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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic King
Stephen King's latest novel, 'Blaze' is a book that was apparently lost within King's files. It was published under the name of Richard Bachman and written in 1973 (before all of his other main works).

The story goes through the life of the gentle giant, Clayton Blaisdell (aka Blaze) who, because of being beaten and thrown down the stairs by his father at a...
Published on 16 July 2007 by Dr Evil

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable.....
.....but definatley lacking wider coverage of Clayton Blaisdell's youth, it almost seems like an introduction to a character that King would most likely use in later tomes, however the ending suggests this may not be the case.

I read it in 4 hours, and would recommend it to all King Constant Readers. King himself says it's a trunk novel, and he is right, I...
Published on 4 July 2007 by R. Coman


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic King, 16 July 2007
By 
Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
Stephen King's latest novel, 'Blaze' is a book that was apparently lost within King's files. It was published under the name of Richard Bachman and written in 1973 (before all of his other main works).

The story goes through the life of the gentle giant, Clayton Blaisdell (aka Blaze) who, because of being beaten and thrown down the stairs by his father at a young age, is mentally challenged (called a dummy throughout) and is easily led on, which brings him to a life of crime with various petty criminals. One of which named George, who is dead but is also the one who leads Blaze to the kidnapping of a baby in return for the ransom of $1million.

At first this book was pretty hard to get into, but once I had gotten used to it flicking backwards and forwards between Blaze's youth and the present day and the fact that he is talking to and listening to a dead person, I couldn't put the book down and finished it in just three short sittings. Having not read a King book for about 3 or 4 years, it was brilliant to experience King's unique style of writing again and has prompted me to purchase his two latest novels that I missed (Cell & Lisey's Story) which I'm really looking forward to reading now.

This is a tense and exciting book which fans of Stephen King/Richard Bachman should love. It is not a horror story, more of an adventure through Blaze's troubled, unfair and gullable life, mixed with a crime thriller. The heartwarming relationships between Blaze and Johnny (his friend from HH) and Blaze and the kidnapped baby, Joe, will make it impossible for you not to like Blaze's character, despite him being a thief, a kidnapper and a murderer. This is a classic (maybe over-looked) King novel that should be up there with likes of The Green Mile, The Body (Stand by Me) and The Shawshank Redemption, although it does sometimes feel a little like an over-run short story.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blaze, 2 July 2007
By 
This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
I absolutely loved this book - read it in two days, could hardly keep my nose out of it! If you are a "constant reader" you will recognise this book as King's earlier work but personally, with an exception or two, I find them the best of all his stuff. Even if you are not a Stephen King fan, you will love this one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 22 Sep 2007
By 
Sue Lewendon "Film fanatic" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
I managed to read this in 2 sittings. It was quite unputdownable and really easy too. It was also a real page turner.

It tells the story of 6ft 7in Clayton Blaisdell. (The kidnapping story is almost 2nd to his childhood story.) King has once again perfectly captured what it is to be a young, downtrodden youth from nowhere special. You get a real feel for this gentle, (okay so he clobbers a few people and strangles another), giant of a man who just wants to please his dead friend George. Yes that's correct...his DEAD friend George.

His friend has been gone for the last 3 months but Blaze isn't 100% sure he's really gone. If he were, he wouldn't be able to hold whole conversations with him now would he? No, Blaze is convinced that George is still hanging around to take care of things for him.

The whole story is quite a touching one, despite it being about a man kidnapping a poor defenseless baby. It had me wanting him to get away with it and to run away with said baby, but this is a King story...ho hum.

It's definitely worth a read if you're a fan of King but you don't need to be. It's not a horror by any means, more of a film noir book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably re-read it at some point. I say give it a go, it's only 291 pages long after all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable....., 4 July 2007
By 
R. Coman (Lincs, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
.....but definatley lacking wider coverage of Clayton Blaisdell's youth, it almost seems like an introduction to a character that King would most likely use in later tomes, however the ending suggests this may not be the case.

I read it in 4 hours, and would recommend it to all King Constant Readers. King himself says it's a trunk novel, and he is right, I would certainly not recommend it to a King first timer, his style is inimitable however it resembles his earlier work and does not leave the reader wanting to search for more by the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Superb Story, with a Great Character, 18 Nov 2009
By 
This review is from: Blaze (Paperback)
Blaze is a small time crook faced with a dilemma, he's not so bright but has been inspired (and is regularly advised) by his partner in crime to take on one big crime to set him up. Oh yes and his partner in crime is dead.

King, as always, creates a well developed character and even though he's not on the right side of the law you understand his motivation and in this instance you have a lot of sympathy for the character. As the story unravels we learn lots about what's happened to him and the significant people in his life.

As with many of King's books there's not really that much horror to the story, some unpleasantness but not really any horror in this one. By anyone else and this could be considered a literary novel.

Interestingly this is him as Bachman and the profit for this book go to charity and that doesn't means it's a duffer. It was an delight to read and up there with my other King favourites of Dolores Claiborne, IT, The Long Walk, The Talisman and The Green Mile. The pleasure comes from his effortless writing style, his ability to make you engage and understand the characters and a good story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to form....., 25 Jun 2007
By 
Simon Edwards - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
Why has this novel taken 30+ years to surface! What a delightful book.

It feels like a King novel, and as good as any of his early stuff (because it is his early stuff). It has the same raw, simplistic values that made King a household name. Recently Kings sentences have grown longer, and his literary skills honed to the detriment of a good story.

This is a good story.

I don't want to give away any of the plot, but Blaze (the lead character) performs 2 hold-ups and his comments as he is leaving the scene both times are just wonderful comic lines, which left me chuckling long after i had finished the book.

I cannot urge you enough to read this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trunk Novel!, 27 Aug 2008
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
This is Stephen King at his best. I can't believe it was one of his trunk novels. I'm so please he re-worked it and had it published. The character of Blaze is so well written that although he is a `baddie' I felt myself truly caring for him. There have been comments about the similarities between him and the character of Lenny in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, and I have to say I agree with them. Both are hulking great men with gentle characteristics, who are led astray by friends and situations out of their control. When Blaze end up alone with the baby, but starts to `see' his dead friend everywhere, things get really interesting. The whole story is very touching and the final pages are breathtaking.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful tale in a little book, 29 Jun 2008
By 
Helen Simpson (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blaze (Paperback)
Clayton Blaisdell is "...soft in the head..." due to being thrown down the stairs three times by his father, and although they were partners in crime, Blaze has had George to look after him in many ways....just as the George in 'Of Mice And Men' looked out for Lennie. Therefore anyone who has read 'Of Mice...' can't fail to be reminded of it when reading this book.
BUT - the George in this story is dead and only lives in Blaze's head which Blaze realises to some extent and which worries him at times. George is the 'bad voice' on Blaze's shoulder...telling him things which might save his skin but that Blaze doesn't always want to do...and Blaze is ultimately a criminal who endears himself to you. You can't help but feel sympathy for a boy who's had the life he has. He's been abused and misunderstood and every time there's a glimmer of something better, had his hopes dashed.

The chapters move back and forth from the present day where Blaze is planning to kidnap a baby for a ransom, to his growing up in care and his friendship with John Cheltzman.

I found the way Blaze cared for Joe quite touching and very believable for this gentle giant who after all is just yearning for something of his own to love and love him back. Whilst I knew it couldn't happen (could it?) I really was rooting for him all the way.

Not a horror story in Kings normal style...instead he gives us sociological observations on society, encased in a good story. Unlike some reviewers I liked the ending...it was moving to know that when Joe cried "It was the wrong face..." that bent over and tried to comfort him.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting early novella, 22 April 2008
By 
J. L. Brooks "J L Brooks" (Maidstone, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
Over the last few years King's fiction has been tainted by a desire to overwrite and produce large books that could've been written in half the pages (Lisey's Story being the worst of these!). Refreshing, then, for this so-called "trunk" novel to finally make an appearance in print. Written between his first two pubished novels "Carrie" and "Salem's Lot", it is a tightly written novella, reminiscent both of the real-life kidnap of the aviator Charles A Lindbergh's baby in the 1930s and Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men". King has written in two main styles - the horror for which he is justly famous, the best of these being "Salem's Lot" "The Shining" and "The Stand", and a more conventional but hard-boiled style - the best of these being the Bachman books - particularly "Rage" and "The Long Walk" (I would highly recommend the latter) and the novellas contained in "Different Seasons", plus wider known books like "Misery".
I would suggest the above are much better books than this novella. It is a good read and it will be fascinating for King aficionados looking at the early progression of his works, but there are two fundamental flaws in this book which may have been the reason why it wasn't published in the first place. First, the ending is very predictable and inevitable so the reader is never surprised. Second, having spent so much of the book expertly charting the character of Blaze as a retarded man (with great use of flasbacks to his abusive childhood) it seems very implausible that such a man could be able to take care of a young baby.
These flaws aside, it is still an intersting read, well worth the effort if you're widely read in King. If new to this author, the above novels mentioned would be a better starting place.
If you like this review, why not buy my own novel on amazon "Freya's Quest" by Julian Lawrence Brooks
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars welcome back........................, 1 Oct 2007
By 
kermit 333 (England UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
like other reviewers I have been disappointed by Kings books in recent years but this shows him reverting to what he does best, which is a good ol' fashioned story! more of the same please!!!
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Blaze
Blaze by Richard Bachman (Hardcover - 12 Jun 2007)
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