Blockade Billy and “Morality” (King)

I needed a book on CD for a 2+ hour drive, and there weren’t many choices. I selected this Stephen King novella and story because I figured that if I wasn’t paying full attention to the plot of each, I’d still be able to track the action. Also, the first one appealed to me because of its baseball plot.

In his book On Writing, King and another writer (Amy Tan?), are complaining that no one ever asks them about their craft. This motivates King to produce this book (which I liked and recommend).

Here he seems to have forgotten his own lessons. There’s little craft here. Both stories are essentially monologues. Both plots are essentially about secrets. The characters are generally cardboard. I just wanted the proverbial yarn to while away the time while I drove; instead, I got King-lite, a kind of paint by numbers affair – a Thomas Kincaide factory model.

Craig Wasson, the narrator of the first story, overdoes it at first, but eventually finds a useful register. Mare Winningham (reduced to this?) does a fine job with the predictable ‘bonus’ story, “Morality.’


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