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Month in review

Reviews:
Alphabet Rescue by Audrey Wood
The Avenger of Love by Jack Skillingstead
Blaze by Stephen King
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
The Brave Little Toaster by Thomas M. Disch
The Eighth Day of the Week by Marek Hlasko
The Elephants of Style by Bill Walsh
Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki
Father Malachy's Miracle by Bruce Marshall
Free to Be... You and Me by Marlo Thomas
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Harold's Fairy Tale by Crockett Johnson
Hunger by Elise Blackwell
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Look at Me by Anita Brookner
Lost by Gregory Maguire
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Randy Udall
Poor Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston
Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright
The Ride by Tom Brandner
Shadow-Below by Robert Reed
The Sneakiest Pirates by Dalton James
Sorcerers of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
The Spiral Briar by Sean McMullen
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist
Through Endangered Eyes by Rachel Allen Dillon
Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans
The Tribes of Bela by Albert E. Cowdrey
The Valley of the Giants by Peter B. Kyne
"A Wild and Wicked Youth" by Ellen Kushner
Without Sin by J. Thomas
Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth

Ulysses:
Episode 10: The Wandering Rocks: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Episode 11: Sirens: Our Man in Havana
Episode 12: The Cyclops: Pick-a-Little Episode 13: Nausicaä: Petting in the Park
Episode 14: Oxen in the Sun: The Critic in the Cabernet


Miscellaneous:
Susan Vreeland

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Blaze

BlazeBlaze: 05/27/09

Pseudonyms are nothing new. Way back when before Stephen King's writing career had taken off he also wrote as Richard Bachman. One of the books he wrote back then (1972-3 per the introduction) was Blaze which mashes together Of Mice and Men and Ransom of Red Chief into a modern day kidnapping tale with a supernatural twist.

Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., (aka "Blaze") the stand-in for Lennie Small kidnaps the six month old son of a local millionaire. He does it with the help of his much smarter friend, George Thomas Rackley. There's just one problem: George is dead but that doesn't stop him from bossing Blaze around.

Blaze flip flips between the present and the past. The present focuses on the plan and execution of the kidnapping and the aftermath of it. The past starts with Blaze's childhood and works its way forward to the point where George dies. These glimpses into Clayton's past help make him a more sympathetic character in the present even if what he does puts the infant in danger.

For the most part, Blaze manages to be a present day or "America, Not All That Long Ago" novel as King puts it (p. 6). There are a few exceptions to this timelessness. The baby formula descriptions are the first big giveaway that the story was first written when I was an infant. Then there is the lack of modern technology: no cell phones, no computers, no ATMs and an abundance of pay phones. While King makes it sound like a bad thing that the book might still have evidence of having been written in the early 1970s, it doesn't bother me at all. If anything, it made the story feel more real to me.

Read other posts at: Wikipedia

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