You can now listen to literary legend Stephen King as he reads to you the first chapter of his latest book, If It Bleeds, which will come out on April 21. In anticipation of the release, publisher Simon & Schuster uploaded a video of the author act out his own story on their YouTube channel and you can catch it up above.
Writers often tease small parts of their forthcoming books, but it’s not everyday they play narrator, too. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – which, in case you didn’t know, has cancelled many events, including public readings – King’s video comes as a pleasant surprise to his fans, many of whom have doubtlessly already pre-ordered If It Bleeds online, and are now eagerly awaiting their copy in the mail.
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One of the most widely known and commercially successful writers of the modern age, King built his storytelling empire through a combination of unparalleled work ethic (he wrote his 1981 novel Cujo while on a cocaine binge without remembering a thing) and sheer mastery of narrative craft. His stories have served as the blueprint for many movies and television series, too, from Hollywood blockbusters like It to film critic favorites such as The Shawshank Redemption.
In a move somewhat unusual though not altogether unheard of when it comes to Stephen King, If It Bleeds will not be a novel, nor a novella, but a collection of novellas. The title story will center around fan favorite Holly Gibney as she, to paraphrase King, faces her fears. Another story, titled Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, follows the “disturbing afterlife” of an “intergenerational friendship.” Last but not least, The Life of Chuck shall investigate how each of us, in a very cryptic statement, “contains multitudes.”
Not entirely sure what to expect? Neither do we…except maybe goosebumps…and shivers.