I’ve been debating the purchase of a Kindle or a Nook for a while. My Dad & Uncle have Kindles and they love them. My co-workers have Nooks and they love them. While I agree that an e-book reader would offer many conveniences, I love borrowing books from the library so I don’t have to pay for them, and I don’t have to store them afterwards. Imagine my elation when I found out that I can download e-books from the library for FREE onto my iPod. So I’ve been experimenting with it. One of my first downloads was Blockade Billy, a novella by Stephen King. Aside from his non-fiction book On Writing, I’ve never read any Stephen King before, although I have seen a few movies based on his books. I stress a few here, because I’m not really a horror flick fan, but I did love Shawshank Redemption and the Green Mile. A friend of mine was recently telling me that she and her husband were both big Stephen King fans, and so I thought I needed to give Mr. King a chance. Enter Blockade Billy…the only Stephen King novel available on the library e-book list when I logged on the other night.
It is a novella, so very short, as will be the review. It is told as a narrative, as if an old-timey baseball manager is telling Stephen King the story first hand. The narrator even addresses him as “Mr. King” throughout the story. I loved the narrator’s vernacular and his perspective on the story being told, and I enjoyed the narrative structure in itself. A little foreshadowing lets you know that something dreadful is going to happen with the rookie known as “Blockade Billy.” I enjoyed the story up until you find out what that dreadful thing was. And then once you know that to which they’ve been alluding this whole time, I thought…What? Seriously? This is it? It just felt forced to me. In all fairness, it could just be that I didn’t like what happened, so I only felt like it was forced for that reason. Either way, I’m torn as to whether I liked or disliked this book. I guess overall, I enjoyed it, even if I wasn’t thrilled with the way the story turned in the end. It was a fun quick read, but I’m glad I got it for free from the library rather than paying $8.99 to download it to a Kindle on Amazon.
And I promise I’ll give Mr. King another chance. J