By Stephen King
Read by Craig Wasson and Mare Winningham
Simon & Schuster Audio (2010)
An Unabridged Edition on CD
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - July 21, 2010
Stephen King tells the humorous suspenseful tale of the baseball catcher William "Blockade Billy" Blakely, who played pro-baseball for the Newark Titans in the 1950s for several months. The facts are revealed by an old Titan coach in an old age home to Stephen King in unedited language.
The team loses its two catchers, one to an injury and the second to a drunken driving accident where he killed a housewife; and the Titans find Billy in the minor leagues in Iowa. Billy has the annoying to some and endearing to others habit of repeating what you say to him. "I'm gonna buy you a drink tonight, rook! In fact, I'm gonna buy you ten!... You hung the fuck in there!" the pitcher says. "Ten drinks, because I hung the fuck in there," the kid says.
Billy plays very well, but there seems to be something wrong with him. He speaks to himself in the third person, "I got him, Billy." He also wore a band aid, which he said covered a shaving cut on his hand, but an opposing team player claimed that Billy cut him, and Billy was not wearing the band aid after the game, and he had no sign on his hand of ever being cut.
Was Billy crazy? Who was he? How did he react to an umpire who called a play Billy did not like? Why were all the games that Billy played taken out of the record books? Stephen King reveals what happened.
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.