Essjayar.Com Rotating Header Image

Stephen King – Blaze

This was a very satisfying novel. It’s pretty short – maybe it could even be classified as a novella – and I read it one sitting. After reading Toll The Hounds, Book 8 of the Malazan Series (review coming next) it was pretty relaxing and enjoyable to read a “straight” story such as this.

Blaze is supposedly written by Richard Bachman, Kings alter-ego, and is really a book King wrote just before Carrie which launched his world wide success, at one time the most popular author in the world. I love Stephen King, his books have classed as “horror” but are really much more. He writes with a realism that bring his books to life. He is a master storyteller, experienced at the craft of novel and short-story writing with a firm grasp of what his “constant readers” want and expect. Of late, many of his books reference each other – even to the extent that characters from earlier books appear as part of his Dark Tower series… And even to the extreme that King the author appears in the series himself!

But back to this particular story. Blaze concerns the story of Clayton Blaisdell Jr, a small time crook of low intelligence. He’s a big brute of a man, and after the death of his partner he embarks on one final big crime – that of kidnapping the infant son of a millionaire.

The novel is really the story of Blaze himself. Flashbacks show his upbriging from abuse by his father, to his upbringing in a childrens home, through to the start of his criminal life – mainly his being used by others for his size and imposing stature. In some ways it’s a moving story. Blaze is sadly misguided, but you see how this came about. He struggles with his low intelligence but has a heart of gold.

Apparently King re-wrote the original novel to update it and remove some of the sentimality, but you still feel for blaze even though he’s ostensibly the “bad guy”. Life has dealt him a hard hand but he usually manages to land on his feet. A lot of the book covers his imagined relationship with George, his deceased partner, but in at least one passage you get the hint that Blaze may have some kind of extra sensory power that is guiding him.

To pad the novel out King’s short story “Memory” is included that eventally became Duma Key – another excellent novel.

Rating: 8 / 10 – Short, but exciting and moving.

Wikipedia | Amazon | Stephen King Official Site