Book Review: The Colorado Kid

10574The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

Published by Dorchester Publishing Co. on October 4, 2005

Genres: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime

Pages: 184 Format: Paperback Source: Library

3/5 Stars

On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There’s no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues.

But that’s just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still…?

No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world’s great storytellers presents a surprising tale that explores the nature of mystery itself…

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King explores the mysterious death of a man on Moose-Look Island through the eyes of Vince Teague and David Bowie who recount this tale to their new intern, Stephanie, at the local newspaper The Weekly Islander. This is the first Stephen King book I have ever read having been terrified to read any of his work since I’m not one for scary stories and it was so-so in my opinion.

This book is a mystery; one I was intrigued to start having watched the television show, Haven, on SyFy. I will say Haven is very loosely based on this book and I constantly found myself comparing the two. I was attached to Vincent and Dave from the start as they are newspaper men like in the show and I liked that they anchor this story and tell it from their point of view. I also really enjoyed the Grey Gull as a location since it is a main setting in the show.

King’s writing was a highlight for me in this book. I love the way he weaves a story and it makes me contemplate reading more of his work, if I can summon some courage. I wanted more from The Colorado Kid though and felt it was lacking but I think that was Stephen King’s point. This story is about the world’s fascination with the unknown and discovering the truth along the way. Delving into mystery and trying to make sense of it. Sometimes there is no answer, sometimes the story doesn’t fit neatly inside a box, and sometimes we’ll never find out.

Overall Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid is a great starting point into his writing and a quick read that I found intriguing enough. I would recommend this to fans of Stephen King and those who enjoy the little mysteries of the world but I don’t think it is for everyone.

Favorite Quotes

  1. “There are thousands of papers and tens of thousands of people writing stories for em, but there are only two types of stories. There are news stories, which usually aren’t stories at all, but only accounts of unfolding events. Things like that don’t have to be stories. People pick up a newspaper to read about the blood and the tears the way they slow down to look at a wreck on the highway, and then they move on. But what do they find inside of their newspaper?  “Feature stories,” Stephanie said, thinking of Hanratty and his unexplained mysteries. “Ayuh. And those are stories. Every one of em has a beginning, a middle, and an end.”
  2. “Pick up any big-city paper, and what do you find on the front page? Questions disguised as news stories.”
  3. Here was the thing Stephanie loved best about The Weekly Islander, the thing that still charmed her after three months spent mostly writing ads: on a clear afternoon you could walk six steps from your desk and have a gorgeous view of the Maine coast.
  4. “A murder victim shows up on the island’s only public beach and the local law calls the editor of the local newspaper?” Stephanie asked. “Boy, that really isn’t like Murder, She Wrote.”
  5. How could she learn anything when she could only understand one word in every seven? And if she kept asking them to repeat themselves, how long would it be before they decided she was a congenital idiot (which on Moose-Look was pronounced ijit, of course)?

Have you read The Colorado Kid? Seen the television show Haven? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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