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1 rating: 5.0
A book by Richard Bachman

"A crime novel chronicles the life and times of Clayton Blaisdell, Jr.--the crimes committed against him and the crimes he himself commits, including a kidnapping he is doomed to attempt."

Author: Richard Bachman
Genre: True Crime
Publisher: Pocket Books
Date Published: January 22, 2008
1 review about Blaze

Blaze - Richard Bachman/Stephen King

  • Mar 23, 2008
Pros: good character development

Cons: none

The Bottom Line: “I'm going down in a blaze of glory
Take me now but know the truth”

As he is wont to do, Stephen King … oops … Richard Bachman, has the ability to make us feel sorry for the monsters in his book. Like “Cujo“, “Carrie“, and others of this ilk, his monsters aren’t the type that hide in closets and under beds. They are the plodding of the Earth, unsuspecting souls that make a wrong turn in life or are forced to make a wrong turn, and, in the end, pay for it even though it wasn’t their fault.

In Blaze we find Clayton Blaisdell, Jr. Known to many as simply ‘Blaze’ although he has been called other spiteful names throughout his life. As a child he showed remarkable intelligence but, thanks to a true monster in the guise of a parental figure, his father, Blaze’s life has taken another course. Working our way through the book, we move between current times and his early life, discovering how he has become what he is now.

Having few friends in life, Blaze always seems to find the wrong person at the wrong time. His last true friend, George, well, wasn’t really around anymore in the human sense but still entirely a part of Blaze’s life, in an ethereal sense. Not that George was a heavenly creature while on Earth. Both Blaze and George were low profile con men. They dreamed of the big score, like most con men do. George came up with the scheme; kidnap a baby.

It makes perfect sense if you are going to kidnap someone. A baby can’t identify you or tell anyone where you took it or how you looked. Plus, people will pay big bucks to get their baby back, especially those rich Republican trashy people that have more money than God anyway. George doesn’t care for Republicans.

Unfortunately, George tried to con one too many people and was awarded with a knife in the gut. Didn’t bode well for George - R.I.P. Blaze, however, continued to have daily conversations with George and through these talks, the kidnapping scheme continues to swell to conclusion. While it is a fairly predictable conclusion, or at least for the baby’s sake you hope so, it is the story that makes it worth reading.

What I liked
This is good old storytelling. Heroes, even unlikely ones, step forward in the book. Monsters aren’t as evil and dire as they are presented to the press and public. Characters, even ethereal ones, are fleshed out and have substance. The story has a beginning, middle and end. It may not be the end you want, but it is there.

This is a book at gets your attention from the beginning and I found it hard to put down. I wanted to find out what happened to Blaze and the baby. Didn’t necessarily care what happened to George, but it was there for the reading. Besides, it is what helped form Blaze at this stage of the story.

It is sad to think King tossed this story aside as an unpublished work because he didn’t care for it - unless that was just storytelling as well. These are the type of stories that make readers become constant readers so I hope he shakes that trunk up some more and finds a few more to slide our way.

Only King can make us have sympathy for the devil.

What I didn’t like
intentionally left blank

Overall impression
King reader? You must read this book. It is shades of Green Mile in character development. If you don’t like the character then you won’t bother reading to find out the whys and wherefores of his life. Blaze is a good character.

Additionally, royalties from this book go to The Haven Foundation, King’s foundation to lend a helping hand to struggling writers.

Publisher: Schribner, June 2007
ISBN-10: 072948463X
Pages: 304



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