Joshua Palmatier's Reviews > Blockade Billy

Blockade Billy by Stephen King
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's review
Jun 30, 2010

liked it

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 famous The Body short. But unlike The Body, the characters here aren't teenagers and in the end these two stories just aren't as captivating or as good as The Body.

Blockade Billy incorporates King's love of baseball with a how some, including players, can become obsessed with the game. I'm not that big into baseball, and there were a few spots where the terminology of the game was over my head, but the story is readily accessible regardless. It read quickly and drew me in, all the way to the end. I just didn't have that "AH" moment of satisfaction at the end.

Morality has nothing to do with baseball nor does it have any connection to Blockade Billy in any tangible way. Basically, a married couple with a little financial trouble is offered some money if they'll do something . . . not quite moral. It isn't something huge, but it changes them. What's interesting about this story is how something so minor can have such a huge impact on people's lives, even if they don't get caught.

So in the end the two stories were interesting and gripping, but there wasn't enough there to give me goosebumps or send me off into serious thought. Good reads, but not Stephen King's best (also not his worst by far either).
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