Book Review: If It Bleeds

IF IT BLEEDS | Stephen King
05.05.2020 | Scribner
Rating: 4/5 stars


Stephen King has put together a collection of four short stories within IF IT BLEEDS that explore interesting and uncomfortable circumstances for our main characters. This collection is comprised of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, If It Bleeds, and Rat. Each story focuses on a new main character placed into a situation that forces them outside of their comfort zones. Faced with death, loss, danger, and tough decisions, these characters navigate their circumstances in only a way Stephen King could dream up.


Possible spoilers ahead…

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone: This story explores the notions of friendship and loss and how we choose to reflect on these things during the course of our lives. I thought this story was quite fun! I enjoyed that King included technology as a mechanism to drive the plot of the story. 4 stars!

The Life of Chuck: A story of the world ending and how one man’s life plays a role in that journey towards destruction. I loved the way that this story was told and broken down into almost three separate stories. 4 stars!

If It Bleeds: Holly Gibney is back! I probably would love anything about Holly, so my thoughts may be biased, but I really found this story enjoyable. My biggest gripe is that it felt a little like The Outside 2.0, which is fine, but I would love to see Holly experiencing something new! 4 stars!

Rat: The story of an author determined to write his first novel at the risk of anything. I wanted so much more from this story! I felt there was a lot of potential and while King didn’t really head the direction I was hoping, I did still feel committed to the outcome of the plot. 3.5 stars!

Overall I had fun reading IF IT BLEEDS! I enjoyed seeing King create some shorter stories and look forward to reading more of his collections in the future!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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