Blockade Billy by Stephen King: A Review and Commentary
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Blockade Billy by Stephen King: A Review and Commentary

Blockade Billy, by Stephen King, is an attempt by King to step away from the horror and supernatural elements that are commonly found in his novels, instead focusing on a mentally ill baseball player. While the book itself is quite well written and entertaining, is this the right move for King?

It is an undeniable fact that the majority of Stephen King's work is horror of the supernatural kind. His breakout novel, "Carrie", was about a small town girl in high school who was bullied by her peers, to the point where she mentally snaps and lashes out violently. What made the book so unique, and what got Stephen King noticed was that she lashed out using telekinetic powers, killing or injuring the majority of her tormenters.

I read this book when I was only thirteen, and was instantly hooked. Stephen King managed to take something as unconceivable as telekinetic powers, and write an entire story about it, applying the supernatural in such a way that it didn't seem so supernatural to the reader.

Stephen King's other works were along similar lines. His genre, so to speak, was supernatural horror, and for the most part, he didn't try to break out of it. However, when "Duma Key", a novel about a man recovering from an industrial accident by the sea in Florida, was released, it became clear to me that Stephen King, though a very accomplished supernatural author, had real potential writing fiction that was believable, set in the real world. "Duma Key" had a very large build up, with very little horror, which went on for almost the entire novel, with the supernatural horrors being introduced within the final few chapters of the book. To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed the parts of the book that did not have supernatural elements in them, because his writing style is perfect for pure and simple fiction.

Stephen King may have come to this conclusion himself, with his release of "Blockade Billy", a short story about a major league baseball player, in the early days of professional baseball, who had a dark secret. The story itself is based on true events, and horrors that actually happened. While the story itself is only a footnote in history today, the way that Stephen King conveys the emotions and the way that the characters think and react to events in the story makes it a great read. While it is a short story, only 77 pages long, it shows a changing style in his writing. Instead of being a supernatural horror novel, "Blockade Billy" is more about real horror, as it is based on real events. It shows the horror that people are capable of inflicting on each other.

Where will Stephen King go from here? He is already an international success, and he could continue to feed his large following with more supernatural stories, continuing success. I think that with the release of "Blockade Billy", Stephen King will change the direction of his writing, focusing more on realistic fiction instead of supernatural fiction.

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