Yeah, yeah, it's another Stephen King book. I couldn't resist. And when I say I couldn't resist, I mean I REALLY couldn't resist. I started Blaze yesterday afternoon at about 1:00pm., after I had finished teaching and eaten lunch. I didn't stop reading it (except for sanity breaks) until I finished it.
Stephen King says that Blaze isn't a great book. He's totally wrong. It's a great book. It isn't a brilliant book, but it isn't a good book either. It is, in fact, great.
It's 'Of Mice and Men' from Lenny's point of view. King doesn't hide this; in fact he dresses it up and parades it around for all the world to see. His buddy's name is George and he's a small, rat-faced guy. He's a gambler, and a smart-ass with a bad mouth. Need I say more? Yet it is every bit as tragic as OMAM, and every bit the life lesson of people who love, look after one another, and the inevitable temptation to use each other as human beings to advance ourselves.
Clay Blaisdell, a.k.a. 'Blaze' is Lenny through and through. King managed to pull the same sense of humor, same level of idiocy, same strength, humanity and ability to hurt into Blaze that made Lenny one of the most memorable characters in American literature. The fact that I was pulled page by page through this story that I technically have read before, is a testament to King's storytelling ability.
This novel would not have been published when King first wrote it, and I don't know that it would have been published by anyone other than King. But, as unfair as this is, I'm glad that King has the power behind his name to get it published because it is truly a story worth publishing, reading, and remembering.