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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Stephen King comes the haunting story of Blockade Billy, the greatest Major League baseball player to be erased from the game.

Even the most die-hard baseball fans don't know the true story of William Blockade Billy Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first - and only - player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history.

Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all.

©2010 Stephen King (P)2010 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

" Blockade Billy works as well as it does for a couple of reasons. The first is the narrative voice that King has conjured up for Granny Grantham. Funny, sharply observant and casually profane, it is the voice of a quintessential baseball insider who happens to be a natural raconteur. Equally important is the lovingly detailed evocation of the game as it was played in 1957…King's descriptions of these tough, hard-bitten men and the hardscrabble contests they engaged in add both a dash of nostalgia and a touch of gritty reality to this dark, absorbing portrait of a vanished era." ( The Washington Post)
"As King's fiction goes, this suspenseful short is a deftly executed suicide squeeze, with sharp spikes hoisted high and aimed at the jugular on the slide home." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Blockade Billy

Average Customer Ratings
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Story
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Didn't want it to end

What did you love best about Blockade Billy?

Baseball - it is a baseball book, from the "old school" type baseball books. S. King is sooooo good, with descriptions, it is easy to get a visual picture in your head of the setting / time frame, etc.

What other book might you compare Blockade Billy to and why?

"The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" was my first thought - regarding a comparison. However Blockade Billy is really too short to compare, I wanted more! I thought it was too long to be a magazine article ( and too long to be considered a short story) and too short for a book. But I did like it.

Have you listened to any of Craig Wasson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first. I thought Craig Wasson's performance was very good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I wanted to listen to this while doing my training run. Either I've too slow, or the book was too short, because it ended before the run :(

Any additional comments?

This is not classic S. King - it is different for him. I'm somewhat of a S. King fanatic. He is the ultimate story teller!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not one, but two great short stories

I had put this book off for some time because I am not a huge baseball fan. I thought the the baseball part of story would annoy me. To my delight, it did not. On the contrary, it was the perfect backdrop for the creepiness that King is so good at. As a bonus, this audiobook includes a second short story entitled "Morality." It's a great, troubling little story that bothered me terribly while listening to it. Of course, that made it so great. At only two hours for two stories, there's simply no reason to not listen to this book!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun, Short Listen

If you could sum up Blockade Billy in three words, what would they be?

Fun, Short Listen

What does Craig Wasson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Craig Wasson is excellent in all of his audiobook performances!

Who was the most memorable character of Blockade Billy and why?

Billy, for obvious reasons...

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Baseball fans will want to read

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this to a friend, because it was an engaging and well-narrated story.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I think Billy's story was the most interesting. Perhaps less interesting were some of the baseball facts. Necessary, but not necessarily interesting.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I thought the narrator was a good choice. There wasn't anything I disliked.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Definitely.

Any additional comments?

If you like baseball, you'll enjoy a good ball story with that eerie Stephen King twist.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good short stories

Blockade Billy was a very good, fast paced story that I enjoyed very much. I am a Stephen King fan and with the exception of the ending to Blockade, which I found brief and somewhat anticlimactic, there were unique elements in the story that I thought were terrific. Morality was equally good, a little shocking and scary, as you would expect. Overall very good and enjoyable stories.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story

I felt transported back to the 1950s when my dad would take me to the Cleveland stadium to watch the Indians play the Tigers. This is a story full of sweet memories despite the dark ending.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

baseball like you've never heard it.

Baseball is such an exciting game to watch and even more exciting to listen to the stories from some of the players who used to play back in the olden times. What I love about this book is that it is told from an older man (George Grantham) who used to be a manager for the New Jersey Titans during the 1957 season and he is telling it to Stephen King. It makes the book even more exciting and the suspense and mystery of what happens in the season keeps you on the edge of your seat. This story he is telling is about William "Blockade" Billy Blakely, which of course is a fictional character, but the way Stephen King writes this story you would think he was a real person. Blockade Billy was probably the greatest player there was in baseball, but nobody knows his story, it is not around in any of the books, and George Grantham is telling what he remembers of the 1957 season when Blockade Billy came to play with the NJ Titans. I love this book, even if you are not a sports fan you will love this book too. This is a great read and Craig Wasson does a great job of expressing the emotions that Stephen King was trying to write.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great read

What made the experience of listening to Blockade Billy the most enjoyable?

The story it self , wish the write would let us know more about the characters, but still a great story

What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

This is the second audio book that I have listen to with Craig narrated and I think he make the story more fun to read

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

King & Baseball--wow!!!

Stephen King and baseball...what a combination in this short novella. There were few characters and I really liked the Granny character. Billy's character was a little strange. The buildup in the story itself justifies the end, which is not scarey, but just is.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting but predicable

Any additional comments?

Not bad for a short story. I liked the format, unique for SK even in short story.