Sunday, July 11, 2010

64. Blockade Billy by Stephen King

#64

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Title: Blockade Billy
Author: Stephen King
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 132
ISBN: 9781451608212
Publisher: Scribner
Author Website: stephenking.com
Twitter: @scribnerbooks
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 3/5 stars
Finished: 7-10-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Fiction category)

From Amazon:
From New York Times bestselling 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.

Originally published through Cemetery Dance Publications on April 20, 2010 as a $25.00 limited-edition hardcover, Stephen King and Cemetery Dance have made an arrangement with Scribner to make available a less expensive hardcover edition of
Blockade Billy, with an on-sale date of May 25th, the same date the audiobook goes on sale. The Scribner edition will be available in all U.S. and Canadian retail outlets. Both the Scribner book and the Simon & Schuster audiobook will feature a bonus short story ("Morality").

Stephen King's love song to his favorite pastime, baseball, Blockade Billy tells the story of William "Blockade Billy" Blakely, the only player to have his existence wiped from the sports books. Why would such a gifted and talented ball player be erased from the games records? I had a hard time getting through all the baseball-speak at the beginning of the story, and when the reveal finally happened, quite frankly, the ultimate answer left me a little underwhelmed. I think you really have to be both a diehard baseball and Stephen King fan to truly appreciate this story.

The short, "Morality", that was included was King's version of Indecent Proposal, and while I didn't exactly know what the "proposal" was going to be at first, I knew how the story was going to end, so again felt a little underwhelmed.

Neither story is all that bad, but I didn't feel that either was up to King's usual standards.

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