Stephen King has written some awesome books: "Carrie," "Christine," and "The Shining," to name a few.

His latest release, "Blockade Billy," is entertaining, but it won't be placed on the same literary pedestal as the above titles.

Granted "Blackade Billy" is a novella, and not a novel, but perhaps we've gotten too used to King's suspenseful tales that grip you from cover-to-cover. "Blockade Billy" doesn't do that.

"Blockade Billy" is a delight for baseball fans. It even mentions some old-time greats like Clete Boyer.

Honest, there is some great writing and a number of suspenseful surprises.

The biggest disappointment is the drop-off ending. It's not in true Stephen King fashion. He's normally more thorough than that.

"Blockade Billy" is about about a baseball catcher who played for the New Jersey Titans. He was named to the squad when the two rostered catchers were injured within 48 hours.

What a sensation he became for the team! It looked like the team would become the league champion.

Then disaster struck in a big way. An umpire got injured. Some sordid background details about Billy emerged.

"Blockade Billy" is more entertainment reading than suspense.

King does perform writing magic with his descritive narrative of these tough, hard-bitten men and the hardscabble contests they engaged in during a by-gone baseball era.

A bonus in the book is a short story, "Morality," which is a more complex King story.

While "Blockade Billy" won't live up to expectations for fans of King's novels, it's a great baseball story and a very entertaining book.

Don't fret, though, Stephen King fans.

There's another new King novel on the shelves, "The Dark Tower: The Journey Begins No. 2."

We can't wait.