Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: 'Blockade Billy' by Stephen King

✰✰✰✰ The orange signs said it all: ROAD CLOSED BY ORDER OF BLOCKADE BILLY. However, no one remembers William "Blockade Billy" Blakely today, and his team, the New Jersey Titans, have long since been forgotten. But when Mr. King interviews the elderly George "Granny" Grantham, the team's former third base coach, strange things come to light.

It seems that back in the day, Blakely was a great ball player; in fact, he was on his way to breaking every Rookie record in Major League Baseball history. It didn't matter that there was something just a little bit off about him. Neither did it matter that Blakely had a habit of repeating everything other people said or that he referred to himself in the third person. As the Titans' last minute replacement catcher, no one cared about his peculiar habits as long as he kept hitting home runs and could save the season. Unfortunately, Billy had a very dark secret to hide. Once uncovered, the scandal was so great that his scores were wiped off the record books forever.

The Bottom Line: This story is written entirely as a monologue, which is one of the reasons I liked it so well. While Blockade Billy is not a particularly scary story, it is an enjoyable, quick read. I read it in one sitting and especially enjoyed the twist at the end. There is nothing supernatural about this well written baseball yarn, and you don't need to be a baseball fan to appreciate this novella. Since this book includes profanity, it is recommended for adult fans of Stephen King, baseball, horror, and short stories.

Details: Blockade Billy by Stephen King. Hardcover published by Cemetery Dance Publications in 2012. 112 p. ISBN: 978-1-58767-228-6

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