Aided by the voice of his dead friend George in his head, a slow goliath named Blaze kidnaps an infant and holds him for ransom. Can Blaze hold things together long enough to collect the ransom?
Blaze is a straight up crime book from Stephen King, aside from the voice of George in Blaze's head, which might not even be supernatural in origin. I have to wonder why this wasn't the book Stephen King offered up to Hard Case instead of The Colorado Kid.
The story of Blaze unfolds in two parallel stories, one of the present day kidnapping and the other of Blaze's past, how a beating at the hands of his father rendered him a simpleton and landed him in the state home. I found Blaze's past way more interesting than his kidnapping scheme, which had some ludicrous moments due to Blaze not really knowing what he was doing. When the wheels predictably come off, things quickly go to hell in a handbasket.
For the most part, this book was just kind of there for me. Blaze was the only really memorable character for me. I thought that for a book that was less than 400 pages, there was a bit of the King bloat in effect. While I liked it, it almost fell back into the "it's okay" realm. Maybe it was a wrong book, wrong time scenario.
Apparently Stephen King wrote the original draft of Blaze around the same time he was writing Carrie. Carrie got picked up and Blaze fell by the wayside until King decided to revive it while on the Lisey's Story tour. Why he stuck the Bachman name on it, I don't know. It feels more King than Bachman to me.
Three out of five stars but it's a weak three.