If It Bleeds

By Stephen King

If It Bleeds - Stephen King
  • Release Date: 2020-04-21
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 1,858 Ratings



Includes “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone”—now a Netflix original film starring Donald Sutherland and Jaeden Martell!

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).

The four brilliant tales in If It Bleeds prove as iconic as their predecessors. 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.

“An adroit vehicle to showcase the…nature of evil” (The Boston Globe), If It Bleeds is “exactly what I wanted to read right now,” says Ruth Franklin in The New York Times Book Review.


  • Great

    By MEDohrmann
    Stories were quick and great set of short stories. Particularly liked Rat and The Life of Chuck. Very different than many of King’s other stories.
  • Strange Yet Intriguing Nonetheless

    By Raelljazzmine
    In the beginning it felt uncertain and out of place, but while reading the whole thing it gave terrifying chills I mean this is Stephen King we’re talking about! And this is my second Stephen King’s book since reading the green mile. Other than that, not too bad!
  • Great!

    By Shamilton818
    Loved the trump bashing more than anything! P.S. HE LOST
  • Interesting Read

    By JessCampbell
    I really enjoyed all the stories but I especially loved the one about the “Outsider”. Stephen King never disappoints.
  • King

    By jdofnminar
    Another top shelf King collection
  • Pretty Good

    By Squigglesmybagle
    All four books were good. I enjoyed the story “If It Bleeds” that continues the story of Holly Gibney.
  • Boring

    By sdtlw
    Tried of the trump bashing. Done with king
  • 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.