The story is about Clayton Blaisdell, Jr or Blaze as he is called by his friend and his partner George Rackley. They are petty criminals that mostly deal with cons but now have decided to do the big one, the last hit before they’ll be able to retire. They plan on kidnapping the small child of a wealthy family…
The only problem is that George now only exists in Blaze’s head. In real life he is in fact dead. Blaze goes trough with the plan anyway and even though he isn’t very smart he has the luck he needs to be successful in grabbing the baby.
Now he just have to find a way to get the ransom money delivered without getting caught and then return the baby. Or maybe he should keep the baby? After all, he is starting to get rather attached to him…
Even though Blaze is an old novel it feels very fresh. I’m not sure how much King edited it before he released it but it feels new. Personally though I think it’s more King than Bachman. The other Bachman novels were all more critical to the US society, something Blaze is missing. Still, it’s fun that it’s released as a Bachman book. I like Bachman.
It’s revealed pretty early though (in the foreword in fact) that it was really written by King and not Bachman. If there is one thing I would want to change with Blaze it’s that it should have less mentioning of Stephen King, like The Regulators had. That one was more a Bachman book while Blaze is a King book, even though it has Bachman’s name on the cover.
Still though, it’s the story that matters and the story of Blaze is very well told and it deals as much with the kidnapping as with Blaze’s background. Bachman/King switches between the two time-frames in a very effective way.
The audio edition is read by Ron McLarty who is a master, if not the master, of narrating books. The only one beating him in reading King’s books is King himself if you ask me. He has a voice that’s perfect for narrating and you can really feel that he is puts his soul into giving the characters their own personality.