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'Blockade Billy' by Stephen King - Book Review

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Blockade Billy by Stephen King

Blockade Billy by Stephen King

Cemetary Dance

The Bottom Line

Baseball and Stephen King and a nip of horror. Is it worth it? Eh. This is something you could skim in a bookstore and maybe get a hair to stand or two. But this one is pretty much for King completists. Otherwise, not worth the cost or the time.


  • The narrator is perfect.
  • There is some element of creepiness to the proceedings.
  • The plot feels naturally paced.


  • Despite King's writing and his ability to capture characters' voices, the story falls flat.
  • This isn't a book; it's a short story to be added to King's other sports-themed writings.
  • Nothing in the tale makes it especially memorable.


  • 'Blockade Billy' by Stephen King was published May 25, 2010.
  • Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
  • 144 pages

Guide Review - 'Blockade Billy' by Stephen King - Book Review

Something's just not right with Blockade Billy. Sure, he hits great. He stops players cold at the plate. He's a decent teammate. He wins games. But he's kind of a zombie. He talks about himself in the third person. And why do players who meet him at the plate end up in the hospital? Something's just not right.

Same can be said for this book. It's by Stephen King so you know the pedigree is there as far as the writing is concerned. King is also a renowned Red Sox fan. He knows his stuff: the history of the game, the idolization of players and teams, the sheer child-like devotion and passion for the sport. His new tale feels like it comes from some haunted baseball diamond, still holding the residue of summer night cheers, thrilling double plays and pennant glory.

But it wasn't enough. I loved the setup and the narrator, old third-base coach George "Granny" Grantham, telling his tale to a rapt King waiting to write down his every word with journalistic integrity. Even the story itself felt pretty authentic -- as if this team, the New Jersey Titans, really signed a player named Blockade Billy who did have a sordid past. But in the end, it didn't stick like King's best work.

If you're hoping for a field of nightmares, this isn't it.

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