*#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*
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).
Four brilliant new tales in If It Bleeds are sure to prove as iconic as their predecessors. Once again, King’s remarkable range is on full display. 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.
“Exactly what I wanted to read right now,” said Ruth Franklin in a rave on the cover of The New York Times Book Review. “Phenomenal," said Brian Truitt in USA TODAY. “King still owns the fright business like none other.”
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.
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.
Another win for the King
I loved these stories! King’s ability to transport the reader into the stories was greatly enhanced by the narrators, all of which did a great job. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook.
I Was a King fan but he seems to have lost his charm. All of these stories start strong but finish poorly. Predictable. King seems to be spending too much time finding ways to slip in his political views. I reed to get away from politics. I’ve read my last King story.