschTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patton, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Thinking of Russ Dorr
I miss you, Chief.
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My home town was just a village of six hundred or so (and still is, although I have move away), but we had the Internet just like the big cities, so my father and I got less and less personal mail.
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He should have bought stock in Anheuser-Busch, that was how much he drank. He could do it because he was retired, and comfortably off, and very depressed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A collection of four uniquely wonderful long stories, including a stand-alone sequel to the No. 1 bestseller THE OUTSIDER.News people have a saying: 'If it bleeds, it leads'. And a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School is guaranteed to lead any bulletin.Holly Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case of a missing dog - and on her own need to be more assertive - when she sees the footage on TV. But when she tunes in again, to the late-night report, she realises there is something not quite right about the correspondent who was first on the scene. So begins 'If It Bleeds', a stand-alone sequel to the No. 1 bestselling THE OUTSIDER featuring the incomparable Holly on her first solo case - and also the riveting title story in Stephen King's brilliant new collection.Dancing alongside are three more wonderful long stories from this 'formidably versatile author' (The Sunday Times) - 'Mr Harrigan's Phone', 'The Life of Chuck' and 'Rat'. All four display the richness of King's storytelling with grace, humour, horror and breathtaking suspense. A fascinating Author's Note gives us a wonderful insight into the origin of each story and the writer's unparalleled imagination

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Book description
If It Bleeds is a collection of 4 novellas
- Mr. Harrigan's Phone
- The Life of Chuck
- If It Bleeds
- Rat
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