Buddy Reads w./ Julia Sapphire discussion

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If It Bleeds > Story One: Mr. Harrigan's Phone

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message 1: by Julia (new)

Julia Sapphire (juliasapphire) | 45 comments Mod
This section will be discussing the first story in Stephen King's, "If It Bleeds."


message 2: by Clare (last edited Jun 01, 2020 06:35PM) (new)

Clare Kelsey | 6 comments *spoiler warning*
Mr. Harrigan's Phone surprised me by being somewhat satirical, something I haven't come across much in King's writing. King's ridicule of cell phone usage in this story reminded me how dark cell phone "addictions" can become.
The mysterious Mr. Harrigan reminded me so much of Leland Gaunt in Needful Things. Can anyone else see this or is it just me? I don't think Mr. Harrigan was sinister like Leland, but there were definitely similarities in the readily available temptations they offered to the other characters. The themes of addiction and revenge were also present in Needful Things.
The protagonist of the story, Craig, felt guilty and uneasy after Kenny Yanko's death. Because of his guilt, I was surprised when he called Mr. Harrigan's phone and wished Dean Whitmore dead. I didn't pin Craig (who wouldn't even tell on Kenny after being bullied) as the revengeful type. I guess this revenge demonstrates that harmful devices (cell phones in this story) can lead anyone down the road of temptation. Reading about Craig getting rid of the cell phone was a relief to me - I was worried he would have a menacing future. I wonder if the feelings Craig experienced are similar to King's feelings when he was struggling with addiction.
Here's a quote I enjoyed from page 33: "I think we mostly live alone. By choice, like him, or just because that's the way the world was made."
I really enjoyed this first story and can't wait to read the rest!


message 3: by ReadingWithZee (new)

ReadingWithZee (zwolfpack) | 5 comments Just finished the first story. Super trippy and very subtle as far as thriller/suspense. I was waiting for something similar to The Dark Half (not going to spoil) when Craig laid down to listen on top of Mr. Harrigan’s grave. I did appreciate King’s commentary about cell phone usage and how much phones have changed peoples lives. How addicted people can be when using them. I am not sure if it is because this is a newer book that the theme of addiction towards cell phones was apparent or if the theme of addiction will carry on through the other stories, but very interesting! Looking forward to other people’s thoughts.


message 4: by Laura (new)

Laura (laurajr) | 3 comments just finished Mr Hadrian's phone. I really enjoyed it. I love Craig and Mr harrigan there relationship was nice. it was a bit creepy with how Craig calls Mr harrigan's phone when he got beat up and then the bully died. I really liked it and looking forward to reading the next story


message 5: by Julia (new)

Julia Sapphire (juliasapphire) | 45 comments Mod
Clare wrote: "*spoiler warning*
Mr. Harrigan's Phone surprised me by being somewhat satirical, something I haven't come across much in King's writing. King's ridicule of cell phone usage in this story reminded m..."


Hey Clare! Thanks for sharing all your thoughts :)
I haven't read Needful Things but hopefully, someone has and maybe sees the resemblance as well. I agree with a lot of things that you discussed. Especially Craig wishing Dean dead when he was avoiding conflict with Kenny in a way. Also, love the quote you included.


message 6: by Julia (last edited Jun 08, 2020 03:33PM) (new)

Julia Sapphire (juliasapphire) | 45 comments Mod
ReadingWithZee wrote: "Just finished the first story. Super trippy and very subtle as far as thriller/suspense. I was waiting for something similar to The Dark Half (not going to spoil) when Craig laid down to listen on ..."

Hi! First off thank you for not spoiler the Dark Half because I haven't read it yet and I'm sure some people have not either :')
I agree that the aspect of technology and addiction was very interesting in the story. The story was not what I expected but I think it was an intriguing start to the collection. Thank you for sharing your thoughts :)


message 7: by Julia (new)

Julia Sapphire (juliasapphire) | 45 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "just finished Mr Hadrian's phone. I really enjoyed it. I love Craig and Mr harrigan there relationship was nice. it was a bit creepy with how Craig calls Mr harrigan's phone when he got beat up and..."

Hi Laura! Right?!! I really liked Craig's relationship with him as well. I found the bit of suspense at the end with Mr. Harrigan's phone pretty interesting. Especially about the bully (Kenny). Thank you for sharing your thoughts :)


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