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New Release: Blockade Billy

51qCzPKrYRL._SL160_By Stephen King
Scribner | 144pgs
Release Date: May 25, 2010

Just in time for the lazy days of summer and baseball season, comes the release of Blockade Billy, the latest novella from Stephen King. In sharp contrast to the mammoth 1,000+ page Under the Dome released last fall, Blockade Billy is a slim volume centered around Major League Baseball circa 1957. An elderly George “Granny” Grantham, former third-base coach of the New Jersey Titans, recounts the fateful season that an unknown Iowa farm league catcher was called up to help his pro team hobbled by injuries. William Blakely is an odd young man, but boy can he play baseball. He quickly becomes a fan favorite, blowing out rookie batting records and guarding home plate with a fierceness that earns him the nickname “Blockade Billy”. As to be expected in a Stephen King story, the plot takes a dark twist as Billy’s oddness turns sinister and players start to get hurt. His short stint with the Titans is effectively erased from the baseball record books, and only “Granny” can reveal the dangerous truth.

Blockade Billy was originally published as a limited-edition hardcover by Cemetery Dance Publications in April 2010. King and Cemetery Dance have partnered with Scribner for the mass-market hardcover release. The Scribner book, as well as the audio book released by Simon & Schuster, include a bonus short story by King entitled Morality. Early reviews have applauded King’s baseball tale. Bill Sheehan of The Washington Post writes: “Blockade Billy works as well as it does for a couple of reasons. The first is the narrative voice that King has conjured up for Granny Grantham. Funny, sharply observant and casually profane, it is the voice of a quintessential baseball insider who happens to be a natural raconteur.”

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