Customer Reviews for

Blaze: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 164 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(78)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(23)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Great Book!

I'm so glad King brought this book out. It's a really great book. The character Blaze is really likeable even though he is the criminal you would usually hate for kidnapping. Lovable characters, moving plot, really wonderful.

posted by SylviaRose on January 29, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Good read

Blaze is actually a decent story that isn't plauged by King's dull writing style and story telling. Our chatacter, Blaze, is an interesting criminal who had a partner in crime now deceased. Blaze can hear his friend's voice in his head day in and day out. He influences ...
Blaze is actually a decent story that isn't plauged by King's dull writing style and story telling. Our chatacter, Blaze, is an interesting criminal who had a partner in crime now deceased. Blaze can hear his friend's voice in his head day in and day out. He influences and instigates Blaze's actions and eventually gets him involved in a kidnapping plot whose victim's family are millionaires. He plans to ask for a ransom but eventually gets attached to the infant. The story keeps you interested by getting you emotionally attached and feeling pity for the villian using Blaze's innocent and adventurous upbringing in flashbacks. The book is definitely readable so people not so sure about this 'King' book don't be afraid it's short and entertaining!

posted by igonzafn on July 12, 2009

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    Great Book!

    I'm so glad King brought this book out. It's a really great book. The character Blaze is really likeable even though he is the criminal you would usually hate for kidnapping. Lovable characters, moving plot, really wonderful.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Obvious ties to "Of Mice and Men", but well worth the read.

    Even at first blush, the characters draw heavy inspiration from "Of Mice and Men". The plot itself is written from the sort of dark world view you would expect from Stephen King, but at the same time, it is endearing and beautiful in a very unique way. The prose is very stark, far different from most of King's work, which makes it feel very fresh. The flashback chapters to the past of the main character evoke empathy and understanding.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    POIGNANT

    Clayton Blaisdell is "...soft in the head..." due to being thrown down the stairs three times by his father, and although they were partners in crime, Blaze has had George to look after him in many ways....just as the George in 'Of Mice And Men' looked out for Lennie. Therefore anyone who has read 'Of Mice...' can't fail to be reminded of it when reading this book.<BR/>BUT, the George in this story is dead and only lives in Blaze's head which Blaze realises to some extent and which worries him at times. George is the 'bad voice' on Blaze's shoulder...telling him things which might save his skin but that Blaze doesn't always want to do...and Blaze is ultimately a criminal who endears himself to you. You can't help but feel sympathy for a boy who's had the life he has. He's been abused and misunderstood and every time there's a glimmer of something better, had his hopes dashed.<BR/>The chapters move back and forth from the present day where Blaze is planning to kidnap a baby for a ransom, to his growing up in care and his friendship with John Cheltzman.<BR/>I found the way Blaze cared for Joe quite touching and very believable for this gentle giant who after all is just yearning for something of his own to love and love him back. Whilst I knew it couldn't happen (could it?) I really was rooting for him all the way. Great read, you will not be disappointed.<BR/>Not a horror story in Kings normal style...instead he gives us sociological observations on society, encased in a good story. Unlike some reviewers I liked the ending...it was moving to know that when Joe cried "It was the wrong face..." that bent over and tried to comfort him.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    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. <BR/><BR/>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 him look scary, but we soon learn that Blaze isn't much of a threat -- except when he's really angry. He might look like a giant at 6'7" and nearly 300 pounds, but this man's heart is as soft as his mind. <BR/><BR/>Blaze has pretty much drifted through life by skirting the law and mostly (with exceptions) avoiding trouble. When he meets George Rackley, Blaze learns the art of the con. The two of them (or, rather, George) have been planning one big job for awhile now. That big job would be kidnapping the baby of a rich couple, collecting the ransom, and living the high-life somewhere with white sandy beaches and lots of sun. <BR/><BR/>But we soon learn that things aren't going quite the way either man had expected. For one, George is dead, even though he's still helping with the kidnapping plot. For another, Blaze, as we've already learned, isn't the smartest guy around. <BR/><BR/>What follows is a mixture of present day mystery/thriller as Blaze carries out the kidnapping of little Joey, mixed with the flashbacks of his life that show how Blaze ends up where he's at. <BR/><BR/>King (aka Bachman..does it really matter the name?) shows great control in the pacing of BLAZE, and expertly weaves the present with the past. You'll also be surprised (and entertained) by the joy that is Blaze, who is a wonderful, fully-developed character.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    The Best King in ages

    Although it borrows heavily from the great and legendary 'Of Mice and Men', -which is why I took one star away- it is in my humble opinion the Best Stephen King has put out in years. Blaze comes across as much a victim as those he kills. Read it, you won´t be able to put it down!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2008

    Great read

    The direction one's life takes is often out of his/her control. A simple twist of fate here and there and it is a completely different outcome, a whole different story. Some lives are just tragic. The story had me feeling for all of the victims.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Great storyline!

    Each chapter keeps you guessing...whats gonna happpen next?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not a lot of action

    Blaze is the last novel from Bachman's period of greatest productivity from 1966-1973. As Stephen King put it, he was two men during this time. King was wrote and sold horror stories to raunchy skim-mags and Bachman wrote novels that didn't sell to anybody. The facts that I just wrote I learned from King's Full Disclosure at the beginning of Blaze and I also learned many other interesting facts.

    I didn't find Blaze a horrible read, just tedious at times. There isn't much in action but just a steady build up to the end. It was worth reading till the end though. Before I even knew it I was sympathizing with Clayton Blaisdell, Jr. aka Blaze and really hoping that he would turn his life around. Unfortunately, the cards are just stacked against him.

    Blaze's life started with his father throwing him down the stairs causing him brain damage. He then is shipped off to a home for boys where he really starts his life of crime. He does have one chance at having normal life when a family adopts him, but because he defends himself against an attacking dog and kills it, he is sent packing back to the boy's home. This truly begins his downward spiral I believe. After meeting up with George he is shown all new cons and is in awe of George. George and he decided to take on the biggest payoff of all, kidnapping a baby. Before this goes down, George is killed. Blaze knows that he must continue with the plan, because that is what George wants and George is still around and telling him what to do. So with George's help Blaze sets into motion a series of events that lead to the final showdown.

    The ending is tragic and heartbreaking. Blaze really is a good guy, he just makes really bad decisions.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    Like most of Mr.Kings books this one left me sitting on the edge of my seat awaiting the fate of Blaze and little Joe. I was expecting there to be a little more mental illness, or maybe a supernatural element (it is Stephen King afterall), but I would recommend this book anyway.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fast Read

    You really cannot go wrong with Stephen King. All his books are great and when he writes as Richard Bachman he does not disappoint. Blaze is a really quick read. It will hold your attention and it's fun. You really feel bad for the 'bad guy'. This is not one of King's weird, fantasy type of novel. It is a bit more mainstream. I liked it a lot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    Hang in there

    I am a pretty big Stephen King fan and have been for twenty or more years. Like others, I feel his more recent works lack something of his past. This book is from his (or Richard's, if you will) past and was just "tweaked" more recently. I thought it would be a fast read as it is only about two hundred or so pages. I had to fight to get through the first hundred. It dragged on without any action for ages. I am all for character development but those characters need to do a little something every now and again. Once you get to the point where the kidnapping actually takes place things begin to pick up in terms of reader engagement. You care about what happens to Blaze and Joe and even though you know how it is going to end (more or less) the journey becomes much more interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing

    King has never let me down in the past. He should have gone with his first opinion of the novel and left it in his study. Blaze is an endearing character and well developed character. I expect something a little more out of the oridinary of a Bachman book. I just don't feel the the story was developed enough.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Good Story Telling

    I really enjoyed this book. He made the characters compelling and it became a quick and thrilling read. I found myself being pulled into the story much like "Rose Madder", another favorite of mine. This was a fun and quick book to get through . . . great for a first time King reader or someone who might want to "come back" to King.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good read

    Blaze is actually a decent story that isn't plauged by King's dull writing style and story telling. Our chatacter, Blaze, is an interesting criminal who had a partner in crime now deceased. Blaze can hear his friend's voice in his head day in and day out. He influences and instigates Blaze's actions and eventually gets him involved in a kidnapping plot whose victim's family are millionaires. He plans to ask for a ransom but eventually gets attached to the infant. The story keeps you interested by getting you emotionally attached and feeling pity for the villian using Blaze's innocent and adventurous upbringing in flashbacks. The book is definitely readable so people not so sure about this 'King' book don't be afraid it's short and entertaining!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Pierce

    Ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    dra

    Walks back

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    So so

    I am so used to Kings strong character development in most of his books,but I have to say I felt no connection or deep sympathy for Blaze...the development of the story was ok at best and the build up to the ending ad well as the ending itself were lackluster.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    One of the best

    This is a great novel. Not the average King novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Ruin

    Here

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    BS

    Sam and Brooklynn look for Scarlet. Post

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