The Colorado Kid Hardcover – Mar 2007
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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.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Love Stephen King. Especially his shirt stories but this novel was my least favourite as just plain boringPublished 4 months ago by Daniel Skye
Disappointing - read a lot of Stephen King's books but this one was almost boring - sorryPublished 13 months ago by Miche
I am disappointed with the ending, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good read. It is written by Stephen King. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Electa Graham
Typical Stephen King he draws you into his stories then surprises you with a ending that you would not expect. I was interested in this book due to watching the T.V. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Bill Stilwell
Wanted this book as it is based on the tv series Haven usually the book and tv series differ a lot so I wanted to read the book for myself .Published 22 months ago by marg doell
I think Stephen King has lost his touch. There is not much exciting about this story. Don't waste your timePublished on Aug. 13 2013 by Linton Swanson
King remarks in his afterword that readers will either like or hate this story. Pleased to find myself in the former camp!Published on July 15 2013 by Jeff