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