If It Bleeds

If It Bleeds is a collection of four novellas by Stephen King, released in 2020. As a long-time fan of King’s work, I was excited to dive into this new collection and was not disappointed.

The first novella, “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” is a poignant and spooky tale about a young boy who befriends an elderly man and helps him transition into the digital age by buying him an iPhone. The story has a creeping sense of dread that builds to a heart-wrenching climax, exploring themes of mortality and the relationship between technology and the supernatural. The second novella, “The Life of Chuck,” is a surreal and experimental story that is difficult to describe without giving away too much. Suffice it to say that it is a series of interconnected episodes that jump back and forth in time, following the life of a man named Chuck as he faces various challenges and revelations. While the narrative structure can be disorienting at times, King’s evocative prose and vivid characterizations keep the reader engaged.

The third novella, “If It Bleeds,” features one of King’s most iconic characters, the retired detective Holly Gibney, who previously appeared in the Bill Hodges trilogy and The Outsider. In this story, Holly is investigating a series of child murders and finds herself drawn into a web of supernatural intrigue. The novella is tense and gripping, with King deftly blending elements of horror and crime fiction to create a compelling and unforgettable tale.

The final novella, “Rat,” is a classic horror story about a writer who becomes obsessed with a rat infestation in his apartment. King’s vivid descriptions of the rodents and their gruesome antics are sure to give readers nightmares, while the writer’s descent into madness is both chilling and tragic. Overall, If It Bleeds is a strong addition to King’s body of work, showcasing his mastery of multiple genres and his ability to create memorable characters and situations. Fans of his previous works will find much to enjoy here, while newcomers will be treated to a tantalizing glimpse of one of the most prolific and celebrated authors of our time.

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