messages from the other side?

If It Bleeds: Mr. Harrigan’s Phone – Stephen King

Fiction, suspense, novella.

Rating 6/10

Craig worked for Mr. Harrigan and received cards, four times a year, each containing a scratcher. Craig read to the old man and did certain chores for him and he was paid decently, to Craig at least. One day Mr. Hannigan dies, and Craig inherits some money from the old man and when the old man was buried, beforehand, Craig put Hannigan’s phone into his empty pocket. Whenever Craig missed him, he would call the phone to hear his message. Sometimes leaves a voicemail. A week or so later, Craig endures being bullied and calls Hannigan’s phone to tell Hannigan what happened. The next day, Craig’s bully dies mysteriously. Craig doesn’t think much of that and continues with his life. While interning as a journalist, he finds out his old high school science teacher was murdered by a drunk driver, so Craig as a way to cope with the unjust loss, calls Hannigan once more. A day after that phone call, the drunk driver committed suicide in the treatment home. Craig now understands what had been going on and comes to terms with the truth.

This novella was alright and too tame of a genre coming from a horror novelist. I was expecting something worse like a zombie situation, but just coincidental deaths caused by possibly a ghost didn’t sate my craving for horror. There was a little suspense, but not a lot. I would hope the rest of the novellas that are inside If It Bleeds are more spectacularly horrific because I came for horror. I might be somewhat judgmental and highly critical but at least there was some brutal details of how the two people died mysteriously. I’m sure that some of King’s writings are not as great as other works he has written and published.