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The Colorado Kid Hardcover – Mar 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: PS Publishing; New edition edition (March 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905834039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905834037
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 15 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,282,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

DeMunn offers an appropriately lighthearted reading of this surprisingly toothless mystery from King. The prerequisite is the ability to handle the pronounced Maine accent the book demands, as it features a pair of veteran newspaper reporters from an island off the state's coast relating a story to an eager young intern. DeMunn handles the old men's colloquialisms with consistency and ease while the two take turns spinning the tale of "the Colorado Kid," a man found dead on a local beach years ago without any identification or any feasible reason for being there. With its regional flavor and chummy protagonists, the book never lacks charm, and the story is intriguing. It hardly delivers the kind of noir tale that the first entry in the Hard Case Crime series would lead one to expect, but DeMunn does a more than adequate job of narrating this cozy mystery that will leave listeners not so much shocked as pleasantly perplexed.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

King's latest is published by Hard Case Crime, a small imprint hell-bent on bringing the pulps back to life (see "Pulp Faction," BKL My 1 05). A contribution from the master of the horrible and fantastic--who clearly read a few paperbacks growing up--makes perfect sense. But oddly, this is less identifiably a genre work than King's other books. It's neither horror nor fantasy, and, despite the title, it's not a western. There are elements of mystery, but what King has written is actually from a much older tradition: the yarn. One afternoon, on a Maine island, two crusty old newspapermen tell a cub reporter about their investigation into the unusual appearance and death of a stranger. Despite the potential pitfalls of writing the whole thing as a conversation (some readers will tire of the oldsters' knee-slapping and folksy expressions), this is powerful storytelling. King appears to be fumbling in his tackle box when, in fact, he's already slipped the hook into our cheeks and is pulling us inexorably toward the bemusing, maddening--let's just say the ending won't appeal to everyone--final page. If it's ironic that King delivered an experiment to people who celebrate the art of formula, that's OK. One of the reasons the pulps remain popular is that, behind those uniformly lurid painted covers, there always lurked a few writerly surprises. Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 25 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would say that Stephen King has earned his wily old codger wings with the publication of this Hard Case Crime novel. The Colorado Kid is unlike anything King has done before. For starters, this King fan didn't even know about this little red book until after it was published. It doesn't even look like a Stephen King novel, with its nour-ish cover and provocative tease line. It didn't read like Stephen King, either - not the first chapter anyway. My first impressions were in no way encouraging. When King starts telling the story of the mystery, though, I was intrigued - so much so that I didn't put the book down until I had finished it. I can't say I'm a big fan of the ending, but I don't have a problem with it either. King does an eloquent job of explaining what he has done here in the Afterword. There, he admits that readers will most likely either love or hate the book - and I think he's right, at least to a degree. As intrigued as I was by the story, I can't say I love it, just because of that ending. Those who criticize The Colorado Kid, though, have legitimate reasons for doing so.

The Colorado Kid is the initial moniker given to a middle-aged man who turned up dead on the beach of Moose-Lookit Island (off the Maine coast) back in 1980 - just another John Doe to the local cops. He would never have been identified without the help of the two old men running The Weekly Islander; they did more investigating than anyone with a badge ever did. Over the courser of a quarter of a century, they've returned time and again to the mysterious death of this stranger on their little island.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Dec 28 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This isn't a horror novel. It's published by Hard Case Crime, known for hardboiled crime fiction by old and new writers, which some would say is a crime itself, as The Colarado Kid isn't that hardboiled.

It's about the telling of a mystery involving a man found dead on a bench, in a small town where strange men dressed in suits aren't usually found dead for any apparent reason. The tale is told to a young reporter by her mentors whom you get to know well; they're memorable characters, despite the novel's short length. Who is the dead man? How did he die? Where is he from? This book is not a mystery. It's not hardboiled. Hell, it may not even be crime fiction.

In the Afterward, which he seemed to write knowing the reader would think "What the hell?" after finishing the book, King explains why he wrote what he did, how it came about, and that he has no regrets about it:

"...if you tell me I fell down on the job and didn't tell all of this story there was to tell, I say you're all wrong."

He knows this isn't your traditional hardboiled story:

"...even though The Colorado Kid is probably more bleu than outright noir, I think it has some of those old-fashioned kick-ass story-telling virtues."

And it does. There's a mystery to solve, but it's the telling of the tale that hooks you, not any mystery's solution. I don't think this book should've been published by Hard Case Crime, though. Maybe as a collection of short-stories, or in serial form in The New Yorker.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bart Austin on Sept. 23 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This hard boiled detective series is great, I especially love the reprints of old Noir genre detective novels form the 40's and 50's. Steven King takes a break from horror to add his take on the old detective novel to the series. Alas I would call Kings attempt more soft boiled. I was expecting something a little more gritty and a lot more fun. In the end there is no real mystery here, not the kind I was expecting. The only reason I am giving this three stars is Mr. King is still an excellent writer and that alone makes this book readable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jamieson Villeneuve on Dec 7 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a new fan of the Hard Case Crime series. I stumbled upon the book "Branded Woman" by Wade Miller one day and was astonished. Hard Case Crime is bringing back all the old pulp novels of yesteryear and publishing new pulp novels by some of today's most amazing writers. I thought, what a great idea! I had never had a chance to read an old pulp novel but now I was being given my chance!

So I was equally amazed when I head that one of my favorite authors was going to be writing a novel for the series: Stephen King! Yes, that's right, the master of horror would be writing a hard-boiled pulp crime novel. I was excited to see what King would write for the series; in fact I was excited to read what he would write at all.

King had hinted that, with the end of the Dark Tower series now published, he might be retiring from writing. King wasn't sure that there were any more stories in him with the series finished. What with the Dark Tower flowing in and out of his different works through out his career, with the ending finished he wasn't sure there would be anymore stories.

Thankfully, he was wrong. I waited with bated breath for close to a year to get my hands on "The Colorado Kid" and, needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. Though I had never read a mystery by King, I was taken on a roller coaster ride through the world of mystery.

Our story starts with Stephanie McCann. Working for The Weekly Islander before she starts out into the big world of newspaper reporting, Stephanie is astounded to learn that Vince Teague and Dave Bowie, the two old cronies who run The Weekly Islander, are hiding a real unsolved mystery inside their gray haired heads.
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