Blaze by Richard Bachman This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I love how reading takes you outside of yourself. A good book can take you all over the world and make you experience the most exotic things while, in reality, you’re on your couch covered in Cheeto crumbs. It’s a magnificent feeling. That’s why I like rough books like Blaze by Richard Bachman (Stephen King’s pen name). I can live through things I’ll never actually do - which is why this author was so perfect for me. King is known for his many horrific stories like Carrie - the story of a tortured young girl killing her entire school at prom. When you pick up a Stephen King book, you know it’ll be risqué - like this story, Blaze, which is about kidnapping a baby.


That’s right, I said kidnapping a baby. This book takes you on the exciting, page-turning adventures of Clayton Blaisdell Jr., also known as Blaze, and his partner George as they plan out and execute the kidnapping of Joe Gerard IV, the six-month old heir to the Gerard family of millionaires. But don’t think that’s it - I never said they make a clean getaway. It’s filled with fun stuff like robberies, car stealing and violence. You know, the type of exhilarating things that you wish that you could do but – unfortunately – can’t get away with. But now that Stephen King put it on paper so realistically, you too can hear the cracking of jaws and get the adrenaline rush of breaking into a home with no consequences. Like in the scene where Blaze fights an older boy in school: “Glenn screamed as his lips burst against his teeth and began to bleed,” (Bachman 94). Stuff like that really gets me hyped up.


Because of the book’s amazing character development, you can make some friends along the way. Every now and then, you get to see a small flashback of Blaze’s life and understand him better. You get to see what made him mentally handicapped, how he met George and you even get to know about his childhood - including the adventures of him and his best friend John. King, in addition to the flashbacks that really show you who the characters are and what made them that way, also uses a good amount of diction to tell you about the characters. After seeing George say “F*** that, he can’t hear me anyway,”(Bachman 181) and things of that nature all book, I fell in love with his attitude. And when Blaze says things like “ascairt of,” (Bachman 297) it helps you to see things from his simplistic point of view.

This book practically proclaims that the world is screwed up and dirty. Blaze’s drunken father calls his five year old son a “Fakin sonofabitch,” and throws him down the stairs a few times for no reason (Bachman 34). This theme also manifests when Anne Bradstay, the victim of childhood rape and abuse accepts four dollars to have sex with Blaze. The theme of the book is quite depressing but since it isn’t real, it gives you a good laugh. For the softies out there, you can also find a few happy themes throughout, like the beauty of friendship between Blaze and his childhood friend John.

Lastly, I love surprises. There’s no fun in knowing what’s coming. But Blaze keeps you guessing. The tear-jerker ending and roadblocks along the way help contribute to the success of the book, along with the great detail King provides. It all made me feel like a criminal. Not going to lie, it was fun - and if you need to let your inner criminal out like I did, you should really go for that feeling, too.





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