Blaze
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Blaze

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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  15,885 ratings  ·  837 reviews

Once upon a time, a fellow named Richard Bachman wrote Blaze on an Olivetti typewriter, then turned the machine over to Stephen King, who used it to write Carrie. Bachman died in 1985 ("cancer of the pseudonym"), but this last gripping Bachman novel resurfaced after being hidden away for decades an unforgettable crime story tinged with sadness and suspense. Clayton Blaisde

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Hardcover, 285 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Scribner Book Company
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Dan Schwent
Aided by the voice of his dead friend George in his head, a slow goliath named Blaze kidnaps an infant and holds him for ransom. Can Blaze hold things together long enough to collect the ransom?

Blaze is a straight up crime book from Stephen King, aside from the voice of George in Blaze's head, which might not even be supernatural in origin. I have to wonder why this wasn't the book Stephen King offered up to Hard Case instead of The Colorado Kid.

The story of Blaze unfolds in two parallel stories...more
David
This was a bit of a return to the old classic King, sans monsters and gore. It's a novel King wrote 30-odd years ago, then rediscovered and polished up and released as the last of his Bachman books. Ironically, I found it to be one of the better stories of his I've read recently, but I always have had a bit of a preference for his older stories - his newer stuff often just doesn't quite strike the right chord with me.

King has always been good with stories that pull up the carpets on small town A...more
Gregory Del Duca
Look...

First and foremost, I am a self-described and unembarrassed "King Head." I have devoured Stephen King's words since reading "Thinner" as a fairly young boy with a slightly twisted mind that loved to be challenged, expanded, and scared.

I am also a person who has read loads of classic and contemporary fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, scientific journals, periodicals, etc. My point? I don't simply spend my time reading one author or genre, and I am a fairly discrimiinating reader.

I fee...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Stephen King may be the "master of horror," but with BLAZE he proves that he's also just a plain ole good writer. This story is a mixture of a thriller, a mystery, a police procedural, and a personal struggle to figure out who you are.

Blaze, aka Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., is a dummy, and he knows it. Ever since his father threw him down a flight of stairs (and then hauled him back up and did it a couple of more times), Blaze hasn't had the brains for learning. The dent in his forehead might make h...more
Stefan Yates
There is no doubt that this definitely has the feel of a Bachman book. As is true to the normal style of Kings novels attributed to Bachman, this novel is a gritty pared-down version of what you would normally expect from Stephen King. That is in no way saying that the book is bad, to the contrary, it was a very well-written and moving story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The thing that sets the tone of the Bachman entries apart from other works of King is that, while still very detailed and develope...more
TK421
I get it that "Richard Bachman" wanted to pay homage to the gritty noir he grew up reading, but, sadly to say, I don't really think he captured the feeling in this rambling, baggy-monster-ish book.

I really liked the premise of this story, and most of the characters were developed enough for my tastes, but I still closed it with a feeling of something not being completely fulfilled.

Mr. Bachman, if you can hear me from The Beyond, do us a favor...leave the noir writing to the other crowd. You se...more
Paul
Definitely one of the better Stephen King offerings I've read in quite a while. After the rather bloated "Dreamcatcher" and the sloppy feeling "Cell," "Blaze" was a nice surprise. It was succinct, engaging, and the story was well-paced and kept a solid momentum from start to finish. King/Bachman deftly weaves together a tale of a caper you know is bound to end badly with the story of an institutionally raised boy as he grows into a man and ultimately finds himself on the wrong side of the tracks...more
Zoeytron
Although there is nothing I like better than to pick up a 1000 page novel by this extraordinary storyteller, sometimes less is better. This is one of those times. A simple plot, great characters, and a perfect ending.

Blaze is a big hulking galoot who doesn't have much going on in the brains department, complements of his abusive father. Irretrievably damaged with a dent in the middle of his forehead, he is removed from the home and plopped into the uninviting lap of the state orphanage. After a...more
Alissa
Blaze isn't something that King would usually write. There are the same relationships, character development and fairly quick story line but its different. That could be since Bachman had a hand in writing this novel back in the 70s. Blaze was a good read, fast paced and told with a raw honesty that got to me sometimes. The main character, Clayton Blaisdell Jr. or Blaze, was let on as the villain from the start but throughout the story you are given some of his background, more than enough histo...more
Becky
This was a pretty decent story: Mentally handicapped Clay Blaisdell Jr. (Blaze) goes through with a kidnapping plot even though his partner (and the "brains" of the operation) is dead.

This is a book that is pretty typical of Bachman, in that it's relatively short at 260 pages, and it is a simple story mostly devoid of the paranormal occurences that King books often contain. Though, I must admit, I didn't get the sense of bleakness and despair that normally accompanies a Bachman book... This was...more
Rose
Stephen King had me wrapped up in his type writing fingers, tangled up in his tale & all up in knots in the suspense of it all. I loved this story completely, but it's no surprise as SK is one of the most talented & gifted story tellers ever. I loved the character of Blaze & felt everything SK wanted me to feel. Completely immersed in Blaze's story, sadness about the tragedy of his sad life both in the past & in the present, light with the humorous incidents & hopeful for a h...more
James
A lighter work by Stephen King/Richard Bachman, and I think the flashbacks with Blaze were more interesting than the central kidnapping story, which I felt kind of ran out of steam. I don't know if I really liked this story very much, but the thing about King's prose is that it is always eminently readable, filled with hilarious asides, phrasing, and curse-word-combinations.

I wonder if King really wrote this in the 70's and just tweaked it, or if this is a marketing publicity gambit, and he wro...more
LuAnn
Well, here we go with another book by one of my favorites … Stephen King! Actually, that’s not quite accurate as the real author is Richard Bachman, King’s alter ego.
Blaze is the story of a man who isn’t quite all there due to an “accident” when he was a child (his father threw him down the stairs) that left him brain damaged. He grows up in and out of state care and eventually come of age and leaves the system. He ends up befriending a hooligan who teaches him the finer points of criminal activ...more
Mihail Kostov
Късно предишната вечер прочетох последният излязъл в България роман на Стивън Кинг - "Огън". И един въпрос не ми дава спокойствие, защо българските издатели на книгата са решили да я нарекат така? Заглавието на книгата е "Блейз", което е името на главния герой. В цялата книга не видях основание да се нарича "Огън", ако някой е намерил нека ми пише.
Иначе останах с много добри впечатления от книгата. Чете се изключително лесно (330 стр. прочетох я за 2 дни, което е по-бързо от средната ми скорост...more
Christopher Sutch
In the preface Stephen King tells us that he used to think this novel was a piece of crap. It is. It should have remained buried in King's unpublished papers. As a crime novel it's barely the equal of those of Edgar Rice Burroughs (e.g., _The Mucker_, or the couple of Tarzan novels that have bumbling criminals as main characters). The few touches King threw in as he rewrote for publication (the possibility that Blaze's dead partner is really a ghost, Blaze's possible telepathic ability, the refe...more
Brent Soderstrum
This is a Richard Bachman/Stephen King early novel which has traces of "Of Mice and Men" with the big, slow main character of Blaze and the little "brains" of the outfit George. George tells Blaze what to do and how to handle things but George is dead for the main part of the story.

George had gotten Blaze into the con game using him over the years to pull off small con jobs. They had always planned on pulling off a big one and retiring. George then dies at a crap game after being knifed. Blaze d...more
Christina
This was my first time reading Bachman. I was saddened to hear of his death—cancer of the pseudonym is a devastating illness—but I am comforted in knowing that his good friend Stephen King published this work for him posthumously. It is also quite considerate of him to leave the proceeds from the sale of this book to The Haven Foundation.

Blaze is a nicely developed character—a loveable antihero. His circumstances are unfortunate and the reader is impelled to keep reading simply to find out how h...more
J.C.
Oct 27, 2010 J.C. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: stephen king fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert Beveridge
Stephen King, Blaze (Scribner, 2007)

My initial thoughts on this book were running somewhere along the lines of “if you like Stephen King novels in general, you'll like Blaze”. It seemed a pretty safe thing to say, really. And then I started reading reviews, both from the pros and the user community, and I found out just how wrong I was. Man, this book has been savaged up one side and down the other. And while some of those bad reviews you can easily dismiss out of hand (someone actually called t...more
Electriczen
'Blaze' was one of Stephen King's Richard Bachman books written between late 1972 and early 1973. King calls it a 'trunk novel.' He wrote it, didn't like it, and stuck it in a trunk. Years later he dug it out, looked at it and still didn't like it so he stuck back into a box and lost track of it. Many years later he looked for it and couldn't find it. An assistant finally located it in a box of material in Folger Library at the University of Maine. King looked at it again and liked it this time....more
Becca
Mar 04, 2010 Becca rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
My Stephen King caveat: Let the record show that I do not like the King genre. Horror scares me, and I've never made it through more than the first half of any movie based on his books. HOWEVER, I believe that Stephen King is a fracking genius of writing with the best dialogue, best turns of phrase and best wrangling of the English language ever. It's a bummer than most of his non-horror attempts stunk. So I have read everything he has written...in the daytime....when my husband is home and the...more
Kate
I've read a few of the Bachman books (Rage, The Long Walk, Thinner, The Regulators), and the one thing that unifies them is a hard edge and endings that are fairly dark. Not that most Stephen King books end happily ever after, but usually these have very little to redeem them. They are usually more one-track than most of King's books... less about every person who lives in Castle Rock, more about the main character and the current action.

King mentions in the introduction that there is a strong...more
Jamie
This one was hard to rate. On 1 hand, I loved the story. It was heartbreaking. So on that level, I would have easily given it a 4 or 5 stars.

My issue is the time frame. In the beginning of the book, he explains it as a "trunk novel" (written long ago). "I tried to keep the Blaze time-frame as vague as posible so it wouldnt seem too dated". After reading the book, it comes off as laziness. Many aspects of the story suggest something along the lines of the 50's, but then mention (that is NOT even...more
Gem
A fabulously tense account of a big 'dummy' who finds himself in the wrong situations with the wrong people.

I love the way that Stephen King weaves Blaze's past with his present to give an all round view of his life and his quite soft natured personality. There wasn't a character in the book that fell flat, they were all so well written and three dimensional.

I really found myself connecting with Blaze despite his wrongdoings, and rooting for him to be happy though I knew this could never happen...more
Clare
Man, Stephen King can write. I'm not a fan of horror, so I avoided most of his novels. However, the praise for 11/22/63 was one of the best books I've ever read, so I decided to give Blaze a try.

Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman, writes a sad story of a likeable, damaged kidnapper. I was hooked on this book, and kept coming back to it, despite the constant examples of human cruelty. I know people can be so unkind, so I generally avoid examples of that in books I read.

Blaze kidnaps a baby...more
wally
Oct 13, 2011 wally rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: king
wally this is an okay story...i believe king had steinbeck's of mice and men in mind...

i like how he used the voices...

you know...i think he did it again in full dark no stars the voices, or a voice, the kind of voice we hear ( i do, anyway) from time to time...and yes, this device was used again in....ummm....the good marriage i believe...

nothing earth-shattering here...i guess this is a story that had been written years earlier and whatever...

....picked up again, read through, and a decision w...more
Grampy
"Blaze" was written by Stephen King under the penname Richard Bachmann, early in his career. In fact, it was not published until after he had been well-known and well-received for some time.

(That fact makes me really wonder how many other good books have been rejected by the "big" publishers over the years, just because they weren't confident it would sell enough copies to make a big profit.)

The story follows the life of an unusual man. Tragically abused by his father, Clayton Blaisdell, Jr. su...more
Oh My Bookness
Book Review
By: Brittany Perez _(Oh My Bookness)
Date: May 29,2014
“Leave it to Richard Bachman a lifetime criminal one of the most heartbreakingly sympathetic characters we’ve seen in a long time.”

_Stephen King_ from the years of 1966-1973 wrote under pseudonym as _Richard Bachman_ but he also wrote under his own given name Stephen King. Richard Bachman would go on to publish and write a series of novels not seen until 1988, some of the stories: _The Running Man,Thinner,The Long Walk,Rage to name...more
Victoria
King delivered again. As always, I recommend his books to all who want a good read. His Bachman books are really good for those who don't like to read creepy things, because they are more psychological thrillers and just of a different nature. In this book we follow Blaze, who is mentally disabled because of an accident from when he was little, as he tries to fulfill a crime plot that him and George had going before George died. The crime: Kidnap a baby.

At first I was mortified at the thought o...more
Fahad
Yet another Stephen King book. This one was quite sad but a pleasurable read altogether and the short story 'Memory', which can be found at the end of the book (not sure if its just on the hardcover or general paperbacks), was appealing in its own way and i find myself wanting to read Duma Key because of it.

Great story from a great writer, much praise for the King.
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M...more
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“He was going to make this happen. His feet and his head was set, and when he got that way, he always did what he said he was going to do. It was his pride. The only one he had.” 2 likes
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