Blaze A Posthumous Novel Author:Richard Bachman, Stephen King Stephen King wrote BLAZE in 1973 as a "Richard Bachman" novel, but eventually decided it was unpublishable. However, after revisiting and reediting the work, King changed his mind, and now a new dark tale is available for his many fans. Clayton "Blaze" Blaisdell is abused so badly as a child that it affects his mind. Now, he continues to talk to... more » his vicious buddy George Rackley, even though George was recently murdered. Under George's dark influence, Blaze plots a fiendish kidnapping.« less
A surprising viewpoint. Great perspective in this book. I never thought I'd sympathize and root for the story's "bad guy", but you really had to. Very, very tense story, because even though you know what's probably going to happen, you feel bad for a guy who's had the deck stacked against him for his entire life. I really enjoyed this book, and my only criticism was that the tension built really strongly, only to have the story end rather abruptly.
Stephen King may be the "master of horror," but with BLAZE he proves that he's also just a plain ole good writer. This story is a mixture of a thriller, a mystery, a police procedural, and a personal struggle to figure out who you are.
Blaze, aka Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., is a dummy, and he knows it. Ever since his father threw him down a flight of stairs (and then hauled him back up and did it a couple of more times), Blaze hasn't had the brains for learning. The dent in his forehead might make him look scary, but we soon learn that Blaze isn't much of a threat -- except when he's really angry. He might look like a giant at 6'7" and nearly 300 pounds, but this man's heart is as soft as his mind.
Blaze has pretty much drifted through life by skirting the law and mostly (with exceptions) avoiding trouble. When he meets George Rackley, Blaze learns the art of the con. The two of them (or, rather, George) have been planning one big job for awhile now. That big job would be kidnapping the baby of a rich couple, collecting the ransom, and living the high-life somewhere with white sandy beaches and lots of sun.
But we soon learn that things aren't going quite the way either man had expected. For one, George is dead, even though he's still helping with the kidnapping plot. For another, Blaze, as we've already learned, isn't the smartest guy around.
What follows is a mixture of present day mystery/thriller as Blaze carries out the kidnapping of little Joey, mixed with the flashbacks of his life that show how Blaze ends up where he's at.
King (aka Bachman..does it really matter the name?) shows great control in the pacing of BLAZE, and expertly weaves the present with the past. You'll also be surprised (and entertained) by the joy that is Blaze, who is a wonderful, fully-developed character.
Definitely original and with a central character who is easy to sympathize with. I guess I still miss the Bachman/King novels of years ago that were so totally engrossing that I couldn't sleep until I found out what happened at the end. This one didn't do that for me but it was a good story and worth the read.
Stephen King is my favorite author, but I somehow missed this book! It was a fast, great read. It really made me feel for the main character, even though he was the antagonist. His back story was heart breaking. Not my favorite of Mr. King's, but definitely towards the top!
Good book. Not the usual spooky, scary Stephen King novel, but still a good rad. In fact, I think I prefer this type of book. About a retarded, but determined, boy who has been mistreated all his life. Even though he's misguided, one can't help but feel empathy for him and wish that somehow things would come out better for him.
This book was supposed to be like a Stephen King version of "Mice and Men". I found it predictable and fairly boring, and don't really have much else to say on it...the story and the characters both were predictable. *shrug*
Blaze is the last novel from Bachmans period of greatest productivity from 1966-1973. As Stephen King put it, he was two men during this time. King was wrote and sold horror stories to raunchy skim-mags and Bachman wrote novels that didnt sell to anybody. The facts that I just wrote I learned from Kings Full Disclosure at the beginning of Blaze and I also learned many other interesting facts.
I didnt find Blaze a horrible read, just tedious at times. There isnt much in action but just a steady build up to the end. It was worth reading till the end though. Before I even knew it I was sympathizing with Clayton Blaisdell, Jr. aka Blaze and really hoping that he would turn his life around. Unfortunately, the cards are just stacked against him.
Blazes life started with his father throwing him down the stairs causing him brain damage. He then is shipped off to a home for boys where he really starts his life of crime. He does have one chance at having normal life when a family adopts him, but because he defends himself against an attacking dog and kills it, he is sent packing back to the boys home. This truly begins his downward spiral I believe. After meeting up with George he is shown all new cons and is in awe of George. George and he decided to take on the biggest payoff of all, kidnapping a baby. Before this goes down, George is killed. Blaze knows that he must continue with the plan, because that is what George wants and George is still around and telling him what to do. So with Georges help Blaze sets into motion a series of events that lead to the final showdown.
The ending is tragic and heartbreaking. Blaze really is a good guy, he just makes really bad decisions.