If It Bleeds #BookReview

Stephen King | pub: April 2020 | 448 pp

Im on a bit of a short good run with King, claiming he was ‘back’, at least with me, after reading The Institute. That good read lead me to listing this book and The Outsider on my tbr. I know exactly when I loaded it on my kindle, needing…desperately wanting, something that would quickly engulf me while standing in line to early vote, in November. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. (In the book or voting😜)

The book is a collection of longish, short stories with very little in common besides the overwhelming creepiness of each.

Mr. Harrigans Phone: A young man looses a close mentor to death, or so he thinks. The young man calls his mentors phone to hear his voice and maybe talk to him on the message. Of course assuming the messages goes no where and eventually, the phone will die, but it never does and the cries for help he leaves the dead man, get answered. Arguably my favorite story because, believing loved ones are watching over us is one thing, but them actually answering our requests after death? Thats an entirely different thing!

The Life of Chuck: This one was a bit anticlimactic for me. Its the life a man told backwards starting from his near death. We meet him through people that have never met him, while their lives are falling apart. The internet is failing, California is slipping into the ocean and there are ‘so long’ messages to Chuck Krantz on billboard’s and news stations. My least favorite story, im hoping King picks this guy up in a future novel and develops his story.

If It Bleeds revolves around Holly Gibney, Supernatural Detective. She notices clues no one else picks up on about a school bombing. Holly has appeared in other King stories but I like her best here. At the time I read this, I had not read The Outsider. I would recommend reading it first before this story. It will give you a better appreciation for Holly’s character.

Rat: Ive wondered if this story was a bit of self reflection on Kings on process. Here, a writer is attempting to complete his first novel after several past failures. Oh, he’s written plenty of short stories with some success but every time he tries to complete a full novel, the bottom falls out of his life. This time a toy monkey grants him a wish of a successful novel, at the cost of something he loves. Be careful what you wish for. King is always teaching us that!

I enjoyed all these stories! In true King fashion they kept me up late and offered endless hours of creepy concern that someone close to me may not be ‘just right’. Good book #60

If you liked this book, check out:

Full Throttle, by Joe Hill

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Stephen King

Imaginary Friend, Stephen Chbosky


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