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Blaze: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – January 22, 2008
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The basic story is centered round the 6'7" Clayton Blaisdell Jr., an all around dumb-as-a-ditch-post petty criminal with a heart of gold. When his partner is killed in a craps game, Blaze remembers the idea of the big score. He decides it's time to go through with the plan of kidnapping the infant heir of a rich family. Everything goes down with a few complications and Blaze is on the run for his life and the life of his little passenger.
King calls the striking resemblances to Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men an homage, and maybe it was, way back when, or perhaps it was a still-shaky author trying to flesh out his own novel with the structure of an old favorite. Either way, it works pretty well.Read more ›
Well, when I read it, page by page, from first until last, I felt differently: Unlike, say, SWORD IN THE DARKNESS (a novel about a race riot), which is another trunk novel by King, BLAZE shone with a gritty kind of storytelling that marked King's early fiction. Clearly a homage to John Steinbeck's novella "Of Mice and Men," the story centers on Clayton Blaze Blaisdell, who is party to the kidnapping, along with his party George Rackley; Clayton, whose checkered past -- in and out of orphanages and foster homes -- strikes a sympathetic tone with the reader, as he finds love (albeit one-sided) where he least expects it: the infant he has helped abduct. (You may recall the famous Lindbergh kidnapping in all this, as I did.)
The most difficult thing in fiction is to make the bad guy seem sympathetic, but King pulls it off. In spades. Just as we feel for Lenny in Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men," so, too, do we feel for Clayton, who is a criminal on the run; he has stolen the infant but, in the process, has stolen our hearts, as well. That is the art of fiction, the art of storytelling, and King's always had that gotta-read-the-next-page-to-see-what's-happened quality.
In King's fiction, the character comes first; the story then comes out of the character.Read more ›
Now imagine this: you find yourself unequivocally liking the guy! It doesn't matter that he's a con man and a thief. All of the horribleness he engages in seems justified due to the many difficulties he's faced in life. Heck, you cheer when he beats up the headmaster at his school (actually Hetton House, a county home), and you're even rooting for him to kidnap the baby without getting caught!
So is the mastery of Stephen King, writing as his pseudonym Richard Bachman. Blaze is a book that will have you scratching your head in bewilderment over the fact that you have found yourself in like with a person like Blaze (aka as Clayton Blaisdell, Jr.). Additionally, you'll feel sadness and sympathy, anger and pain. The story of Blaze's unfortunate life will leave you filled with the utmost desire to lift up your head and unabashedly roar at the fates.
Thirty-some-odd years later, he is a polished and mesmerizing author. Recent works, such as "Lisey's Story", are so compellingly written that the subject matter and story line become almost secondary to the work itself; it is a pleasure simply to be reading Mr. King. But, as Joni Mitchell observed, something's lost when something's gained, and the polish and precision with which Mr. King tells his tales has tended in recent years to eclipse the raw imagination that once drove his work.
What would happen if you could somehow capture the fiery imagination of his earlier days with the literary tendencies of a true master novelist?
"Blaze", that's what.
This remarkable work is undermined by adjectives; it is something that can be enjoyed by almost anyone who reads it, but is sure to be appreciated most by Mr. King's core of Constant Readers, those of us who have traveled his long and winding road with him since the mid 1970's. It is a stunning fusion of the raw and hungry storyteller working the Night Shift in the back of his trailer and the staggeringly successful novelist whose name is uniquely iconic within his trade.
"Blaze" has a comparatively low profile at the moment.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read, fast-paced and very entertaining could plot with good character development. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to readPublished 1 day ago by Thomas Baiocchi
Very good "trunk" novel. I got this at a thrift store for a dollar and was hesitant to read it since it's one of his less known works. Read morePublished 2 months ago by elizabeth
A very good modern take on Of Mice and Men by the master of horror who shows once more that he is also a master at human observation.Published 2 months ago by Alain Roy
The main character is tragic and compelling. As always King/Bachman take you into the mind and soul of the character. A terrific story all the way through. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The best audio book I have ever listened to. Great voice over/ reader actorPublished 2 months ago by Heidi Vetter