Saturday, June 6, 2020

Book Reviews - If it Bleeds; Stephen King and The New Husband; D.J. Palmer

TITLE:  If it Bleeds
AUTHOR:  Stephen King
PUBLISHER:  Simon & Schuster Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2020
Setting: varies
Format: library audio / download
Rating - 4/5

Stephen King's latest releases is a collection of (4) novellas, similar to his Full Dark No Stars, a collection which I loved.

Mr. Harrigan's Phone (my favorite) - Craig has done errands for his reclusive, elderly neighbor (Mr. H) since the age of 9.  As the boy gets older he also spends time reading to his neighbor. Mr. H is a bit cheap but always remembers Craig on holidays and his birthday and Craig can count on him including a scratch lottery ticket along with the card.  On one occasion Craig, now a teen, wins $3,000 on the ticket. He has he father cash the ticket in and with his winnings he buys an iPhone for himself and also one for Mr. H as a thank you.  Mr. H is amazed at what this phone is capable of.  When Mr. H dies unexpectedly, Craig is left an $800,000 inheritance. At the wake, Craig decides to hide Mr. H. iPhone in his suit pocket, because he loved it so much.  When Craig realizes the phone still rings after his death, Craig leaves the most unusual message and calls in a favor. 

Beautiful, revengeful tale told in my favorite style: first person narration.

The Life of Chuck - A story that begins in reverse order with what feels like the end of the world. Told in (3) parts, it has that surreal feel: earthquakes, food is scarce and what on earth has happened to the internet?

Well craft, just not a huge fan of reverse order story telling.

If it Bleeds - The longest story of the (4), this one brings back characters from previous King work: the Bill Hodges trilogy. Detective Holly Gibney and Det. Ralph Anderson have their work cut out for them.

I was expecting to like this one the best and, although it was good, it wasn't my fave.

Rat - This one in some ways made me thin of The Shining. Drew is a writer who is struggling and frustrated. He moves to a cabin for solitude. There is an element of blood and horror and, yes, the writer, just might be going insane.

I think this was my second favorite and made me think of King's earlier works.

I loved that at the end King shares what had inspired him to write each of these stories.  The audio version has (3) separate readers who each did a terrific job: Will Patton, Danny Burstein and Steven Weber.

AUTHOR:  D,J. Palmer
PUBLISHER:  Macmillan Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2020
Setting: NH
Format: Library download/audio
Rating - 3.5/5

Nina Garrity's husband disappeared on a fishing trip. He was alone on his boat except for the family dog, Daisy.  Daisy is found with blood on her paws and there is blood in the boat but, no body has surfaced.

Nina is the mother of (2) teens and needs to move forward with her life. She may even have to move back home with the kids to her parents house in a different state. but, then Simon, the perfect man, comes into Nina's life.  He's a teacher who seems to know just what to say and what Nina needs but, things Nina seems blinded by, her teenaged daughter, Maggie is not. and she's determined to find out more about him.  How does Simon know so much about all of them? Is Simon really that perfect man or is there a darker side to this widower?

I loved the way this story started out but, wow, I wanted to slap Nina pretty quickly. She was just so oblivious to the obvious. Her behavior was not how most responsible mothers would act IMO.  Secrets, lies and plot twists, their were too many, you have got to be kidding moments, to make this one a winner for me.


  1. I've downloaded the Stephen King book and can't wait to listen while I walk! It's been a long time since I've read one of his books and I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the audio edition.

  2. The first novella in the King book sounds really good. I love the idea of the relationship between the teen and his older neighbor.

  3. The King book sounds entertaining and a good audio! I like that he talks about each story too.

  4. I think I can take a pass on The New Husband. Enough frustration in life right now without being mega-annoyed with book characters. LOL

  5. I read the first two stories in Full Dark, No Stars and then got sidetracked. I'd like to finish them sometime. I want to read If It Bleeds too. The New Husband sounds good.

  6. Some of the King stories, especially that first one, sound good. I've struggled buying in to any of King's novels in recent years because they seem to be padded and go on forever, but I still enjoy his novellas and I think they are his real strength. Considering how verbose the guy is, I do wonder sometimes if the novellas are short stories that got out of hand...just kidding.

  7. That first novella sounds good, I like the premise of the young boy and old man and the last phone call.

  8. We do kind of like the King of Creep.

  9. Diane, I'm glad that you enjoyed these audio books. (Isn't it interesting that you can find the word obvious in the word oblivious?!)

  10. Interesting reviews. Maybe I'll get to the King book sometime this summer.

  11. I've never read Stephen King. Mr. Harrigan's Phone and Life of Chuck both sound so interesting, though. I'm not a huge fan of reverse order storytelling either, but that premise definitely has me curious...

  12. Is this the year I will read Stephen King? Could be.

  13. I really hate when I spend too much time wanting to slap a main character.


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