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Blockade Billy    by Stephen King order for
Blockade Billy
by Stephen King
Order:  USA  Can
Cemetery Dance, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Here is something new and different from the prolific Stephen King. This recommended slender novella offers readers the legend of Blockade Billy Blakely, one of the most intriguing players in the previously unrecorded history of major league baseball.

The year is 1957, and the hapless New Jersey Titans have a huge hole in their tattered roster: the team desperately needs a catcher, and - even if it involves what must belatedly seems to management like a Faustian bargain - the team management will do anything to fill the void. So, the call-up goes out to one of the organization's farm teams in Iowa, and - quicker than you can say "Oh my God!" - here comes someone fresh from the minor league (and from an actual farm), William Blakely, a player whose skills are questionable (and whose personality and background are even more questionable).

Well, instead of merely filling a temporary position on the roster, young William Blakely goes on in a very short time to become a phenomenal offensive and defensive player. He even earns the wildly enthusiastic support of fans who call him Blockade Billy because of his ruthless, almost unnatural, somewhat bloodthirsty ability to block home plate and neutralize base runners who are foolish enough to attempt the trip from third to home.

But as more and more fans at games regularly raise their hand-made signs declaring ROAD CLOSED BY ORDER OF BLOCKADE BILLY, young William Blakely has a bit of a secret. And that dark, sordid secret, my friends, could spell the end for more than a few people (in New Jersey, Iowa, and elsewhere).

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