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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    65
  • 2 Stars
    15
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    7

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    65
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    61
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    19
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    6
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    2

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    58
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    46
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    38
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    10
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    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Didn't want it to end

What did you love best about Blockade Billy?

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.

What other book might you compare Blockade Billy to and why?

"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.

Have you listened to any of Craig Wasson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first. I thought Craig Wasson's performance was very good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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 :(

Any additional comments?

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not one, but two great short stories

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Martin
  • Toledo, Ohio, United States
  • 04-04-12

Fun, Short Listen

If you could sum up Blockade Billy in three words, what would they be?

Fun, Short Listen

What does Craig Wasson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Craig Wasson is excellent in all of his audiobook performances!

Who was the most memorable character of Blockade Billy and why?

Billy, for obvious reasons...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Talia
  • TULSA, OK, United States
  • 01-12-12

Baseball fans will want to read

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this to a friend, because it was an engaging and well-narrated story.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I think Billy's story was the most interesting. Perhaps less interesting were some of the baseball facts. Necessary, but not necessarily interesting.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I thought the narrator was a good choice. There wasn't anything I disliked.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Definitely.

Any additional comments?

If you like baseball, you'll enjoy a good ball story with that eerie Stephen King twist.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ron
  • Bound Brook, New Jersey USA
  • 12-29-11

Very good short stories

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great read

What made the experience of listening to Blockade Billy the most enjoyable?

The story it self , wish the write would let us know more about the characters, but still a great story<br/>

What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

This is the second audio book that I have listen to with Craig narrated and I think he make the story more fun to read

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

King & Baseball--wow!!!

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • KSHC
  • Riverview, FL
  • 12-12-14

Interesting but predicable

Any additional comments?

Not bad for a short story. I liked the format, unique for SK even in short story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Two Short Great King tales

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Just Ok?

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was awfully short, but worth the listen.

What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

Captured the character well.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

As a couple of stories this book is decent, but as a Stephen King book, it tends to fall a bit short.