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Blockade Billy [UNABRIDGED]

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Blockade Billy [UNABRIDGED] Cover Page

AUTHOR: Stephen King READER: Craig Wasson
FORMAT: Unabridged
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster PUB DATE: 2010



Blockade Billy, a novella, is a nod to King's love affair with America's favorite pastime. He's a rabid Boston Red Sox fan.

Because this is a story written by the master of the horror novel, readers know something strange is going to go down. King wastes no time setting the stage.

William Blakely, who comes to be known as Blockade Billy, is the star of the story and the star catcher for the New Jersey Titans in 1957. Billy's story is told in the present by onetime Titans third-base coach George "Granny" Grantham. This is a work of fiction, but Granny tells the story to King, who visits him at his nursing home, or, as Granny calls it, "the zombie hotel."

Teenaged Billy is called up from the Davenport (Iowa) Cornhuskers after the Titans' pitcher and his backup are knocked out of the game, one by a hit-and-run arrest and the other by a collision with a 270-pound base runner.

There's something not quite right about Billy, who seems a bit soft in the head. He talks to himself a lot, and in conversations with his teammates, he just echoes what people say to him.

But the kid can really play. He earns his nickname for the body checks he uses to stop runners rushing headlong for home plate. Soon, fans are hoisting signs that say "Roads closed by order of Blockade Billy." And he's not just a good catcher � he's breaking all the rookie batting records.

But this is a King story, and it has to have a King ending. There's a reason why Billy's name and stats have been wiped out of the record books. Granny tells King the truth in the novella's final pages, and the real story of Billy is a doozy.

Short and sweet best describes this novella that shines for many reasons: King's love for baseball, his irresistible storytelling style and the way he effortlessly pitches this story to us in the smoothest baseball lingo.

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