“Blaze” of Glory: Review for “Blaze” and “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King

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I mentioned in one of last posts how great a writer Stephen King is. I just finished two of his recent novels, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and Blaze, which was written under his pseudonym Richard Bachman. The first of the two is probably the most realistic. 9 year old Patricia McFarland is walking on the Appalachian Trail with her mother and her bickering older brother. When she leaves the trail to go to the bathroom, she loses her way and goes on a harrowing journey to finding her mother. Impossible as it may seem, but King manages to keep a child-like feel to his writing while still using great words of description. The book is also pretty scary. What’s hiding in the bush? kind of scares, the ones all of us feel when alone and vulnerable. The end of the book isn’t laughable per se, but unbelievable. Though I must say that King is such a master that he makes us believe. He makes a completely unintelligible ending into one that makes sense. It makes into one heck of a satisfying read. But would a 9 year old really use such harsh profanity?



Blaze was actually written about thirty or so years ago under Stephen King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman. It was lost and not recovered until recently, whereas King rewrote parts of it and published it last year. Clayton Blaisdell Jr. is a petty criminal who works his “friend” George. After a series of small robberies from local places, George decides to kick it up a notch by pulling of a huge crime: kidnapping. And not just any kidnapping, George’s plans are to kidnap a baby and ask $1 million for ransom. But three months before the deal goes down, George dies. In his head, Blaze continually talks to George, sort of as a comforting companion who calls him “dummy” and “a**hole”. Nevertheless, the history of Blaze is fascinating and extremely well written. This book doesn’t have the same style as most of King’s books. But then again, that was why Stephen King began to write novels under another name. He apparently wanted to recreate his success. If success is based on literary style then he wins again. A surprisingly heartwarming book, Blaze is one of King’s greatest books, along with Dolores Claiborne, The Stand, and others. Blaze and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon are the perfect argument for why Stephen King enthralls us every time.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: B+

Blaze: A-







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