Title: Blockade Billy
Author: Stephen King
Scribner, Nov 2010
Length: 132 pages
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Fans of Stephen King know he’s passionate about music and baseball. In his little hardcover, Blockade Billy, King has written such an authentic feeling baseball story I went looking to see if such a character (or a composite of such characters) actually existed. I knew the story was fiction, yet there I was foolishly researching old-time baseball. That should tell you a lot about the story.
How can you be a baseball fan and not like the tale of Blockade Billy? Narrated to Mr. King by an old man who was there, the reader gets to meet Billy Blakely, perhaps the greatest player who ever lived. Yet today’s generation has never heard of him. It’s as if the game tried to erase his very existence. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s enough of a hook to keep me reading to the shocking end of the story. And what an end it is. King does not disappoint.
Blockade Billy contains a second story entitled Morality. The questions asked here are “What would you do if a person you look up to offers you a lot of money to do something you know is morally wrong?” and “How would the amoral choice effect you?”
I thought this second story was more horrifying than Blockade Billy, simply because it made me uncomfortable, where the first didn’t. The end will disappoint many people; a subtle, maybe even simple ending that will anger those used to being spoon fed, I found it to be realistic and therefore more disturbing than a larger than life finish would have been.
A great read for a slow Sunday afternoon.
Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye
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