If It Bleeds - Stephen King

If It Bleeds

By Stephen King

  • Release Date: 2020-04-21
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 1,448 Ratings



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.”


  • Very good

    I really like the stories. But it’s funny, the book could have been named after any of them. If it bleeds has a better ring to it I guess.
  • King needs to focus on horror

    By Trentfire
    This book feels rushed, all over the place and just not scary at all. I think King needs to stop cramming his politics down your throat and letting you know how much he loves Trump and just focus on writing a good horror story. The King may have finally lost it.
  • A good read, definetely worth the money

    By Ken Swervo
    The majority of the stories were very engaging, and I felt particularly immersed in the last of the four, King’s writing style definetly drew me in. However, the short story titled If It Bleeds was difficult to get into. I found that the ongoing analysis of the news reporter tended to bore me, and I felt as if there was no direction to the plot, or it was difficult to follow at least. However, the story picks up relatively well about half way through, but I wish there was more meaning to this story imparticular. The beginning story including Mr. Hariggan was interesting enough, even though I still struggle to understand the point of the story. However, the second and last stories, in my opinion have meaning and insight that I will continue to chew on for the next few weeks, and I love the demostration of the general premace “I contain worlds, and I have the right to be amazing.” The last story presents a moral dilemma that I will also enjoy breaking down, and I do not regret my purchase at all. A good read in the end. Definetely worth it.
  • Good stuff!

    By voodoo 1031
    Great to meet a few new characters and a wonderful visit with familiar faces.
  • Underwhelming

    By Seanyouf@$&
    Overall I enjoy his stories. I have read all of his book and this one did not disappoint. The only thing I could do without was his constant political opinions on Trump. I got it, you don’t like his opinions but just write your books clown.
  • Addictive

    By Craft Kahn
    The only particular reason I loved this book is because of the first story. Mr. Harrigans phone was both clever and more appealing to a kid. It was amazing, especially all the twists and absolutely flawless. The other three stories not do great, especially anti-trump bias—completely un called for.
  • Simply for anti trump

    By dtsuxxx
    All these trumpsters being crybaby’s and giving the bad ratings simply makes me wish to give it a good rating 😂
  • Good collection

    By Sdfrdeghfrjed
    Nice group of stories. All at a decent length. Don’t know what all the Trump whining is about, there were more jabs at blacks then at Trump...
  • Political Bias

    By Bob335524633
    Anti-Trump bias makes this unreadable.
  • Classic King

    By xKel
    Amazing storytelling, as always. Notable mention to “The Life of Chuck”, which is written unlike any other story I’ve read from King. It captured me as much now as when I first read “Nightmares & Dreamscapes”. To those rating low because of politics: that’s sad and you must be new here.