Polychrome Interest

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Blaze by Richard Bachman a.k.a Stephen King

He kidnapped a baby, he talked to his dead friend…but you can never hate him.

I regretted the fact that I had left Blaze sitting on my shelf untouched for the past 2 years. I should have read it straight away after I bought it.

Actually I read it straight away, but when I read the FULL DISCLOSURE part (foreword) I had this slight hesitance to start reading it.

Dear constant reader,

This is a trunk novel, okay? I want you to know that while you’ve still got your sales slip and before you drip something like gravy or ice cream on it, and thus make it difficult or impossible to return. It’s a revised and updated trunk novel, but that doesn’t change the basic fact…

… I forgot about Blaze for a few years.

Reading that kind of foreword from the author itself made me had this feeling that the book might not be one of his best…maybe even the worst. He didn’t publish it as eager as he published his other book. After reading that foreword, I put the book down and read his other book. I read and finished Blaze last month (but I was so busy with L’Arc~en~Ciel and had no time to write my review till today) and I was so wrong to be misguided by that foreword…I REALLY LIKE BLAZE.

Blaze is NOT a horror book, it is more into thriller with heart. The more I got to know Blaze’s past and present, the more I felt sorry for him. I felt like I wanted to be there and forgave all that he had done. He was just a victim of bad circumstance.

Stephen King, under his pseudonym name Richard Bachman, introduced us to a huge man by the name of Clayton Blaisdell who was known as Blaze to his friends. Blaze used to be a smart boy who loved reading books, young Clayton lived with his abusive father. One day, his father threw him down the stair. People had assumed that Clayton would never made it from the fall but he did. He woke up as a new person, a person who couldn’t think as proper as he used to be. He couldn’t read book anymore and he was called dumb. He was taken away from his father and forced to live in Hetton House, a place similar to orphanage.

The story was written in a past and present way, It started with Blaze as a grown up trying to steal a car with his partner in crime, George…but George was no longer alive, he was now Blaze’s pigment of imagination, his imaginary ghost friend. Before George died, they were planning to kidnap Joe Gerard IV, an infant of a very wealthy family. Believing George was still alive, Blaze made his final preparation to kidnap the baby.

In between his preparation, we moved back to the past to see how little Clayton transformed into big dumb and kind-hearted Blaze. Blaze who was not as smart as he used to be before the fall hated arithmetic but his teacher bullied him every time he couldn’t do it. He then came across a smart boy who was the object of bullying by other big students. John helped Blaze with math while Blaze kept all the big boys away from him. Their friendship was so nice to read.

This kind of back and forth story made us understand Blaze more, it also made us care for him. Blaze was a gentle giant who was so unfortunate with life, he was drawn into criminal world because he had no choice, or more precise he couldn’t choose. When he finally kidnapped little Joe, he made you feel like saying “ow please let him keep the baby”…I know it was wrong but that’s how Blaze will make you feel.

This kind of book is the reason why I claim Stephen King as my favorite writer, he had wide variety of stories. He wrote marvelous scary stories as well as heart-breaking human relationship stories and he wrote it all with passion.

Book Details:

Title: Blaze
Author: Richard Bachman a.k.a Stephen King
Language: English
Pages: 309 pages
Publisher: Hooder and Stoughton
Challenge: The Stephen King Project 2012
Rating:

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About Novroz

I actively maintained 2 blogs. My personal blog is about things that I love: Turtles, Books, Movies, Music, Larc en Ciel, Muse, Cillian Murphy, The Mighty Boosh and many more. I also help my 3 super cute turtles, Kroten, Papoe and Kurome, to maintain their own blog: http://kamekroten.wordpress.com

22 comments on “Blaze by Richard Bachman a.k.a Stephen King

  1. le0pard13
    May 13, 2012

    Y’know, I have Blaze somewhere in my house… unread. I need to fix that. Fine book review, Novroz. Thanks.

    • Novroz
      May 13, 2012

      Thank you Mike :)
      I hope you can locate the book and read it…tho you might not like it as much as I do ;)

  2. Too funny, I came *thisclose* to checking this book out of the library the other day and now I wish I had! I read that “trunk novel” intro that he wrote and thought it was really unique and it’s that genuineness that makes me appreciate his writing that much more. I’m really going to have to check out this book now!

    One of the things that I really love about SK’s writing is that he is so much more than horror and it’s unfortunate that people equate him with only that. I wish readers would give him a shot and try the books that are outside of the horror genre, and quite frankly, even his horror is so much more. There is so much to the backstory of all of his characters, even the ones that only come up for a few pages. It’s what makes his storytelling so layered and engaging!

    Thanks so much for participating in The Project! And I love to read that SK is your favorite writer! I’m slowly experiencing more and more of his work through this and feel like I’ve missed out on so much in my reading life by waiting until now to read his work! I’m going to do everything I can to make up for that :)

    Thanks again and I look forward to reading more of your reviews!

    • Novroz
      May 14, 2012

      What a coincidence ;)
      I always love reading his foreword or afterword, SK always being honest and never tried to make things up. Reading his foreword or afterword is liked talking to him. I don’t usually read such blurb by other authors because they tend to bored me, but not when I read King’s personal words.

      Hear hear!!
      Too bad most people associate him with horror and they missed some of the best stories ever told, just take example of Shawsank Redemption and The Body. Under The Dome, one very thick book, is also more into human psychology rather than horror. He describe everyone in the town so good that we feel like we know each and everyone of them.

      Thank you for hosting this project Natalie :)
      So happy to hear that you have just been turned into SK’s fans…I guess anyone who really reads his books can easily be turned into a fan.

      I have 3 short stories by him ready to be shared soon.

  3. Caroline
    May 14, 2012

    A very nice review. I Can understand why you put the book aside at first but it’s an interesting foreword all the same.
    If only his novels were not so chunky. I’d love to explore them. I almost bought his latest, I’d love to read it but will wait until it’s out in paperback.

    • Novroz
      May 14, 2012

      His latest was praised by so many…I am eager to read it but I can’t afford the hardcover edition so I have to wait for the paperback edition to be released.

      You can start by reading 1 novella from Full Dark No Stars ;)
      You don’t have to read all of them at once.

  4. DEZMOND
    May 14, 2012

    I haven’t read anything from King, or maybe just a book or two, but I know he is extremely popular. My publishers is covering him in our country.

    • Novroz
      May 14, 2012

      He is NOT popular in my country Dezz :(
      It’s hard to find all his books here and only few were being translated into my language.
      I like his works so much but collecting his works is a pain the arse process

  5. Jamie Helton
    May 14, 2012

    I also have had that book sitting on my shelf for the past couple of years. I am an avid Stephen King reader (he is my favorite author and wrote a couple blog entries about his writings), but am not a huge fan of his Bachman books. In particular, I wasn’t terribly interested in reading about a mobster. However, your review put a different perspective on the story. As soon as I finish “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” I’ll get started on “Blaze.” Then I’ll be caught up on my King novels.

    • Novroz
      May 14, 2012

      Yes I know Jamie :)
      I have seen one of your post about him.

      Funny thing is, I first knew about him through his Bachman movie, Thinner…that movie completely awed me and made me wonder about the author…and when I finally found Bag of Bones, I was and still am glued to him.

      I hope you like Blaze as much as I am, the theme is quite common, a baby kidnapper but I really do like the character.

      • Jamie Helton
        May 15, 2012

        If you haven’t already read them, I highly suggest his first five books: “Carrie,” “Salem’s Lot,” “The Shining”, “The Stand” and “The Dead Zone.” Of course, the “Dark Tower” series is amazing (the new one was just released). Also among my favorites are “The Talisman,” “Black House,” and “Cell.”

        • Novroz
          May 16, 2012

          Out of all you have mentioned, the only ones I haven’t read are Dark Tower 2-7, The Dead Zone, The Talisman and Black House. I love the rest you have mentioned. Cell is one of my favorites. It gives new meaning to zombies ;)

          I found Black House long time ago, it was so thick. I didn’t buy it because it was too expensive for a battered second hand book.

          • Jamie Helton
            May 16, 2012

            “Black House” is the sequel to “The Talisman” and ties in directly with “The Dark Tower,” so it’s worth the read.

          • Novroz
            May 17, 2012

            Then I need to find The Talisman first.

  6. TBM
    May 14, 2012

    This one might be a good one for me to start with…Horror scares me, but I love thrillers.

    • Novroz
      May 14, 2012

      Maybe you should start with his latest one 63/11/22 , people said it is really good. I am still waiting for the paperback edition

      • TBM
        May 14, 2012

        I’ll wait for the paperback as well. I’m not a huge fan of hardcovers. I don’t like the price or the bulk. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Androgoth
    May 14, 2012

    I don’t read as much as I used to and the last book
    that I read was one of the Discworld novels called
    Mort… So this is a long time ago now :(

    Androgoth Xx

    • Novroz
      May 14, 2012

      You should read more Andro…it’s a fun activity…better than just watching movie. I love how books can take me away to a different world…well at least good book can ;)

  8. Alice Audrey
    May 14, 2012

    I never got through my first Steven King book. His description is a little to vivid for my abilities to handle horror. Suspense, though, might be another story. Maybe.

    ps. Every time you say “ow” in place of “oh”, I think you got hurt.

    • Novroz
      May 14, 2012

      His vividness is why I love his books ;)
      I am a horror freak since childhood.
      …but his non-horror books also splendid.

      Hahaha…I guess it’s a different culture or language thing. Saying ‘oh’ is more like ‘oh I got it!!’ and ow is more like ‘ow it’s great’. Maybe I should use the common oh from now ow ;)

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