I’ve always loved Stephen King.
Even when he was Richard Bachman.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s King wrote under both names, publishing magazine horror stories as Stephen King and writing novels as Richard Bachman that sold to no one.
Then, later, as his star streaked meteorically skyward and publishers were clamoring to publish anything and everything he wrote and since there was only so much Stephen King to go around- the Richard Bachman novels slowly started leaking out.
Like Running Man.
Like The Long Walk.
Blaze is the last of them and actually pretty damn good. Stephen King always tells a really good story and has that knack for making you care for his characters whether you like them or not and Blaze is no exception.
In Blaze, King’s homage to Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Blaze and George are cast as shitheel, low-rent losers who hatch a plan to kidnap the kid of a rich family. Unfortunately George is dead and Blaze is fumblingly going ahead with the plan alone, even though he’s bull-simple. (George’s words, not mine)
It’s classic Stephen King, albeit younger and rawer and less polished.
If you have a chance, pick it up- you can read it in an afternoon and won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time.