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This book has humor and suspense

  • Jul 9, 2010

Stephen King tells the generally humorous tale of the baseball catcher William “Blockade Billy” Blakely, who played pro-baseball for the Newark Titans in the 1950s for several months. The story is told by an old Titan coach in an old age home to Stephen King in unedited language.


The team loses its two catchers, one to an injury and the second to a drunken driving accident where he killed a housewife; and the Titans find Billy in the minor leagues in Iowa. Billy has the annoying to some and endearing to others habit of repeating what you say to him. “I’m gonna buy you a drink tonight, rook! In fact, I’m gonna buy you ten!... You hung the fuck in there!” the pitcher says. “Ten drinks, because I hung the fuck in there,” the kid says.


Billy plays very well, but there seems to be something wrong with him. He speaks to himself in the third person, “I got him, Billy.” He also wore a band aid, which he said covered a shaving cut on his hand, but an opposing team player claimed that Billy cut him, and Billy was not wearing the band aid after the game, and he had no sign on his hand of ever being cut. 


Was Billy crazy? Who was he? How did he react to an umpire who called a play Billy did not like? Why were all the games that Billy played taken out of the record books? Stephen King reveals what happened.

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More Blockade Billy [Hardcover] reviews
review by . July 02, 2012
   What looks like a 50s sports novel for young boys is King's mystery/horror take on the genre.  Written as a remembrance by a retired coach looking back at the brief career of the now forgotten Billy, the story is very short and punchy.  It won't take long to read, but packs its punch in King's usual style.        Blockade Billy is a catcher called up from the minors when the Major League team suffers injuries to the two catchers on its …
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Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #64
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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About this book


A quirky baseball player with a past shrouded in secrecy is the tragic hero of this macabre tale from the dark side of the all-American sport. In the voice of George Granny Grantham, retired third-base coach of the New Jersey Titans, King (Under the Dome) recalls the spring of 1957, when Billy Blakely, a catcher called up from the Titans' Iowa farm system, helped to boost the team out of the basement and add some excitement to the national pastime. Billy hits with such power and guards the plate with such determination (hence his eponymous nickname) that teammates are willing to forgive such eccentricities as his frequently addressing himself in the third person, or bloodying runners who collide with him. Of course, these kinks are clues to a shocking pathology that King coaxes out in a narrative steeped so perfectly in the argot of the game and the behavior of its players and fans that readers will willingly suspend their disbelief. As King's fiction goes, this suspenseful short is a deftly executed suicide squeeze, with sharp spikes hoisted high and aimed at the jugular on the slide home.(May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to an alternateHardcoveredition.
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