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Blaze: A Novel by Richard Bachman

Blaze: A Novel (edition 2008)

by Richard Bachman, Stephen King (Foreword)

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Title:Blaze: A Novel
Authors:Richard Bachman
Other authors:Stephen King (Foreword)
Info:Pocket Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Blaze by Richard Bachman

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Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Blaze by Richard Bachman is about a guy who performs a kidnapping with his dead friend George and tries to get money for it. Asking for one million dollars, he is also on the run from the police.

Blaze is the main character in the story. He was an orphan seeking adoption but never was adopted. He grew up in his orphanage to become strong, but dumb.

George is Blaze’s friend. He’s really bad though. He always tells Blaze what he is doing wrong and is never positive about anything. Because he’s dead, Blaze is the only one who can see him.

Blaze kidnaps a rich families baby, and asks for one million for him. When he does something really stupid, he has to run from the police. There are flashbacks that tell of Blazes back story, behavior, and past friends.

I did enjoy this book though. It kept me interested all the way through. ( )
  br14many | Oct 10, 2013 |
on Thursday, February 07, 2008 I wrote about this book.....

Read this in 2 days.
Really enjoyed it. In reality it is such a sad story but in another way so beautiful.
Completed it on February 4 2008

4.5 stars out of 5 ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
I am not sure why Stephen King even published this book. It would maybe make a decent short story but the story of Blaze and whether or not his partner in crime is alive and haunting him or just part of his imagination was just so boring. It was painfully obvious how this was going to end but I was still disappointed when it ended that way. *sigh* Mr. King's recent work has been pretty poor. I am very hopeful that Duma Key will break the cycle.
  walterqchocobo | Apr 8, 2013 |
A mildly interesting tale of a not-too-bright and all-too-trusting career criminal. The real gem is the short story "Memory" that was expanded into the novel Duma Key. ( )
  srboone | Apr 3, 2013 |
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 sort of like "Bachman Lite". Heh.

Parts of this story really reminded me of other stories, namely The Dark Half by Stephen King and The Cider House Rules by John Irving. (Admittedly, I have only read about 100 pages of The Cider House Rules before (temporarily?) giving up on it, but what I did read came to mind as I read about parts of Blaze's childhood.)

I enjoyed the story, for the most part, even though it felt as if King just phoned it in, in a way. Quite a few of the characters fell a little flat, which is disappointing for me, because King's characters normally feel like real people and have a life of their own.

I felt like I mostly knew Blaze, good thing too, since the book is titled for him, but the other characters (with the possible exception of Johnny Cheltzman) were just characters. Sterling in particular disappointed me, because we normally get so much more of the inspiration behind the "good cop" character... The end of the story left me wondering who Sterling really was, and why things ended the way they did with him. *sigh*

Blaze was a willing but sympathetic con-man turned kidnapper, and I was torn between wanting him to get away and wanting him to get caught, but if I was called upon to suggest a book for a new King/Bachman reader, this would probably not be it.

**Spoiler below**

In mentioning The Dark Half above, I was referring to the way that Blaze seemed to have a connection with George while Blaze was in jail, and the way in which Blaze seemed to "absorb" George after George's death.

It's almost as if Blaze finally found someone who understood and accepted him, and he created this ESP-like talent of keeping in touch with George when Blaze needed him. (It's one thing to know someone so well that you can almost hear their voice in your head, but its another situation entirely to know things about them you have no other way of knowing.)

But, maybe The Dark Half isn't really an apt comparison... In that book, there was either one personality or the other, never a communication between them. In this one, at one point, Blaze considers himself a danger to the baby due to George's influence, but George never exerts control over Blaze to carry out any "evil impulses".

Speaking of George's influence, this is another point that disappointed me about the characterization... I got the feeling from George that he was into theft and con-jobs to make a quick buck, but was not into hurting anyone unless absolutely necessary. Yet, on more than one occasion, George seems to want Blaze to kill the baby out of pure jealousy or malice... And this is after helping Blaze make sure that the baby was safe and well cared-for. I didn't really get the turn-around... ( )
  TheBecks | Apr 1, 2013 |
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These are the slums of the heart. -- John D. MacDonald
For Tommy and Lori Spruce, And thinking of James T. Farrell
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George was somewhere in the dark.
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Chronicles the life and times of Clayton Blaisdell, Jr.--the crimes committed against him and the crimes he himself commits, including a kidnapping he is doomed to attempt.

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