If It Bleeds: Mr. Harrigan's Phone, The Life of Chuck, Rat

· Sold by Simon and Schuster
271 reviews

About this ebook


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.

Ratings and reviews

271 reviews
February 24, 2021
I like the book but the narrator for IF it Bleeds reads in an off putting way. He has a robotic cadence. He pauses in the middle of words and finishes them with a different inflection. He seems to be out of breath. This intensifies when he speaks as Holly. I was listening to another book he narrated and could finish because of this. It's like riding in a car with someone who constantly pats the gas to maintain 65 mph for 10hrs instead of using cruise control.
11 people found this review helpful
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arlene hall
July 20, 2020
Helped me forget about all this news about that virus for a little while at least. I loved the cabin in the Maine woods would so like to go there If I do not have to drive my new car. I am thinking about writing a novel myself. Isn't everybody? I would not try for fiction though. Mine is a biography so all I do is dig up my past that is strange enough. That first story I would have liked it to go on longer and follow the young man, Craig, into adulthood and further. Will Mr. Harrigan still be able to help him?
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June 4, 2021
You know I liked most of it but wish he would keep politics out of it. Last 2 books all he does is talk trash. Well this has made me say no more of Stephen Kings books. He needs to pull his fingers out of Hollywood elites butts. Start writing like he use to.
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About the author

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes the short story collection You Like It Darker, Holly, Fairy Tale, Billy Summers, If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, Doctor Sleep, and Firestarter are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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