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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  40,522 ratings  ·  1,692 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 ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 285 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Scribner Book Company
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  40,522 ratings  ·  1,692 reviews

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Wow! This book was fantastic!

Why does King start the book with an apology/warning? This book is now definitely in my top 10 favorite King books (if not the top 5)

Seems like this one is even frequently skipped by King fans - please, stop skipping and read!

This book has a great story and great characters. It is quick and easy to read and kept me interested every page.

Blaze is a flawed but easy to sympathize tragic hero who doesn't really know what he is doing, but thinks he is doing it for the be
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
OMG........I cannot believe how good this book is.......well, there were a couple things that bothered me in the narration sequence, particularly the final flash from the past, but I'm still surprised at the overall low ratings.

This is not your typical Stephen King (Richard Bachman) read, as a matter of fact, King did not originally think it worthy of being published, but be prepared, there are scary times, a kind of horror of a different sort you might say, that caused me multiple OH NO! and OM

Johann (jobis89)
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
”It was a dirty world, and the longer you lived, the dirtier you got.”

If you love Of Mice and Men, then this would be a great King to pick up! Both feature a couple of guys just trying to make ends meet, one of which is the “brains” of the two and the other is this 6 foot 7 gentle giant that isn’t too bright due to the beatings he took as a kid (poor Blaze!)

The story unfolds with two separate timelines: we have current day where Blaze is trying to kidnap a baby in order to make some money, and t
Dan Schwent
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
Edward Lorn
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started this book, my goal was to read thirty pages a day until I was done. I expected it to be a chore. I expected to like it as much as (maybe even less than) I did the first time I read it. This plan worked until yesterday, when I started reading and never wanted to stop. After a mad dash through the last 100 pages of this book, I've decided to write a letter to Past E. and ask him what the fuck his problem was.

Cuz this book ain't half bad.

I know why I hated this book the first time.
Edgarr Alien Pooh
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Blaze was originally written as a short story way back in King's early career when he was predominantly submitting to magazines. He found it in his pile of old manuscripts and bulked it out for this 2007 release.

An obvious homage to Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Blaze follows the life of clay Blaisdell Jnr. A big lummox of a man, a little short in the intelligence field, he is both needy and loyal. The sum of these traits make him easy prey for undesirables who like to use him as an offsider.

Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, crime, suspense
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
Ashley Daviau
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few King books I haven’t read before and it’s always a treat to read a new to me King! Or Bachman if you’re being fussy. I think this might actually my fave out of all the stories King wrote under the Bachman name, I got slight King vibes from it as well and I was all there for it! It reminded me a bit of Of Mice and Men and that is NEVER ever a bad comparison because that book is brilliant. But where this book really got me is the characters, Blaze just hit me right in the fe ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Medhat The Book Fanatic
DNFed on page 76

I hated this book from the very first page. I didn't like the atmosphere of it. I didn't like the writing, which, to me at least, felt very dry. And I didn't like the two main characters; not even Blaze, who is soft in the head (I am sorry if that sounds inhuman to say, but it is how I felt), and I thought that he isn't an interesting character, as far as I've read.

I just didn't care about anyone and anything.

Also, I need to say that I was very excited to read Blaze, especially
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Considering that this is one of King's earliest works, (even under the Bachman Pseudonym), I think it's rather good. It's certainly not in the same league with his best fiction, but I was drawn in from the very beginning, and the story continued at a good pace up until the tense, nerve-wracking ending.

I like the way King introduced his main character in the beginning with a sparse amount of information, and then interchanged chapters the character's past with the present. We know that Blaze has
Gregory Del Duca
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing

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
Thomas Strömquist
May 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-collection
I thought this "Mice and men"-inspired little trifle was a more enjoyable read than I was afraid of, but it surely did not feel like an important one. What really made it was the flashbacks showing what shaped the brain injured baby-napper to what he is. The story itself unfolds and ends following the only logical pattern (except for the very ending which is probably not too realistic, but still very predictable).

I'm not sure why King felt compelled to publish this after so many years and certa
LeAnne: GeezerMom
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Am I the only person on the map to not know Stephen King's early pseudonym was Richard Bauchman? Huh.

This was the last book written under that pen name, and it is not of the horror genre but a bit like Of Mice and Men with a crime story thrown in. A kind but slow fellow named Blaisedell is befriended by a small time con called George who uses him in his cons, but genuinely cares for the big lug. Blaze continuously talks with George throughout the snatching of a six month old baby, but the twist
King's homage to Of Mice And Men, the non-linear story of the brawn with not so much brains 'Blaze'.

Not 100% convinced this belongs in the Bachman stable, but a solid read with a lot more sentimental crime fiction feel than suspense, thrills or horror. A must-read for King-completists, but not one I would recommend say if you wanted to read his top 20 works. Long days and pleasant nights.
Doreen Petersen
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephen-king
An earlier work by Stephen King but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The ending sucked me in and I just couldn't stop reading it until I finished. A sure sign of outstanding writing. I would recommend this one.
Horace Derwent
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book brought me tears and laughter with moving pathos and humor

sk had the wonder of using different approaches to achieve equally satisfactory results like Of Mice and Men

if i were a director directing an sk's novel, this book would be my first choice!
Alissa Patrick
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub
2- 2.5 Stars.

I just kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing really did. This felt like Stephen King-lite. Yawn. Not a fan of this story.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-bookcase
Sometimes after finishing (and during) a SK novel I talk to myself in the persona of one of the characters for a little while - true story! I just came to recognise this as something I do whilst talking to myself in the style of George (a character from this book). I don't know when it started, and I don't think I do it with other authors - which indicates to me that King's character creation is second to none (or that I have a problem ;).

As always I appreciated King's own words about the story
Wayne Barrett
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stephen-king, 2015, crime

After reading this I am a little surprised that it doesn't have a higher rating. I thought it was pretty damn good.

Written around the same time he wrote Carrie, King listed this one under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. maybe that's fitting because one thing that stands out to me in this novel is that there is a complete absence of the!

Blaze, the nickname given to our main character here, is a hardcore crime novel. This is one of those stories that is told in su
3/5 — The longer you live, the dirtier you get

This review contains spoilers.

Written before Carrie, then edited before its release in 2007 as a posthumous Bachman book, Blaze tells the story of sympathetic rogue Clayton Blaisdell, or "Blaze". King tips his hat to Steinbeck in this one, it being a shadow of Of Mice and Men. Our narrator splits the story between Blaze's tragic childhood and adolescence, and his life in the present.

And, presently, our big galoot—dull-witted but big and burly—is car
Stefan Yates
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stephen-king
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
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
Shatarupa  Dhar
Clayton Blaisdell Jr. aka Blaze hails from Maine. His brogue is a testament to his deplorable childhood. And when he decides to go it alone and pull the con of his lifetime, by kidnapping a rich heir, he doesn't listen to his partner in crime George and falls right into a routine with the six-month-old baby. But with the authorities hot on his heels, does he manage to pull it off? What is it that makes him tick? And what is it that made him who he is?

"If you think of this
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was one of the few King books that I hadn't read yet. A new,unread King book is always a treat! And this one didn't disappoint. Goodreads puts this in the horror category,which it isn't. It's more of a crime/mystery type of story.
It took me some time to really get into it,and at times it felt a bit slow. That took away that one star. But other than that,I really enjoyed this. The character of Blaze was so well written,I really started to care for him. The story tells his life story as well
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book even better this time around. It WAS sentimental, but in an honest way. Blaze had a heart of gold, but he was certainly no angel.

I don't believe was written by Bachman. I know. Who am I to say, but Bachman's books are always depressing or bleak. This one was neither. It was sad, but that's not quite the same thing, is it?
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: stephen-king
The novel was so-so.

Honestly, the best part was the short story included at the end, Memory. It was the genesis for Duma Key, which I'm now really looking forward to reading. Otherwise, the novel itself only gets about 2 stars.
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a marvelous find of a book!
Blaze's story is so sad. I've read some reviews that see him only as a criminal. I saw him as a kind, gentle, good-hearted man who is easily swayed by others. If he had had the right support, even once in his life, he would never have gotten mixed up with criminals. If only the farmer who befriended him had lived, Blaze's life would have had such a wonderfully different turn. The poor boy had no support or undestanding from anyone at all while growing up.
I got t
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my last unread Bachman book, and it's got an interesting history: For one, all royalties from the sale of Blaze are donated to The Haven Foundation, which supports freelance artists—because Stephen King never forgot where he came from. Written in 1973, it was rejected by the publisher in favor of 'Salem's Lot as King's second novel, so it ended up becoming a "trunk novel" he wasn't very fond of and more or less forgot about for decades. In the intervening years, Bachman was discovered a ...more
Feb 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Okay I was asked if I wanted to read this along with a friend and I thought why not. In the early days of my reading I will admit I voraciously read my way through Stephen King's publication list and for the most of them I loved them (some were so so while others were amazing and I still refer back to them even today).

However reading Blaze I realised two things. The first was that its been far too long since I immersed myself in Mr Kings work and secondly - and I guess this will come across a l
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This is a Stephen King pseudonym.

At the beginning of Stephen King's career, the general view among publishers was that an author was limited to one book per year, since publishing more would be unacceptable to the public. King therefore wanted to write under another name, in order to increase his publication without over-saturating the market for the King "brand". He convinced his publisher, Signe

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