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34 of 34 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 34 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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12 of 12 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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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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All round winner!, 20 Jan 2008
By 
L. P. Lewzey (north-east London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blaze (Hardcover)
Great characters, great story, and a proper ending (unlike Cell). This is the Stephen King I grew up with and love. The complex stories are interesting but this is more like it.
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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
(VINE VOICE)   
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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blazin', 21 Feb 2014
This review is from: Blaze (Kindle Edition)
Blaze is loosely based on the Steinbeck novel "Of Mice and Men". It's a modern reworking, in a sense, something which Stephen King admits to, calling it an homage to Steinbeck's famous novel.

The main character, Blaze, is a criminal, and his partner in crime George is dead. But Blaze can still hear him in his head; or NOT in his head, because maybe George is still alive. Blaze doesn't know because not only is he a dummy, but he's also an idiot too. Plus he's stupid. So, Blaze, going along with a plan that George cooked up before he died all of a sudden (if he did, in fact, die), plans to steal a baby for ransom. It's the perfect crime: the baby can't escape or write notes or call the cops, and the baby can't ID his kidnappers, which means no jail time. Or so says George.

Anyway, so Blaze goes about this kidnapping like a true dumbo does, bumbling his way through everything. But at the centre of it all is a heartfelt little story about a dumb dude who falls for a kid. The kid is so damn cute and loveable that this Blaze guy just loves him and wants to protect him, which isn't too great seeing as the FBI are on his back, closing in on him. Whilst all that's going on, Stephen King goes back into Blaze's childhood, more than once, and lets us delve into Blaze's back-story, and how he came to be the person he is. King even says in his introduction that he thought the flashbacks were probably stronger than the actual front story, and I'd agree. The back-story is what makes this novel.

The front story is OK, pretty slow and predictable, and without the back-story the novel would have been a little too static and not really worthy of publication. And although people can complain this book is kind of sentimental (although King says in his introduction he tried to strip out all sentimentality), it's the childhood stuff that will keep the reader interested.

Anyway, I wouldn't say this is up there with his greatest novels, because it isn't--nowhere near. But it is an enjoyable read, if somewhat predictable at the end. I prefer the word inevitable, though; I don't see how else he could have finished it.

So if you haven't read King before, then you probably shouldn't start with this one. Otherwise, just read it like a long short story and be thankful King finally decided to publish it after thirty years in a trunk. Even King's `bad' novels are better than most authors good novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good thing doesn't have to be complicated, 3 July 2011
By 
Jackiesmackie "Independently Different" (UK, Blackburn) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Blaze (Paperback)
I don't know how I feel about this book. I read it through once and thought gee whiz, a bit lame and the end wasn't what I would have wanted. But as Stephen King fans we should know that we don't always get the ending we want because it isn't *honest*.

I don't want to spoil it for you because if you are just getting around to reading it you need to be able to make your own mind up.

The main character Blaze is a wonderfully simple man who suffered a serious brain injury as a child leaving him slightly retarded. A small time crook, never really learning much of anything that will keep him in beer and skittles, he and his friend run cons. Until his friend

Ups and dies he has a non-descript lifestyle. Having been in an institution as a young boy he knows no other life, he can't cope on his own, he decides to do the big job he and his friend planned. He doesn't care if he gets caught, jail isn't so bad, roof over your head, food in your belly. A simple kidnap, if it works he gets a huge wad of money, if it doesn't he goes to jail. Win, win for Blaze.

Do me a favour, read it twice, the first time you might think poorly of it, read it again and I am more than sure you will find a place in your heart for this simple man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely...brilliant!, 28 Dec 2009
By 
This review is from: Blaze (Paperback)
My partner bought this book for me for christmas after asking me to create a wish list on Amazon. I had read it by boxing day night, just couldn't put it down! Classic King characterisation once again and what starts as a simple plot from the cover (baby-kidnap, ransom ect ect) develops into so much more as us constant readers have come to expect. Reading about Blazer's childhood enthralled and saddened me and despite what he does throughout the course of the story you can't help but feel compassion towards him. Although I have been a long-time fanatic of Mr king, it is only recently that I have had time to actually start reading any of his novels published under the name of Richard Bachman (I still have the Regulators sitting here which i bought on day of release I haven't read yet!) Recently I got a copy of The Bachman Books and read "Rage" and "The Long Walk" (Both utterly excellent) and Blaze rates high up there with them as some of my favourite King reads.
Maybe the ending seemed a slight predictable but by the time I got to it, it still brought out the emotions I think King was planning us to have.
A great book and a worthy read to anybody that enjoys crime, adventure and real character analysis. You do NOT have to just be a Stephen King fan to enjoy this beauty! 10/10
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Blaze
Blaze by Richard Bachman (Paperback - 20 Dec 2012)
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