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Blockade Billy Hardcover – May 25, 2010


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The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell's hypnotic new novel crackles with invention and sheer storytelling pleasure. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451608217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451608212
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Bookmarks Magazine

Reviewers tended to dismiss Blockade Billy when they compared it to the sum of King's oeuvre, but they appreciated the book as a better-than-usual attempt to fictionalize the world of baseball. Readers with a more nostalgic take on the game will particularly enjoy King's evocation of the way it was played in 1957. And baseball-stats wonks will likely salivate over the mystery of what event could be so horrible that the Majors would efface the scorecard for all time. But other readers may wish to start with one of King's classics.

Review

' ... suspenseful ... deftly executed ... with sharp spikes hoisted high and aimed at the jugular on the slide home' Publisher's Weekly on BLOCKADE BILLY 'America's greatest living novelist delivers his masterpiece.' Lee Child on UNDER THE DOME 'King's most purely entertaining novel in years ... utterly compelling.' John Connolly on UNDER THE DOME --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Customer Reviews

This book makes for a great read one rainy afternoon.
JJ
It's more like a vague outline of a story he could have told but he was too busy with something else to get to it.
One Big Happy
I'm not often disappointed with Stephen King books, but I am with Blockade Billy.
J. Hill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeff W. on May 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love Stephen King and for decades I've been purchasing his books the moment they come out. I even ordered the limited edition of this book from Cemetery Dance so I could get the bonus baseball card. I am sad to admit that Blockade Billy is a huge disappointment. As some have noted, this is first and foremost a short story, not a novella. The trade edition comes with a "bonus" short story called "Morality", which was featured in Esquire magazine and is 52 pages long (Blockade Billy is 80). It is a tiny book with large font, which is the oldest trick in the proverbial book. I read both stories in about 40 minutes. Surprisingly I found Morality to be a lot more engaging than the titular Blockade Billy, which is a lot of build up for a mildly interesting punch-line. I'm sure King will include Blockade Billy in some future anthology and I would recommend waiting until then to read this story.
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Format: Hardcover
Stephen King has written some of the greatest masterpiece novels of all time, such as It, Christine and Misery. He can write a great short story too, The Mist, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption are just two examples of King's brilliance. With Blockade Billy and Morality (the other story that comes with this) your fighting a strong urge to just stop reading due to boredom, only continuing on because it's Stephen King and hey there must be at least a great scene coming up. There isn't.

Don't waste your time on what is simply a boring baseball story and another that's just trying a glorifying pointless violence to shock and be a talking point. Borrow it from the library, but don't waste any of your hard earner money obtaining these two stories that wouldn't even make the filler list in King's other short story collections.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Doctor on November 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Stephen King fan going all the way back to the 80s. I've read everything he's written, so I know what a fantastic writer he can be. I also know when he "mails it in," so it doesn't bother me giving him one star for "Blockade Billy." This is a pointless, unnecessary, book. It's short - not a problem in itself - and bad - which is a problem. Neither story has any development. "Blockade's" plot, if you can call it that, is so thin as to nearly be vaporous. The second story, "Morality," is, and I thought I'd never say this about a Stephen King book, just downright offensive. It stretches the suspension of disbelief well beyond the breaking point and left me wondering, "Why?" Why write it, and even more curiously, why publish it?

Uncle Stevie, remember back when you were first starting out and had your great stuff and then there was some other stuff you put in a box and put it in the bottom drawer, never to see the light of day? You don't have to publish everything you write 'cause, frankly, some of it is awful. Put the garbage like these two stories in a box and put them in the bottom drawer. Publish the good stuff, I know you've still got it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By dewmaniac on May 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in the "novel". I thought both short stories weren't King material and they kind of bored me. I found it hard to believe I paid $12 for this book. I am a big King fan and love most of his work, but this book wasn't good at all.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By BBQguru on June 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This has got to be the worst book ever written by King. This was a waste of money, $2.95 would be a good price for this book. The plot was just not what I am use to from King, it was dry, uneventful, and with an ending that a third grader could have seen coming. I wouldn't waste my money on this book, if you have to read it go to the library and spend about 30 minutes reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin R. Fraleigh on July 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read Blockade Billy by Stephen King today.

It was a disappointment. It may be because I'm not a big fan of baseball, but I don't think so. A good story, especially good horror, should be able to grab you and keep you interested regardless of the subject.

We were taking a trip and my wife bought it for me because it was by King. I tried reading it as she drove but found myself skipping ahead, trying to find something interesting. It wasn't there.

Also included in the volume is the short story, "Morality", a story that seems to have been added to bring the page count up to 132 pages. "Morality" isn't a "chilling bonus story", it's an idea not fully carried out. In the end it's kind of dull.

Over the years I've read many of Stephen King's books, some great, some not so great. But even in the not so great I felt I had gotten a good story for the money. I really expected more. I've read other reviews that talk about King just cranking out stories for the sake of filling his bank accounts, but I didn't believe it. Blockade Billy proved me wrong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chad M. Caldwell on August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can we all say, "Money Grubbing?"

Blockade Billy is an ok short story (easily read in one sitting) that fills 80 tiny pages with large text and wide margins - so it might be more like 35 - 40 pages in a normal-sized book. The story-telling is decent right until the very end, and feels very "real," but the climax is disappointing. I eagerly read every page, but the ending was such a major let-down, that I really feel I wasted both time and money on this "book." In truth, the "bonus story" that was included (which is even shorter) seemed to be a better story and was overall much more satisfying.

My main problem with Blockade Billy, however, was the price tag. Suggested Price: $14.99 for just the plain, no frills story with no illustrations, no card, nothing. I have no problem with the (multiple) limited editions that were released, but the story itself should have been released as a 99 cent download for Kindle, included in a magazine or even (horrors!) just given as a freebie for buying a real book. So why wasn't it? GREED.

My advice to you is to just choose a different book/story to read from King (a guaranteed better value, no matter what you choose), or just to watch a real baseball game if you need that kind of fix. If you MUST read this story, then just borrow it from your local library - you can finish it right there in the library in a few minutes, and I seriously doubt you'd want to read it again.
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