If It Bleeds

Stephen King. Scribner, $30 (448p) ISBN 978-1-982137-97-7
The four never-before-published novellas in this collection represent horror master King at his finest, using the weird and uncanny to riff on mortality, the price of creativity, and the unpredictable consequences of material attachments. A teenager discovers that a dead friend’s cell phone, which was buried with the body, still communicates from beyond the grave in “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” which reads like a Twilight Zone episode infused with an EC Comics vibe. In the profoundly moving “The Life of Chuck,” a series of apocalyptic incidents bear out one character’s claim that “when a man or a woman dies, a whole world falls to ruin.” “Rat” sees a frustrated writer strike a Faustian bargain to complete his novel, and in the title story, private investigator Holly Gibney, the recurring heroine of King’s Bill Hodges trilogy and The Outsider, faces off against a ghoulish television newscaster who vampirically feeds off the anguish he provokes in his audience by covering horrific tragedies. King clearly loves his characters, and the care with which he develops their personalities draws the reader ineluctably into their deeply unsettling experiences. This excellent collection delivers exactly the kind of bravura storytelling King’s readers expect. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/21/2020
Release date: 05/05/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-0479-9
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-7755-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-0480-5
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