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Blockade Billy Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

3.7 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442336587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442336582
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,208,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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 Verified Purchase
"Blockade Billy", at least in the form in which I bought it, contains 2 medium-length short stories by Stephen King. I'm afraid I have to confess to being a Stephen King-ophile. I have read everything he has published (including many anthologies in which he has only contributed one short story or novella). Obviously I like the guy's writing - usually. Occasionally I pan his books but mostly I find them to be 4 or 5 star reads. Not this one, I'm afraid. The hardcover book itself is about the size of a standard mass-market paperback and both the margins and the typeface are very large, so volume's 129 pages of text would only take up approximately 60-70 pages in a normal hardcover presentation.

The first story, "Blockade Billy" is, as one can tell from the cover and publisher's description, a summer baseball tale about the heyday of the game in the 1957. It's OK, because SK is a great writer, but the story itself is, well, very disappointing. There is nothing about it that is "haunting", and the back cover implies a "secret" about the "greatest player the game has ever seen". All of this is misleading. Trying for a no spoiler approach to reviewing, I think I am safe in saying that there is nothing of the supernatural, occult, science fiction or paranormal going on here. No hint of "The Natural" here. Just baseball in the big leagues on a fictional team in Newark, NJ, and regular everyday baseball people. And there is a lot that does not make sense. Including the reason that Billy's (rather short) career stats were "erased from the game etc. All-in-all, very disappointing.

The "bonus" short story, "Morality" was also just OK. This one had more of a SK-type feel to it but it was still not even close to any of King's best.
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Format: Audio CD
I listened to this on the audio CD. It contains two short stories are combined on the CD. Blockage Billy is a moderately interesting short story of a young man that is a baseball prodigy and also mentally ill to the point of being a multiple murderer and a person that enjoys hurting other people.

The second story is about a woman that is paid to commit a criminal act for money so another man can enjoy committing what he believes is his first sin before he dies. Her criminal act is an act of cowardice action against a child. The story was not interesting or enjoyable.

Overall this is not a good set of short stories from Stephen King and they barely make a minimum grade when compared to his other good books. These two stories do not represent the best of Stephen King's imagination nor are they the best horror books or a great example of his creative story telling. They both missed the mark and I rated them as a 2 star item. I am a Stephen King fan and I have read and own all of his books but to be honest unless you are driven to just read all of his books then this book is worth not reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Started reading the "teaser" online that actually gets you about a third of the way through the story. I liked it enough that I had to purchase the book to see how it ended. Good story, unexpected ending. A decent bonus story was included a the back of the book, though I think I may have read it somewhere else before...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm nothing more than a casual Stephen King fan. I specifically was in the mood to read a fictional baseball book and knowing Stephen King was a fan of the game, a simple google search lead me to Blockade Billy. Though this 'book' turned out to be a short story, I still really enjoyed it. Its worth a shot for the sole reason of it'll take less than an hour to read. *Also take note, this review does not include the second story included with the book...It had a hefty dose of suspense, and at a few moments gave me chills, but not thrilling enough to where I'll have to sleep with the light on so everything evened out nicely. Just a very enjoyable baseball story with a suspense/thriller twist to it that is not often found in stories on baseball. It is worth mentioning, this is still a baseball book. While I'd say its easy to follow, there's a lot of baseball jive including stats, rules on the game, real-life players of the time, are all included and might not gel with someone unfamiliar with the game. But still, an enjoyable and short read. Definitely didn't disappoint nor waste my time.
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