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If it Bleeds

by Stephen King

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9914215,573 (3.83)28
From legendary storyteller and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas, each pulling you into intriguing and frightening places.
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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Four decent offerings starting with Mr Harrigan’s Phone, a ghost story with a difference. Not exactly scary, yet there’s a little chill when that number rings… The Life of Chuck is a strange tale which may well garner split views. Still, I felt there was a fine sliver of fear at the end, touched with a sweet sentiment. If It Bleeds adds to the story begun in The Outsider. While not ‘necessary’, it’s always good to spend time with Holly Gibney, especially if one has read the Hodges’ trilogy. Like King, I love Holly. Rat concludes this quartet of stories, but will stick in my mind the most. Though not chilling, there are ‘moments of madness’ that, as a writer, likely creeped me out for obvious reasons: the madness that is part of writing. I was expecting a darker ending, but perhaps subconsciously (either King’s, or mine, or both), there seems to be more than one subtext here reflecting the process of writing itself. These are not the most spooky of King’s tales, but made for an overall pleasant and well worth read. ( )
  SharonMariaBidwell | May 21, 2021 |
Two good, one not so good, and one exceptional story from King. Loved Rat (except for the title) and Krantz. Especially Ktantz which was thoughtful and novel at the same time It had many styles but I felt for the guy. Rat ended well but Bleeds was Kitschy and forced.

And as always a smooth read.

Always lookingforward to the next one. ( )
  JBreedlove | Apr 24, 2021 |
As good as the written book! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Apr 4, 2021 |
As big a fan of Stephen King as I am, I have always preferred his shorter works over the novels for which he is most famous. Every time he releases a new collection of short stories or novellas, I eagerly anticipate being transported back to my high school and early college days when I first read NIGHT SHIFT and SKELETON CREW, then reread them over and over again.

Unfortunately, as a grown-up, the days of rereading anything for pleasure seem to be far in my past, although the temptation is certainly there for this newest of King novella collections, IF IT BLEEDS. Similar to DIFFERENT SEASONS and FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT, IF IT BLEEDS contains a selection of four stories that fall somewhere between short story and novel in length and would therefore probably be labeled novella. Of the four, two stood out to me as being most like the vintage King of my rereading youth. "Mr. Harrigan's Phone," about a boy who places a cell phone in a deceased man's coffin and then calls it, and "Rat," about a writer who completes his first novel with some fairytale-style supernatural assistance, were by far my favorites because they most reminded me of the King that wrote stories like "Gramma" and "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet."

"Life of Chuck," which is the second story in the collection, is different in that it is technically three short stories all about the same man. Together, they tell his life story in reverse. I mostly enjoyed "Act III" (the first of the three stories that comprise "Life of Chuck,") but as a whole, this was much more difficult for me to get through than "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" and "Rat." It was also a bit disappointing in that I expected there to be a point to King telling the story in reverse order, a reveal of some kind that connected the "beginning" to the "ending" that I'd already read. Alas, that point never emerged in a meaningful way.

As for the title story, "If It Bleeds," King mentions in his afterword that the main character Holly Gibney is a personal favorite of his, one that was intended to be an extra in the first Bill Hodges book (Mr. Mercedes) and ended up taking on a life of her own throughout the Hodges trilogy and into The Outsider. Although it was nice to revisit the character, "If It Bleeds" read like a shorter repeat of The Outsider to me. It featured a different creature who had lived a long, Pennywise-like life going mostly unnoticed but was mostly about Holly suspecting, tracking, and then eliminating the creature: a tale already told.

That said, I enjoyed this collection of shorter works and, if adulthood will ever allow me a brief trip back to the energy and long days of my young adulthood, I would definitely return to it for a reread of both "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" and "Rat." ( )
  Isaac_Thorne | Mar 12, 2021 |
My bad, I thought it was a novel. However, the stories were pretty good. Nice book. ( )
  juju2cat | Mar 5, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From legendary storyteller and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas, each pulling you into intriguing and frightening places.

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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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