By: Stephen King
I don’t think I’ve ever made it a secret that I’m a bit of a Stephen King fan. A majority of my early adult reading list consisted of early King works. They were dark, mysterious, psychological thrillers that drew me in and held me until the book was over. Many of his latest works, however, hold none of those properties for me. Blockade Billy was no exception to that emerging rule. Make no mistake, King is still a storyteller among storytellers. He can craft a story like very few have ever been able to. They just aren’t the type of stories that I fell in love with so long ago, and it becomes harder for me to anticipate each new one with the same vigor.
Blockade Billy is really a small novella sized book with two short stories in it. The first, the title story, is a story about a baseball player who became known as Blockade Billy and the season that he saved, and killed, all in the span of a few short games. It’s written in a bit of a strange method, as a sort of transcript of someone telling the story to King in an interview for a story. It works.
The second story is called Morality. It’s the story of a young married couple who just want to leave the big city behind and move to a nice little town in the country, but can’t afford it. Until the wife’s employer offers a very lucrative deal. All she has to do is help him set his morality aside and perform a sin. King touches on many of the obvious topics of a tale of this type, but does so in such a way that they are never really expressed, but merely shown through the characters actions. A hefty feat, but well done.
I must admit that I have very little idea what the idea was in combining the two into one book. Neither has anything to do with the other. It’s almost as if King had the baseball story that he wanted to release, but it just wasn’t long enough, so he found an old story that would help fill up the space and threw it in. It’s worth reading, but I’m glad I didn’t pay full price for it and got it off of Paperbackswap instead.