Review: If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Rating: 9.0/10


From #1 New York Times bestselling author, legendary storyteller, and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas—Mr. Harrigan’s PhoneThe Life of ChuckRat, and the title story If It Bleeds—each pulling you into intriguing and frightening places.

The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, including “The Body” (Stand By Me) and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption). Like Four Past MidnightDifferent Seasons, and most recently Full Dark, No StarsIf It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer.


Thanks to the publisher, author, and narrators for a listening copy of If It Bleeds for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

King’s collections never disappoint, and If It Bleeds furthers that fact. There are few that hold a candle to the creativity and originality he brings to the table, but none match his prowess when it comes to short-form. If you consider yourself a fan of the master in any capacity, this is a must-have.

It’s funny… I have been a fan of King for a very short time, but in that time, I have pre-ordered and devoured every single novel he has come out with. This collection was more of a draw to me over his last release, The Institute, simply because it contained a new story starring Ms. Holly Gibney. While the cover didn’t really do much for me (I mean, it’s fine), what I found inside was truly worth the price of admisson.

When it comes to collections, I never want to speak to what the reader can come to expect from the stories, nor do I want to give short blurbs about their content. All I will say is that if you were a fan of his in the 80s, enjoyed his Bill Hodges trilogy and/or The Outsider, have admired his short stories over the years or ALL OF THE ABOVE, you will find a ton to love here. Just know that If It Bleeds, the title story, is double to triple the length of the other three (3) stories in the collection.

I saw that Will Patton and Steven Weber were going to be apart of the audiobook trio with newcomer Danny Burstein and was uber excited. While I am not familiar with Burstein, Patton and Weber are mainstays in my Audible library. Will Patton is actually a big reason why I have gotten into audiobooks more and more over the past couple of years, and it stands to reason because he is a superb narrator. He has narrated several of King’s more recent titles, alongside Weber who did the audio for IT, but I have to say that I really enjoyed Danny’s reading of The Life of Chuck in this collection and I look forward to seeing his name around a little more.

While I’d love to sit here and chat, telling you all about the stories and what hooked me in each one, you need to find out why this collection is so great for yourself.

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