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Publisher's Summary

A fellow named Richard Bachman wrote Blaze in 1973 on an Olivetti typewriter, then turned the machine over to Stephen King, who used it to write Carrie. Bachman died in 1985 (from "cancer of the pseudonym"), but in late 2006, King found the original typescript of Blaze among his papers at the University of Maine's Fogler Library ("How did this get here?!") and decided that, with a little revision, it ought to be published.

Blaze is the story of Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., and of the crimes committed against him and the crimes he commits, including his last, the kidnapping of a baby heir worth millions. Blaze has been a slow thinker since childhood, when his father threw him down the stairs and then threw him down again. After escaping an abusive institution for boys when he was a teenager, Blaze hooks up with George, a seasoned criminal who thinks he has all the answers. But then George is killed, and Blaze, though haunted by his partner, is on his own.

He becomes one of the most sympathetic criminals in all of literature. This is a crime story of surprising strength and sadness, with a suspenseful current sustained by the classic workings of fate and character, as taut and riveting as Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

©2007 Stephen King (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"This diverting soft-boiled crime novel reflects influences ranging from John Steinbeck to James M. Cain." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    258
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    25

Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

MENTAL MASTURBATION

OF MICE AND MEN
King wrote this when he was 25. He wrote it before CARRIE. He thought it was bad and threw it in a trunk, so he calls it a trunk book. He never even submitted it to be published. Recently he brought it out, updated it, thought it was bad still, and then convinced himself it was good. I did not care for it. I did not like the similarities to OF MICE AND MEN,and I found it boring for the most part. I did enjoy it when they went back in time and showed us Blaze's childhood. I found the talking to a dead guy, to be annoying and my mind kept wondering through the rest of the book. I also recognized the childhood part, as I believe King has reprinted that in one of his collections or somebodies collection.

Pass on this

79 of 110 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good story

I like reading anything by King. Whenever he writes under the name Richard Bachman you know its going to be a classic.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A good listen

I love Stephen King and typically like Richard Bachman. Even though this book is a "trunk novel" as described by King, it doesn't feel out of date. It was narrated perfectly with great character differences. Bachman makes you care about the main character and how he finds himself in the current predicament. Well worth the credit.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Bitter sweet listening

Before I go into it further, I loved this book. The narrator brought the characters to life, the story was amazing, and the quality excellent. The experience was bitterweet though.... The story is one heartbreak after another. The story was well written, keeping suspence up throughout, whil still managing tohave flashbacks and story detail without ruining the story.

15 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't Listen to the Baddies

This book, including the narrator, are awesome! If our constant readers did not sympathize with Blaze and feel the tragedy of his existence, they should should be reading trash novels. This book may have been written years ago, but it is a testament to our throw-away lives and the divisions we draw between the have's and have-nots. Of the 4 more recent King books (Cell, Lisey, Duma, Blaze), this is far and away my absolute favorite!

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

forget the negative reviewers

I I don't know what those other reviewers are talking about. people saying that some stories don't need to be shared or every story doesn't need to have a listener... Just cuz this story isn't a horror story or not paranormal doesn't mean that it can't be a good story. I liked it. Sure.. like Stephen King himself said, it took a big idea from Of Mice and Men, but it still is a great story. It made you feel for a guy that didn't actually exist so it did its job.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth the wait

I am a huge Stephen King fan but I wasn't sure what to think about this book during the first 30 minutes of my listen. I found it very slow and tedious but I plowed through the beginning and was not disappointed in doing so. I was soon wrapped up in the characters and found myself feeling sympathetic towards Blaze as he struggled to deal with the cards life dealt him. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a glimpse into the master's creative mind of his earlier years.

14 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Likable

As always King/Bachman is able to develop characters in a way that makes me think about them long after the story is over. I really came to like Blaze but don't want to say more here without giving away the ending.

13 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Decent story

Well read. Tame for a Bachman, in my opinion. Plot was predictable, but still worth the read.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

I am giggling...

A long time "dear reader" of Stephen King's (and his alter ego's) books, I've found, unfortunatley, more and more, his latest books (written or published) to be unfortunate affairs. Carrie, The Stand (original), Different Seasons, Christine, Dead Zone--they all shine. Even some of his new ones have moments. BUT "Blaze" should have been kept in the box (as Stephen King himself has wondered, in the preface). And what is truly horrifying about this book is that what he feared the most has come true. I giggled uncontrollably throughout the entire book...I understand he is a prolific writer, but not everything he writes--as much as he may enjoy writing and reading them--needs an audience.

25 of 45 people found this review helpful