Blockade Billy
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Blockade Billy

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3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  9,057 ratings  ·  1,007 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published 2010 by Cemetery Dance Publications
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TK421
I have many pleasures in life, but two that really make me smile are Stephen King and baseball. Now I’m not going to write this review in hopes of changing your mind about Stephen King—he is what he is. You may like him. You may not. For my own two cents, I think he is a wonderful storyteller. Sure, one could peruse his body of work and find numerous examples where he stunk up the place; but, and I am saying this not only as a King fan but also as a fan of literature, one could also find numerou...more
Becky
I like baseball. Watching it. I don't follow or understand stats or anything, and I'm not "down with the lingo". I understand the basic concept of the game and am pretty good with the rules, but that's about the extent of it: I enjoy watching baseball games.

I know now that I do not like reading about baseball. I am familiar with the game, but even I had a hard time following all of the lingo and action. To Stephen King's credit, the parts I did understand were vivid and easy to see, as usual, b...more
Stefan Yates
Blockade Billy is a very solid and entertaining novella that fans of baseball and non-fans alike should enjoy. There is simply not much good baseball fiction available and this offering from King manages to fill a void that I simply didn't realize was there until I read it. Overall, the story gave me feelings of some of my favorite baseball movies such as Bull Durham and The Natural.

For those who aren't baseball fans though, this book still contains enough of King's wonderful characters and dial...more
Thomas
So, if you read the back of this book, you get a pretty good sense of what you’re getting into. This is a collection of two long short stories, one the story of Blockade Billy, a catcher for a baseball team that has been OMG ERASED FROM HISTORY because he did an OMG HORRIBLE THING, which was so bad that even he was OMG ERASED FROM HISTORY. Not literally, so much as the history books just didn’t mention him, but dang if you don’t get this sense of dread reading the story, waiting to see what this...more
Kathy
Blockade Billy:
Ok, now I hate being hard on Stephen King books, but this book confused me a bit. I am not a baseball person at all (any kind of sport really) and throughout alot of the story he is describing games. So much of that was over my head. I did love the conversational tone, as if Granny was telling the story to Uncle Stevie, and that did help a bit. Well, that's my only complaint there. Thought I was gonna trash it didn't ya? lol. I was pretty surprised by the twist and very much enjoy...more
Jacob
William "Blockade Billy" Blakely only played the Major League for a month or so, but he just might have been the greatest baseball player the game has ever had. So why haven't you heard of him? Sitcher self down, Constant Reader, and let ol' Stevie tell ya the story!

I'll admit, I haven't read much by King--The Stand, Dark Tower, Under the Dome, one or two others--so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I figured THE THING that got Blockade Billy erased from the record books would be something mor...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
It's no secret that I'm a Stephen King fan. After all, I have a copy of every book he's ever written--more than one format for some--and absolutely love the way he spins a tale. But I've fallen behind on my challenge to read 6 King Books this year. lol.

So, when hubby suggested I try this book, I shrugged and got started. I read the first 30 pages in one sitting, and was totally intrigued. Then, I found out there was another story included as well, which made me happier.

BLOCKADE BILLY: Tells the...more
Michael
When you're as big a name as Stephen King, you could pretty much publish a grocery list and people would snap it up. But part of that is because he's earned the trust of his readers, so that when he decides to push the limits or do something different, readers will follow him and give whatever experiment he's trying a fair chance.

Those experiments have given us some enjoyable reads and some interesting entries in the Stephen King library.

"Blockade Billy" is another noble experiment by King. Rele...more
Desiree Koh
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a horror writer, because of Stephen King. "It" grabbed my heart, kept it warm, then squeezed it cold whenever it grew talons. "Carrie" just plain scared the living shit out of me. "Different Seasons" put short stories in a different light, then freaked me out when the light went out. And so on... there was a time I actually rented "Christine" on VHS and enjoyed it.

But now, I much prefer writing non-fiction, although a big part of that is because it pays the bills...more
Chris
This was a nice treat. Two stories in one small volume that's easy to tote around. Not that you need to tote much, as it won't take long at all to finish it. But King almost always delivers, and he does so here once more.

"Blockade Billy" is a delightful little tale about baseball, told to Mr. King by an old baseball manager in a retirement home. It's about one player at least, and the events surrounding his playing career. King hits a home run here. There is a lot of baseball talk and game descr...more
Sam Quixote
Baseball fans or no, the best of the two short stories in this slim volume (a rarity with Stephen King) is without question "Morality". A young married couple is given the moral choice of going through with a nefarious deed for $200k by an elderly Priest. It smacks of Richard Matheson's story "Button, Button" (recently filmed as "The Box"), and is one of King's best stories in a while. It shows how a deed can change a person and how a secret can tear apart a marriage - moreover his characterisat...more
Donald
Apr 25, 2010 Donald rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Baseball fans, Stephen King fans, Writers, Short story readers
Stephen has a way with words that comes (must come?) with ruthless self-editing.

Blockade Billy is a novella at best and should probably be considered a novelette. The size, coming after “Under the Dome”, is a bit of a let down. But it is appropriate. Particularly in it’s hard-bound state. And you do get a trading card...

The story is told from the perspective of the Titans third base coach, George Grantham aka. Granny, telling the whole thing to Mr. King. The first bit of advise he gives him is...more
El
When I saw Stephen King's author photo on the back of this book, I felt a hole somewhere inside of me fill up with love and joy (or something close to it). This man loves his baseball. Look at that photo and tell me you don't grin ear-to-ear. He's like a kid on Christmas morning, a kid in the candy store, a kid who just caught a home run hit by his favorite baseball player of all time. King is goofy-happy about his baseball. And while I might not care that much about the sport, I can appreciate...more
Andrew
This was another one of those random finds going round the local charity stores. I have been after this book for a while but being a limited availability hardback book which what is essentially two short stories parcelled as one - one 80 pages or so the other 50. As with me I won't do spoilers just to say that regardless of the content - the packaging or anything to me these are classic Stephen King short stories - the likes of which I have always enjoyed from the classics of Night Shift and ske...more
Jay Jessmer
I'm going to try to keep this very simple...if you need a way to kill about an hour of time, grab hold of this Stephen King novella and prepare to be sucked in and mesmerized!! This is the fictionalized story of a phenom baseball rookie who captivates the sports world for one shining moment in 1957, but appears to be harboring a dark secret. the story is told through the voice of the teams' former 3rd base coach to Stephen King in a nursing home. The suspense builds rapidly, as we are told earl...more
Marc-Antoine
Two great little stories, fun quick read, highly enjoyable.
Adam
The new book recently released by Stephen King is actually two of his short stories put together. The book is only a 130 pages and surprised me with the easy way it read and the quick beginning to end rush unlike most of his books. He really showed me unlike his earlier collection of short stories Just After Sunset that he can swing along a short story just like any other.

The short that is the namesake of the book , Blockade Billy, was one of the best short stories I have ever read. Starting wi...more
Chad Bearden
Some of my favorite Stephen King stories are his shorter works. "The Body", "The Mist", "The Colorado Kid", and "The Long Walk" are all amazing pieces of literature and serve to remind that Stephen King can do the short story just as effectively as he can do long form. The prospect of him putting out a few short stories in lieu of a full collection or a new novel (which I'm sure is being worked on as I write) isn't one that bothers me a bit.

So the question for me isn't whether this volume is too...more
Robert
I am not a big aficionado of Stephen King's writing, but I picked this up from my library because it seemed like a quick read an it might be fun. This little novella is written as a first person oration of an elderly former Major League Baseball coach giving his recollection of an unusual rookie catcher by the name of William Blakely aka "Blockade Billy." What is the mystery surrounding this tough and talented young rookie phenom from Iowa?

What is the secret behind Blockade Billy Blakely? What...more
Joshua Palmatier
I saw this on the shelf, picked it up (because I'm a Stephen King fan), and read it in a day. This is not surprising. It's not Under the Dome in length, a mere 130 pages, including two short stories or novelettes called Blockade Billy and Morality. Neither of the two stories is what you'd consider a Stephen King story, in the sense that neither one relies on some kind of paranormal twist or monster. The monsters here are all human in nature, so the two stories are more along the lines of his fam...more
Chibineko
I've always considered myself more of a casual Stephen King fanatic. I'll read his books as they're released, but not really go out of my way to read them during the first week or so of its release. Since this was a relatively short book & I had time to read it, I decided to fit it in with my other reading.

The book contains two short stories, "Blockade Billy" & "Morality". The first story is a mixture of baseball & thriller, with an emphasis on the baseball aspect of it. "Blockade Bi...more
Randy
Blockade Billy is a short book with two novellas, neither of which has any supernatural elements. The horror here is that of which humans are capable.

The title story is about the brief, meteoric career of a young major league baseball player in baseball's early days and the reasons why, if you look, you'll never find the first word about him in the record books. Only those that were there know.

The second tale is about a young couple that are offered one of those deals which "you can't refuse." H...more
Michael
Jul 14, 2010 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Baseball Fans
Shelves: death, horror, baseball
I've been on a kicker for baseball books the last couple months. I've never read any Stephen King before, mostly because I'm not good with scary books. My mind gets way to active at night and I don't need nightmares. I decide that this book would be my first. The first of the two short stories was really good. I enjoyed the baseball theme and the mystery that was wrapped around Blockade Billy. It was a fast read. The first short story took me two nights to read, which isn't very long for me. The...more
Amy Snyder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lexi W.
Blockade Billy is made up of a pair of short stories. The main story is about a simple young man with an incredible amount of talent who is poised to be one of the greatest players in baseball. There's something just off about him, though, a hint of a dark secret that will get his name erased from the history of the game. The second story, Morality, is about a woman's life flipping on its head after she sells her values for two hundred thousand dollars.

Both stories are very short: the whole book...more
Rachel Haimowitz
1.5 stars, rounded up simply because I actually finished the book.

Very meh, and frankly disappointing for such a master of the short story.

This was actually two works: Blockade Billy and a short called Morality. BB was better than Morality, but not by very much.

I suspect I might have appreciated BB more if I were a baseball fan, as it seemed very much like a love song to the game. My problem with it--and with Morality as well--was that the actual stories, and the driving forces behind them--were...more
Todd Russell
It's no secret that Stephen King is a huge baseball fan and it's a bit surprising he hasn't written a lot more baseball horror stories. The story is written as if it's being told to "Mr. King" by a man who was there in the 50s when Blockade Billy played. Blockade gets his name from the way as a catcher he blocks the plate. The story, itself, is a fast novella read for baseball lovers. It reads like you might be at the park chomping down garlic fries and a slurping a coke while the guy next to yo...more
U.L. Harper
A respectful behind the scenes look at baseball and its nuances.

But to tell you honestly, that's about it. The language used is great in this little story. About 80 something pages. A two sitting, easy and fun read. Even though it does leave you a little empty.

Blockade Billy, as you learn to call the main character, is an idiot but he can play ball better than anybody. Boy can he block that plate. Man oh man can he hit the ball. This guy can really excite a crowd. But what's the real deal behin...more
John Wiswell
Barely over a hundred pages, and King makes every single one of them work for it. Blockade Billy oozes a love of baseball almost inexplicable. Here we have the tragic tale of a country boy who succeeded, one freckled with thieves, busted tendons and grown men screaming into each others' faces. To a non-baseball fan, this novella is not so unlike Fantasy, with fond world-building and exotic detail lurking every few paragraphs. Our narrators' colloquial enthusiasm stresses what's important, and no...more
Jinky
What a fun find. I'm no sports freak so I'm surprised I picked this up even though it's a short book. OK, maybe that's why I picked it up ..it'd be a quick read, something to make me feel accomplished at finishing a book! Anyway, this novella got me asking, Holy s*it was there really a Blockade Billy who played for the New Jersey Titans and the baseball community really erased that team in history because ...? Wow, what a story! ~I've been avoiding Stephen King books because he equates scary sto...more
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Stephen King Fans: Blockade Billy 99 192 Jan 16, 2012 12:38AM  
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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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“them up when the other team had a runner on third. By the time the Yankees came to town—this was going on to the end of April—the whole stadium would flush orange when the Bombers had a runner on third, which they did often in that series. Because the Yankees kicked the living shit out of us and took over first place. It was no fault of the kid’s; he hit in every game and tagged out Bill Skowron between home and third when the lug got caught in a rundown.” 0 likes
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