From New York Times best-selling author Stephen King comes the haunting story of Blockade Billy, the greatest Major League baseball player to be erased from the game.
Even the most die-hard baseball fans don't know the true story of William Blockade Billy Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first - and only - player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history.
Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all.
©2010 Stephen King (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
"Blockade Billy works as well as it does for a couple of reasons. The first is the narrative voice that King has conjured up for Granny Grantham. Funny, sharply observant and casually profane, it is the voice of a quintessential baseball insider who happens to be a natural raconteur. Equally important is the lovingly detailed evocation of the game as it was played in 1957…King's descriptions of these tough, hard-bitten men and the hardscrabble contests they engaged in add both a dash of nostalgia and a touch of gritty reality to this dark, absorbing portrait of a vanished era." (The Washington Post)
"As King's fiction goes, this suspenseful short is a deftly executed suicide squeeze, with sharp spikes hoisted high and aimed at the jugular on the slide home." (Publishers Weekly)
Baseball - it is a baseball book, from the "old school" type baseball books. S. King is sooooo good, with descriptions, it is easy to get a visual picture in your head of the setting / time frame, etc.
"The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" was my first thought - regarding a comparison. However Blockade Billy is really too short to compare, I wanted more! I thought it was too long to be a magazine article ( and too long to be considered a short story) and too short for a book. But I did like it.
This was my first. I thought Craig Wasson's performance was very good.
Yes. I wanted to listen to this while doing my training run. Either I've too slow, or the book was too short, because it ended before the run :(
This is not classic S. King - it is different for him. I'm somewhat of a S. King fanatic. He is the ultimate story teller!
I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.
I had put this book off for some time because I am not a huge baseball fan. I thought the the baseball part of story would annoy me. To my delight, it did not. On the contrary, it was the perfect backdrop for the creepiness that King is so good at. As a bonus, this audiobook includes a second short story entitled "Morality." It's a great, troubling little story that bothered me terribly while listening to it. Of course, that made it so great. At only two hours for two stories, there's simply no reason to not listen to this book!
Fun, Short Listen
Craig Wasson is excellent in all of his audiobook performances!
Billy, for obvious reasons...
I would recommend this to a friend, because it was an engaging and well-narrated story.
I think Billy's story was the most interesting. Perhaps less interesting were some of the baseball facts. Necessary, but not necessarily interesting.
I thought the narrator was a good choice. There wasn't anything I disliked.
If you like baseball, you'll enjoy a good ball story with that eerie Stephen King twist.
Blockade Billy was a very good, fast paced story that I enjoyed very much. I am a Stephen King fan and with the exception of the ending to Blockade, which I found brief and somewhat anticlimactic, there were unique elements in the story that I thought were terrific. Morality was equally good, a little shocking and scary, as you would expect. Overall very good and enjoyable stories.
And Buffalo George
Stephen King and baseball...what a combination in this short novella. There were few characters and I really liked the Granny character. Billy's character was a little strange. The buildup in the story itself justifies the end, which is not scarey, but just is.
donald t wardlow
Stephen King can still write a short story that packs a wallop. He does it twice here. "Blockade Billy" particularly appeals to me, since it's a baseball story, and I'm a huge fan, as King is.
He creates a baseball team in dire need of a catcher-and a catcher who will be one-no matter the cost.
Cost is a factor in the second story, "Morality," to be exact, the cost of a woman's soul. She and her husband are in desperate need of money, but the act they commit to get it is more than the lady can handle.
Blockade Billy is read by Craig Wasson, who is as good as it gets and clearly loves his baseball.
Whoever reads "Morality," it's a good yarn too.
It was awfully short, but worth the listen.
Captured the character well.
As a couple of stories this book is decent, but as a Stephen King book, it tends to fall a bit short.
Not only have I listened to Blockade Billy again I have several times. I enjoin this story and it is well done. Though not your normal Stephen King it still has the King twist at the end.
If you enjoy this one, you will also enjoy 11-22-63, it's extremely well done and it flows. Craig Wasson does a wonderful joy with that one as well. You will be listening to it over and over.
The first and only time "Billy" notices the crowd and tips his hat.
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