Review: If It Bleeds, by Stephen King

Stephen King is a master storyteller. He’s often classed as writer of horror, but as one who generally doesn’t read horror, I think that’s not entirely accurate. In this collection of short stories (some would say, novellas) what comes out very clearly is how much the author cares about his characters. There are moments — such as when a busker’s day is transformed by the spontaneous decision of a banker to dance in the street — that are genuinely moving. And unlike standard horror stories, often the supernatural elements are not what they seem. In the final story, after thinking it over (and many of King’s stories require one to pause and think them over), it becomes quite clear that a central character may in fact exist only in the narrator’s mind. Overall, a very enjoyable way to spend several hours while in lockdown.