March 6, 2016

Blaze by Stephen King

Title:  Blaze
Author:  Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)
Pages:  285
Genre:  Fiction / Suspense
Publisher:  Scribner, 2007
Series:  Stand Alone

Synopsis:  A fellow named Richard Bachman wrote Blaze in 1973 on an Olivetti typewriter, then turned the machine over to Stephen King, who used it to write Carrie. Bachman died in 1985 ("cancer of the pseudonym"), but in late 2006 King found the original typescript of Blaze among his papers at the University of Maine's Fogler Library ("How did this get here?!"), and decided that with a little revision it ought to be published.

Blaze is the story of Clayton Blaisdell, Jr. -- of the crimes committed against him and the crimes he commits, including his last, the kidnapping of a baby heir worth millions. Blaze has been a slow thinker since childhood, when his father threw him down the stairs -- and then threw him down again. After escaping an abusive institution for boys when he was a teenager, Blaze hooks up with George, a seasoned criminal who thinks he has all the answers. But then George is killed, and Blaze, though haunted by his partner, is on his own.

He becomes one of the most sympathetic criminals in all of literature. This is a crime story of surprising strength and sadness, with a suspenseful current sustained by the classic workings of fate and character -- as taut and riveting as Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

Review:  I was expecting horror and got something all-together different.  Good thing I keep tissues on my desk because this story was sad.  I rooted, shamelessly, for the 'bad guy', Clayton Blaisdell.  His life was messed up and ruined and he never caught a break.  He reminds me a little of William Blakely (Blockade Billy) and John Coffey (The Green Mile).  But he was neither of them.  He was something else, but his story was just as haunting and awful in its own way.

The short story Memory was included at the end.  It is the idea that turned into the novel Duma Key.  It wasn't horror either, although it had a bit of the horrific in it.

Mr. King proves again that, while he is undeniably the King of Horror, he is also a writer with a real talent for making you care about his characters.  He shows that fully in these stories.

Rating:  7 / 10

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This sounds awesome, and I must give this one a try. After I finish Christine and Mr.Mercedes that's still lingering unread on my bookshelf LOL


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