- Blaze (novel)
name = Blaze
image_caption = First edition cover
Richard Bachman(Stephen King)
language = English
publisher = Scribner
June 12, 2007
media_type = Print (
pages = 288
"Blaze" is a novel written by
Stephen Kingunder the name Richard Bachman. King announced on his website that he "found it" in an attic. In fact it was written before "Carrie" and King offered the original draft of the novel to his Doubleday publishers at the same time as " 'Salem's Lot". They chose the latter to be his second novel and "Blaze" became a "trunk novel". King recently rewrote the manuscript, editing out much of what he perceived as over-sentimentality in the original text, and offered the book for publication in 2007.
The story concerns Clayton Blaisdell, Jr. (known as "Blaze" for short, thus the title), a mentally challenged small-time con artist who kidnaps a millionaire's infant child, in the hopes of fulfilling the dreams of George, Blaze's deceased best friend and partner in crime. The chapters alternate between Blaze's past — which covers his childhood (including how he came to be brain damaged) and his entry into a life of crime despite an otherwise sweet demeanor — and his current caper, in which he imagines that he is still constantly advised by his friend George. Despite the helpfulness of (the imaginary) George's advice, Blaze's world begins to crumble during his kidnapping venture, especially as he bonds with the baby. In the end, Blaze runs from his inevitable destiny back to the horrors of his old orphanage, the Hetton House. After the cops storm it, he rushes to a cave, where the baby is nearly killed, and Blaze ends up killing two policemen. He is killed by an investigator, and is buried only a few miles away from where his father lived.
The book also contains "Memory," a short story that was first published in 2006 and which King has since worked into "
King's comments on the book
On King's website, the following was posted in the "Future Works" section on November 28, 2006::"Many of you have been asking for more information about publication of Blaze following Steve's mention of it on his recent Lisey's Story book tour. This is another Bachman novel which he recently rediscovered. The original manuscript of Blaze was 173 pages long and was written in 1973. He has rewritten the first 100 pages. A lot of it needed editing to make it more timely since the 1973 references no longer worked. He's hoping to get it done by the end of the year. No publication deal has been signed, but he's sure there will be one." [ [http://www.stephenking.com/pages/faq/future.php StephenKing.com site] ]
In an interview with Lilja of Lilja's Library (posted January 16, 2007), King said::"I have been thinking about [Blaze] off and on for a while and every time I would think about it... you know I did the early books as
Richard Bachmanbooks and this is going to be a Bachman because it came from the same time. It was written right before "Carrie" and finally I thought to myself...the reason I’ve never done it was because, in my memory at least, it was a tearjerker of a book, you know it was kind of sentimental and just kind of...every now and then I think of what Oscar Wildesaid about " The Little Match Girl." He said that it’s impossible to read about the little match girl without weeping tears of laughter and... you know something that is so sad it’s actually funny." [ [http://www.liljas-library.com/showinterview.php?id=34 Liljas Library Interview] ]
Connections to other works by King
Lisey's Story"::When Blaze is at the pay phone and it doesn't take his quarters, it says "but - bool! - it wouldn't take his quarters"
Cycle of the Werewolf"::The headmaster of Hetton House, the home Blaze lives in, is named Martin Coslaw. Marty Coslaw is also the name of the little boy in "Cycle of the Werewolf".
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"::Shawshank Prison is mentioned several times throughout the novel.
Salem's Lot"::During one of Blaze's flashbacks, he describes going to the movies with John Cheltzman to see a vampire movie called "Second Coming". This was the original title for "Salem's Lot".
* [http://www.hachette.com.au/promotions/blaze THE WEBSITE FOR BLAZE LAUNCH- interactive game/film trailer/comps] created by [http://www.theprecinct.net.au The Precinct]
* [http://www.stephenking.com/ King's official website.]
* [http://www.horrorking.com/unpubnovels.html#Blaze "Blaze" at HorrorKing.com, a fan site]
* [http://www.liljas-library.com/showinterview.php?id=34 Interview with King about "Blaze", fan sites and The Haven Foundation] at [http://www.liljas-library.com/ Lilja's Library (a fan site)]
* [http://www.stephenking.com/assets/blaze_chapters_1_and_2.pdf The first two chapters at King's website]
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