11 May 2020

Review: If It Bleeds by Stephen King

If It Bleeds by Stephen King cover
* Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia *

If It Bleeds is the latest release by Stephen King and is a collection of four short stories, which include:

  • Mr Harrigan's Phone
  • The Life of Chuck
  • If It Bleeds
  • Rat

My favourite in this collection was the first, Mr Harrigan's Phone. King has a magical way of writing kids that gets me every time. This time our protagonist wasn't in a group of misfit kids riding around on bikes, but a solitary type hired by the rich retiree up the road to read to him. It was such a terrific story, it was easily my favourite of this collection.

Having started so strongly, the others were okay in comparison.

The title story If It Bleeds is actually a novella which is a sequel to The Outsider published by Stephen King last year. Even if you haven't read The Outsider, you should still be able to make sense of the case Holly Gibney of Finders Keepers is pursuing.

Rat was about a writer whose life long ambition was to write a novel and reminded me a little of Jack Torrance in The Shining.

I watched a discussion between Stephen King and fellow bestselling author John Grisham recently where King mentioned that he enjoys writing short stories and when he writes one he puts it away, and then every so often he'll 'gather them together' for another collection like this.

I've enjoyed a number of his collections over the years (see below) and have every reason to hope this won't be his last.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Full Dark, No Stars
Just After Sunset

Carpe Librum!

My Rating:
★ ★

Would you like to comment?

  1. Do you like the collections more than the novels?

    1. Mmmmm, I don't think I do, no. I just checked and it's been 9 years since I gave a Stephen King novel 5 stars and that was Under The Dome. I think he's pretty much an automatic author read for me though and I'll always be interested in what he puts out.


Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!