- 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: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,158,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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. They've turned up a number of facts about the dead man, every one of which only seemed to deepen and complicate the whole picture of who this man was and how he came to die there on a beach far away from his home in Colorado.
In these pages, the two old newspaper men tell the story of The Colorado Kid to Stephanie, a young intern there at The Weekly Islander. It's a rite of passage in a way, showing the young lady she has been fully accepted into the local island family. It lets the two vets test their young charge while also providing her with important insights into the twin arts of journalism and storytelling. I found myself just as intrigued as Stephanie with the increasingly confusing depth of the mystery; like her, I wanted a solution to clear up all of the confusing facts. And there we have the proverbial rub.
Most likely, hard-boiled crime story enthusiasts will have more problems than Stephen King fans with The Colorado Kid - although a right many of King's most loyal subjects may well balk at what the master has done in this odd endeavor off the beaten path. As long as I was flipping the pages, though, I was fully engrossed in the story - it's not vintage Stephen King storytelling, but it's pretty darn good. The trouble only comes at the end, as it's a bit of a let-down. King's Afterword, though, puts everything into perspective and changes your viewpoint of the entire story - it's the saving grace that allowed this loyal King fan to really appreciate The Colorado Kid for what it is.
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very disappointed like the tv show much better