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Download Blockade Billy Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Blockade Billy, by Stephen King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,139 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen King Narrator: Craig Wasson, Mare Winningham Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781442336599
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Stephen King’s novella, Blockade Billy, is now available on audio—along with the bonus story “Morality”

Even the most diehard baseball fans don’t know the true story of William “Blockade Billy” Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first—and only—player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game’s history.

Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse…and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Blockade Billy works well...The narrative voice that King has conjured up for Granny Grantham [is] funny, sharply observant, and casually profane...Equally important is the lovingly detailed evocation of the game as it was played in 1957, when, with few exceptions, the players were neither celebrities nor millionaires but ‘working stiffs’ who earned, on average, $15,000 a year. Kings descriptions of these tough, hard-bitten men and the hardscrabble contests they engaged in add both a dash of nostalgia and a touch of gritty reality to this dark, absorbing portrait of a vanished era.” 

    Washington Post

  • “This novella...shines for many reasons: King’s love for baseball, his irresistible storytelling style, and the way he effortlessly pitches this story to us in the smoothest baseball lingo.” 

    USA Today

  • “A quirky baseball player with a past shrouded in secrecy is the tragic hero of this macabre tale from the dark side of the all-American sport...As King’s fiction goes, this suspenseful short is deftly executed.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Stephen King loves baseball and writes a superior novella. Both are in evidence in this unique and fascinating yarn...Narrator Craig Wasson is superb as the old coach—he sounds much like an old-time baseball announcer on the radio. The ballpark sounds and the use of real names are ideal for a ‘you are there’ sports stadium experience. As Billy, Wasson is credibly weird—he talks to himself and mysteriously hurts players during games. The climax is perfect King.”

    AudioFile

  • “King nails the baseball argot perfectly, and he sprinkles in enough references to real-life 1950s players to have baby-boomer fans reaching for their old ball cards...For fans of fifties baseball and of baseball fiction and film, this deft pastiche makes a great way to celebrate a new season.” 

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 C.K. Webb | 2/20/2014

    " The story 'Blockade Billy' was enjoyable and I liked the interview method King used for it. A must read for all baseball & Stephen King fans...that being said the second story 'Morality' was just OK for me I did get one good laugh out of it but it felt that it fell short as a King short bringing down my overall ranking of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spike Pedersen | 2/18/2014

    " You know the best thing Steven King does? Write great Characters. This is the third novel I have read from King and each time he makes me love these people. And this one is no exception. The way the story is delivered, makes me want to be part of baseball and live life with my cleats on. Master storytelling at its best. I got to buy some chew before the next inning. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/9/2014

    " An interesting tale. This is the story of Blockade Billy as told by "Granny" Grantham, former 3rd Base Coach for the Titans (a baseball team of long ago out of New Jersey) as told to "Mr. King". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Siobhan O' Sullivan | 2/8/2014

    " This book is written well, as are all Kings' books but I just wasn't that big a fan mainly because of the sport involved. I think it could have be a greater story if told from the side of "Billy". Still worth a read though! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J.M. | 1/26/2014

    " This book contains two short novelettes, "Blockade Billy" and "Morality." Those looking for King's signature scary stories will be disappointed in this collection, but what these two stories lack in horror, they definitely make up for in style. I've always said one of my favorite things about a King tale is the author's way with words and his characterization. This collection is a perfect example of wonderful characters fully realized in a short amount of time. A must read for any die-hard Stephen King fan, even if there isn't anything spooky about it. In fact, I'd recommend this to anyone, fan or not ~ given that the first story is about a baseball team, I plan to loan the book to my dad if he's interested. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robbin Taylor | 1/25/2014

    " Great story...lots of baseball jargon. A really quick read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 1/9/2014

    " An expensive chapbook to showcase what seem to be two fairly minor stories to me. Can't complain about the price, though. Remaindered at $4. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meegz | 1/2/2014

    " It was an okay book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph | 11/4/2013

    " I'm a baseball fan, and I love it when a thriller is mixed into the professional sports world. Plus, it is set in the late 1950s, which gives it an extra "King" touch. Best baseball thriller since "The Fan," and it is definitely a throwback to the old King stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Misty | 11/3/2013

    " This was a nice and quick read.And another good one from Stephen King.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabrielle | 10/29/2013

    " I almost read it one sitting. I fell asleep about halfway through (that doesn't mean i thought the book was boring) but when I woke up i continued reading until I was finished "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marvin | 10/27/2013

    " At slightly over 100 pages, it's a quick read but worth every second. King's casual but intense style works perfectly here and he knows his baseball. Yet I don't think you need to know baseball (I don't) to really enjoy this. It ranks as one of King's better novellas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Misty | 5/10/2013

    " it was a good story, nice and quick and the imagery was nice. Made me feel like i knew all about baseball :) but it had some odd qualities about it too. It was hard to follow at times but im glad i read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 4/28/2013

    " As a fan of baseball and Stephen King, I adored this little novella. King perfectly captures the baseball culture - the imagery and the lingo - but of course there's just enough of a twist to make this a true Stephen King book, not just a baseball book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evon | 1/21/2013

    " fast read -is this based on a true story?? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adele | 12/11/2012

    " Loved it! I like King best in his "short story" mode. This was extremely well written and enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara Bennett | 10/7/2012

    " great short read w/ an unexpected ending. really enjoyed it. not @ all King's usual style (which I also like). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dee | 5/8/2012

    " It was candy. I enjoyed the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Max Ostrovsky | 5/31/2011

    " Not exactly my cup of tea. I think you have to be a baseball lover to really appreciate the story. The ending, however, is worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 5/1/2011

    " Quick read. Only 100 pages. It's written like an old timer just talking about baseball. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shane | 4/25/2011

    " I'm glad I got this book through paperbackswap rather than purchase it. It was billed as a novella, at 132 pages, but there's two stories in there. Classic King, however, they were good. Just glad I didn't pay for it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 4/16/2011

    " A very short disturbing story, wish it would have been a little bit more story wise "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 4/11/2011

    " Not a baseball fan. Interesting enough story, but I liked the extra tale "Morality" read by one of my favorite voices Mare Winningham MUCH more than Blockade Billy. I'd give that 4 maybe 5 stars. Billy gets 2 maybe 3. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evon | 4/10/2011

    " fast read -is this based on a true story?? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 4/4/2011

    " Pretty good...King keeps coming through with decent reads (Tommyknockers notwithstanding) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frank | 4/4/2011

    " Two shorts by a master storyeller.
    As a baseball fan, I enjoyed the title story because the baseball was tolp properly and the characters were intersting.
    Morality is one of those stories that make you question yourself, what's your price? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig | 4/3/2011

    " I liked this book it is a quick read. But it does have some swearing so if you don't like that kind of lanuage then stay away. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brent | 4/1/2011

    " Just OK. Glad I didn't pay the full price of 14.99 for this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lila | 3/23/2011

    " Always a fan of The King. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 3/19/2011

    " Very Good; in a novella, King combines two of his favorite things (baseball and horror) in a tale about a catcher called up to the bigs in the 1950s
    "

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