If It Bleeds

If It Bleeds

New Fiction

Book - 2020
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This is an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas - "Mr. Harrigan's Phone," "The Life of Chuck," "Rat," and "If It Bleeds" - each pulling you into intriguing and frightening places.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, ©2020.
ISBN: 9781982137977
Characteristics: 436 pages ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: King, Stephen 1947-


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Aug 31, 2020

Another Stephen King short story collection to add to the impressive list. It’s interesting bringing characters from novels back around again, because their story just isn’t finished and they still have more to say. King is already very good at scaring your socks off, which happens at least once here! But pay attention and you might just find something to warm your heart. I’d also like to take this time to kindly ask you, library book reader, please stop dog- ears on library books. This is where you fold the page down to use as a bookmark to hold your place. This copy had dog-ears every few pages. You can do this to your own books that you pay for, but please don’t do it to expensive library books that pass through many hands. If you fear you will always lose a bookmark, try an audiobook.

Aug 10, 2020

The title story is satisfyingly full of Finders Keepers characters. SK is a master at people. Here he asserts that the monsters that harm us, and feed off our pain & grief may be a virus, an alien among us. He also contemplates his rocking chair.

Aug 09, 2020

Really enjoyed Mr Harrigan's Phone, If It Bleeds and Life of Chuck. Rat was my least favourite - it gave me the jitters.

Aug 02, 2020

Another sure-to-please collection by King. There's horror King and then there's unnerving King. These stories are more of the latter. The master storyteller will take you for a ride with phone calls with the dead, a deal with the devil, monster chasing, and even one with an apocalyptic slant told in reverse. I just love how he mixes the weird stuff with average people living everyday lives. Longtime fans will slurp it up, and newbies will scramble for his back list. 4 stars.

Jul 27, 2020

Stephen King-always brilliant and definitely always original. I thoroughly enjoyed the further adventures of Holly Gibney in his title story, If It Bleeds and the other stories are King at his very best. This great book was worth waiting for and I look forward to his next. Be prepared to be scared!

Jul 26, 2020

I liked all of the stories in this book, and meeting Holly again was a pleasant surprise. I hadn't read any reviews so had no idea what to expect with this book. There's nothing super-scary here, but I love the characters from Mr. Mercedes and The Outsider. "Rat" was a cool story, and it deals with questions of morality, conscience, and what people are willing to do for success.

Jul 21, 2020

Enjoyable reading. Glad he didn't write it with his son! Stephen King is awesome. The end.

Jul 17, 2020

Luv me some King !!! Always awesome 😎

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jul 13, 2020

Serviceable King short fiction. The first two pieces are better than the last, IMO...but this may be because I haven't read enough recent King novels to be familiar with the character in the third piece. The fourth one is really just another in King's long line of stories about middle-aged authors out in the woods trying to finish their novels, which is kind of a tired trope for him and it shows.

Jun 30, 2020

Very entertaining short stories.....my favourite was Mr. Harrigan’s Phone.

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Jul 08, 2020

dldavis32 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and under

Mar 31, 2020

Emfo_0 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Sep 02, 2020

"Free samples are fine, but if you give people too much for-free, whether its clothes or food or information, they come to expect it." - Mr. Harrigan to Craig upon the gift of an iPhone with internet capability.

Aug 26, 2020

"I sometimes thought of an African proverb I’d read in one of my classes: 'When an old man dies, a library burns.' "


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Aug 26, 2020

Mr. Harrigan's Phone

If we could communicate with the dead, would we do so? Would it prevent "Rest in Peace?" Would we hurt ourselves? In a fit of anger, text, "I wish that guy was dead!" Then find out later, he's been killed in an accident. Careful what you wish for!

The Life of Chuck

Starts with the end of the world as the characters begin seeing a retirement ad that seems odd because it's so mundane (given all the natural disasters.) "Charles Krantz. 39 Great Years. Thanks Chuck!" So who is Charles Krantz? The rest of the story answers the question. Also introduces the idea that when a mind dies, an entire world can go with it.

If It Bleeds

Follows Holly, a character introduced in the novel "The Outsider."
When a bomb goes off in a school, Holly discovers that the carnage is the work of a shape shifting creature that feeds off terror and grief. With the help of friends at her detective agency, Holly and company are able to lure the creature into a trap. Only from the mind of Steven King: death by automated talking elevator! King might also be having a little fun with on-line translation apps. Detecting an emergency, a robotic voice in the elevator calmly instructs everyone to, "Panic! Panic! Panic!"


Drew Larson is writing a novel when he catches a severe case of the flu. He is delirious when he dreams (or is visited by) a talking rat. It will help him finish the book, but someone Drew knows has to die. The rat suggests an elderly friend who has cancer. Drew agrees because a talking rat can't possibly be real. Drew finishes the novel, and it gets published. He has forgotten about the rat. When Drew gets news his elderly friend and his wife have been killed in a traffic accident, he remembers the rat's bargain. He seeks out the creature and they argue. Drew thinks the rat would make a good lawyer. It has a loophole or a technicality to dismiss all of his objections. Life goes on and Drew resumes teaching and family life. He tells himself the rat had to have been bad dreams. Life is full of strange quirks of fate. A man survives cancer only to be killed in a car wreck. Sometimes maybe there are no explanations. However, Drew has no intention of ever writing another novel.

Common Themes: Aging & Mental Accuity, Death & Dying


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