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If It Bleeds cover art

If It Bleeds

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Will Patton,Danny Burstein,Steven Weber
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Publisher's Summary

Number one New York Times best seller

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).

Four brilliant new tales in If It Bleeds are sure to prove as iconic as their predecessors. Once again, King’s remarkable range is on full display. In the title story, fan-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.

“Exactly what I wanted to read right now,” said Ruth Franklin in a rave on the cover of The New York Times Book Review. “Phenomenal," said Brian Truitt in USA Today. “King still owns the fright business like none other.” 

©2020 Stephen King (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about If It Bleeds

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Narration is captivating!

I love listening to Will Patton. He is the best narrator I've listened to. The stories are great of course, love the "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" story and Will's voice as the young boy Craig is compelling, it was hard to stop listening.

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9 people found this helpful

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Love the novella format

Over 40+ years I've read/listened to nearly everything King has written. I have not loved them all. These are good, solid stories and worth a listen. Holly is narrated perfectly. I can't imagine her character coming to life as well if it were up to me to create her voice in my own head!

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3 people found this helpful

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Not Kings usual work

With the exception of Holly Gibbny returning, this felt like hype over very little.
King has been my author of choice for 4 decades, this was less wordy, less descriptive, less absorbing. The stories were ok but seemed incomplete.

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3 people found this helpful

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  • K
  • 2020-05-13

Couldn’t stop listening....

Best audio yet of King’s work. Gripping stories—I couldn’t stop listening. Worth the time!

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  • A
  • 2020-10-09

a mixed bag

Mr. Harrigan's Phone - okay, but nothing special

The Life of Chuck - great story. one of the best short stories I have heard from King. some very cool ideas beautifully described.

if it Bleeds- a continuation of the storyline from Mr Mercedes. I did not like that book, and was not a huge fan of this story.

Rat- really great storytelling. classic King here!

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Lackluster

They really will publish anything King writes, this is a jumbled mess I couldn't get into. Also the voice of Holly is unintentionally hilarious.

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Lazy

As a constant reader of novels Stephen King, I am becoming increasingly disappointed with his output. It’s a given, and I suspect Stephen King is not ignorant of the fact, that any new releases bearing his name will be snapped up by his fans. The fervor in which I now click on the buy button is waning on each release.

The plot, characters and intricacy of these stories, are frankly - in my honest opinion - increasingly lazy writing.

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More Holly! I love this character, I never wanted it to end.

I loved if it bleeds. Holly is an amazing character full of depth and intelligence. Can’t wait to read more about her.
I must admit I prefer a larger novel than these shorts but it was still a good read.

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He is the King

Now I know why my brother loved his books. Great stories. Can’t wait to start The Institute.

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Great Bedtime Listening

Oh I know, many people wouldn’t fall asleep listening to Mr. Kings work, but I find his stories so relaxing. I love how he peppers his stories with thought and feelings about how storied are born. Reading the other listeners comments is interesting because perhaps he’s using all of us as a basis of new stories. Perhaps the title will be “If it Reads”.

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  • Jason Sebesta
  • 2020-04-23

Chapter breakdown of the short stories

Mr. Harriman’s Phone - Chapters 1-5
The Life of Chuck - Chapters 6-9
If It Bleeds - Chapters 10-20
Rat - Chapters 21-62

I enjoyed the book and the audio adaptation. My only complaint is with the audible breakdown of not showing which story was which, that’s why I wanted to share the confirmed chapter breakdown to the book stories. Hope this helps and hope you enjoy the stories as much as I did! Stay safe and healthy...and slightly scared of what lies o the next page!

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  • Victor @ theAudiobookBlog dot com
  • 2020-04-22

Another Amazing Collection from the King of Horror

Stephen King is one of the best authors in the world. He has written more than 100 books, short stories, and novellas in almost all genres out there. I experienced many of them as audiobooks and just yesterday the Pre-order came in on my Audible app for If It Bleeds, his latest release.

If It Bleeds is another amazing work of fiction from the master, from the King of Horror and Suspense, bringing together four brilliantly written novellas. He could have released each of them individually and would have gone away with that, because each of them is long enough and strong enough to stand on their own.

The audiobook version of If It Bleeds is narrated by three great actors and they are doing an excellent job of bringing all of these remarkable characters to life. Will Patton and Steven Weber are well known and loved by fans of Stephen King for their amazing performances of It, The Outsider, The Myst or the Mr. Mercedes series. The other actor is Danny Burstein, a relatively newcomer in the audiobook industry, but after his delivery in this collection he might get famous fast.

I'll end this review by saying this: I spent the last 24 hours listening to If It Bleeds for more than 15 of them, I slept 8 and in what was left of the other hour, I thought about the book... With stories like this, our forced isolation in these demanding times would pass much easier.

Thank you Mr. King for all the amazing journeys you take us on everytime we read or listen to one of your works!

If you liked this review please vote Helpful below and find more of them here and on theAudiobookBlog.
I also post honest reviews at the author, narrator or publisher's request, you can get in touch with me for more details.

Thank you & stay safe,
Victor

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  • jbo
  • 2020-04-21

King of the short narrative!

Wow, Patton reading King, this is as good as it gets folks. Kick back in isolation and enjoy! This is what’s going to help get us all through what we’re all going through. And that’s just the first one.

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  • Bullwinkle J. Moose
  • 2020-04-26

Phoned another one in...

The “If it Bleeds“ story itself is okay - although too sanitized and commercial; perhaps it could have been a standalone - it’s surely not old school Stephen King and a lame attempt at selling another tv miniseries.

“Rat” maybe had some potential at one point, but ended up a hashed up rerun combination of several other stories.

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone too familiar- nothing special there at all - more reruns and rehashes.

The Life of Chuck” disjointed disappointing garbage.

This “Constant Reader” of Stephen King for 40+ years, from “Carrie” - first read in 1979- to now, says this one is neither a “find,” nor is it a “keeper.”

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  • Robert Jason
  • 2020-04-21

There will be blood...

IF IT BLEEDS is a great new collection of novellas by the master, Stephen King. I'm not a huge fan of King's shorter stories, but his novella's always feel like complete stories to me. The stories in IIB are memorable, and very timely. King hasn't lost his touch or his ability to get under your skin. Narration by Will Patton, Steven Weber, and Danny Burstein is flawless. Worth a listen, and worth a credit. A must for King fans.

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  • Breezybealle
  • 2020-04-24

My love/hate relationship with King is frustrating

I don't know what it is with me and Stephen King. I can't seem to NOT purchase everything he comes out with even though I'm almost always disappointed. His writing is so captivating that I find myself invested within minutes of the opening paragraph. I mean, he really is a master of prose and dialogue. Everything flows so naturally that it's hard not to place yourself at the center of anything he writes. I'm instantly transported into whatever world he creates. But for some reason, more often than not, I'm left with this overwhelming sense of "what the f!%k" just happened? Am I missing something.... like, entire pages of exposition? The endings NEVER equal the overall brilliance of the first 95% of the story. Or worse, there is no ending at all. And as most of us know, some of his novels can be biblical in length, so when you've invested that much time in in a story that kind of just fizzles out, it can be a bit of a letdown. But still... the journey is usually mostly worth it. Never scary, but always interesting. So I guess I'll always be hoping the next work of fiction will show me some light at the end of its tunnel.

If nothing else, the narration on these novellas were each outstanding. Will Patton is a vocal God. Just sayin'.

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  • Linda Long
  • 2020-06-08

So disappointed

I have always enjoyed Stephen King books. TheMany references to Donald Trump were So unnecessary to the story. I’m afraid I won’t be going with you again. I will have to get my scary stories from Dean Koontz from now on. People don’t read fiction in order to hear A political lecture.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-04-28

Politics don't belong!

I have always loved and enjoyed Stephen Kings books and this one is no different, the story was good and suspenseful but, politics don't belong in these stories. It's bad enough that we can't get away from it in every day Life, now we can't even escape it in a book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-04-21

fantastic

I love Stephen King! all his books are great and these readings are great too

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  • J. Briggs
  • 2020-04-22

The best Narrators, bar none

Steven Weber and Will Patton are so good that sometimes the quality of the plot doesn't matter. Luckily Stephen King delivers another set of short works that are original, focused, and brilliant. Danny Burstein Is great too, but I haven't heard him enough to be an expert.

Buy this if you like Weber and Patton and King.

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