Colorado Kid

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Stephen King's The Colorado King to become illustrated book. Some people are going to fucking hate that shit but He didn't need the paycheck at this point in his career, but he wanted to be a part of something that was showcasing and paying tribute to his heroes.

The Colorado Kid

He's a dork, a nerd, like most of us, and he wanted to be a part of something cool. Do you blame him? I kinda do. Dear Stephen King, you could have done better. We're not accepting this. We don't want your leftovers and neither do your fans. I accept that as an adequate apology for The Colorado Kid , but this tiny-ass book still grinds my gears. Final Judgment: It should be hated for the right reasons.

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Dec 21, Greg rated it it was ok Shelves: hard-case , mystery. A quick check of the personal 'most read authors' feature on goodreads tells me that this is my thirty-third Stephen King book, and it's the one that pushed King ahead of Bukowski as my most read author. There is the possibility that maybe there are a couple of duplicate ratings in there, but I'm not going to look.

I'd rather have Stephen King be my most read author than Bukowski 32 Bukowski books?!? I know I really liked him for about five years, but how many times could I read the same story? Doing some personal history mental math, I come up with figure that I haven't read a Stephen King novel in about seventeen years and two months.


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After a string of disappointing books that came out in the early to mid's I just stopped reading him. My tastes got pretentious, and I'd been disappointed too many times in a row three I think it was by mediocre books to give much attention to any new books he wrote. Then I kept hearing very mixed things about each new book, this would be when I started working at the bookstore.

A guy I worked with who loved Stephen King seemed to love all the new books with reservations that sounded like nostalgia creepy into his enjoyment, and anyone else whose opinion I trusted at all never had anything good to say about each new book. I actually thought I'd never read another Stephen King book again.

Like a jilted lover or something I'd cut my ties with him. In my heart though I'll always love the dorky looking guy who well meaning customers sometimes like to tell me I look just like I don't think this is a compliment, but it's probably true, although I personally think I'm less dorky and better looking than him. Different Seasons was my first 'grown-up' book that didn't involve commando's, crazed gunmen vigilantes or ninjas. Needful Things was the first book I anxiously waited to be released, and bought in hardcover the day it came out.

The four stories that made up the sadly out of print Bachman Books were some of the first stories read with the literary equivalent of being smacked in the chest with a sledgehammer this is a good thing. It was the novel that got me hooked on 'big' books, and the awe they inspire in lesser mortals who shy away from reading thousand page tomes and the realization that some stories are just better when they have all that room to ferment and unfurl themselves.

Pet Sematary succeed as being one of the few novels to actually scare me although the movie might have helped. Even when it wasn't just about the scares or the thrills, most of the themes I find myself enjoying in books today I first came across in Stephen King he probably is an underrated author, now that I'm actually thinking of it. The protagonist of "The Long Walk" could easily stand in for a Sisyphean existential anti-hero.

My first literary taste and ruminations about Nazi's probably came from "Apt Pupil", The Dark Half could have been a horror version of a Borges short story.

Colorado's Family Guide

And as my swiss cheese memory can't remember the plot details of novels I read two months ago, nevermind almost any details about short stories or who wrote short story plots that my feeble mind happens to remember a few months later, I can remember vividly details from probably most of the stories from Night Shift or Skeleton Crew. That's my nostalgic gushing about my favorite author from seventh grade through about my sophomore year of college.

And now I've read another novel of his. This isn't very good. The story is not bad, but it's not a novel, it's what could be a good side plot in a novel, an aside that would tie into the main story in someway. The story is basically two old newspaper guys on an island off the coast of Maine are telling a young reporter about an unsolved case they were a part of twenty something years ago. The bulk of the novel is the two guys telling the story, view spoiler [and at the end you find out there really aren't any details known about the man who died, except for his name and that against almost all logic that he wound up on a beach in Maine dead one morning, I like non-resolution in books, so I didn't have a problem with this, I just didn't see the point to the book hide spoiler ].

As a story within a novel this could have worked perfectly, it could have been used in a slightly condensed version as a story within a novel even if it didn't directly tie into the main plot, it would have been great to get a feeling of the locale. As a long-ish short story it could have worked, too.

But as a novel? It didn't do it for me. As a novel that is part of the Hard Case series, of mostly hard-boiled crime novels it doesn't seem to fit in at all. The writing is good, the pacing is great, it's just that I don't see the point of it being a novel. In a series of books with Donald Westlake, Lawrence Block and Ed McBain lording over the quality of the books, you need more than a quirky tale and good writing.

The book needs to really sing. I'm thinking maybe I should be more impressed by this 'anti-mystery' than I am. Isn't it punk rock to churn out something like this for a series of crime novels that are all basically predicated on a fairly rigid set of formulaic rules? Should that get me excited and make me sing praises the same way I did over the conclusion of The Hunger Games trilogy? Quite possibly yes. I'm not always the most consistent when it comes to my opinions. View all 4 comments.

No horror here, but still a worthwhile read in my book! King calls them that own the Weekly Islander Newspaper on Moose-Lookit Island, and the way they quizzed and inspired their 22 year old 3. View all 5 comments. Aug 05, Kandice rated it it was amazing. I re-read this because I have recently started watching "Haven" on Netflix. Haven is based, not on this book, but the place and characters IN the book.

I love the show. The best part is how the writers and set decorators insert small references to King's work throughout the years. Sometimes a small nugget of story from one of his novels is told, a scene plays on the screen right off his pages, Paul Sheldon and the Misery series are mentioned when a birthday gift is one of his books. The list goe I re-read this because I have recently started watching "Haven" on Netflix. The list goes on and on. The best part of the show is watching for these "Easter Eggs".

I only wish I had watched it from the beginning as it aired because now I know there are message boards online where people compare what they noticed when an episode is over. Now, back to the book. I have no problem with the idea of this story. King is my favorite writer and I argue vehemently against his label of "Horror Writer" all the time.

It's his style I love. The way he creates three dimensional humans with scribbles on a page. People I feel I know and would recognize on the street. He does so here with the two old newspapermen who relate the story and the young intern who listens. I like them. I want to read more about them! There is certainly no horror to be found on these pages. I even understand the reason he gives us no answer to the mystery. The old men explain that life has no plot, no through line, no story arc, etc.

I agree. I also think that's why we love novels and movies and newspaper articles. We NEED that through line to make up for its lack in our lives.

I was mesmerized by the men relaying the story of this man found dead on a beach in Maine, half a continent from where he began his day in Colorado. I understand the law being unable to put the puzzle together. I know this could happen in real life. I want that through line. King plays with us because he knows he can get away with it.

He can tick me off by not giving me resolution fully confident I will still buy his next book the day it comes out and read and re-read it over and over through the years. Confident ass. I say that with love, nothing but love. I am only on the fourth episode of the second season on Haven. I find it infinitely clever the premise they use for the show and my hope each time I begin a new episode will be that Audrey the main character comes across the answer to what really happened to the Colorado Kid. It's a supernatural television show. I'm gullible. I'll accept a lot.

Or a little. Just give me This is my third reread in 6 months and this time I audio-ed it felt almost like I was getting a "fix". I didn't just relish the story, I took notes, looked up obscure facts and researched things I would otherwise have no interest in. Haven has explained "James Cogan" in the series, but my brain and heart think I can explain The Kid in the book. I know I can! I read in the Stephen King group here on GR that someone dislikes the show Haven because this book is a perfect unsolved and unsolvable mystery. She feels Haven takes away that perfection and instead presents a little paranormal mystery that gets solved every week in 47 minutes.

I can understand her feelings, but love Haven for exactly the same reason she dislikes it. King wrote the perfect mystery novel. Nothing paranormal, plenty unexplained, no answers, through line or plot. The novel is actually more a character study of the two telling the story and the one they are telling it to, than it is a narrative. Often in life we don't get answers. Some things are simply unexplainable. Ok, ok, but not in a King book. In his books he shows us why anything can, and usually does, happen.

Even when it takes magic, evil or the paranormal to make it happen. He convinces us it's possible and shows us how. Haven takes this perfectly unsolvable mystery, written by King, and turns it into what we expect from him. They can exist together and at the same time.

In Haven the outside world is told that all the little unexplainable things that occur in the town limits are due to gas leaks, bad weather, road rage, you name it. In reality, all paranormal hell is constantly breaking loose! When you think about that, the story Vince and Dave are telling Stephie in the novel is exactly the sort of story Haven would tell an outsider. As you read the novel you begin to feel that the old timers sharing this tale with Stephie is their way of accepting her and making her a true resident of the town.

What if they are just feeding her the company line? View all 7 comments. Feb 18, Jamie Stewart rated it really liked it. This was a reread for me having read a digital version years before. When I rate stories I usually do so with only the authors previous work in mind, and with knowing what type of novel the writer set out to create. Grounded, by the three central characters it as a enjoyable read to be read in one sitting. Apr 09, Caroline rated it did not like it Shelves: short-and-quick , wrote-it-in-a-week , did-not-finish , waste-of-trees , he-wrote-it , lost-interest , mystery , ho-hum.

The book is short and from what I understand has an unsatisfying ending, leading me to believe that King whipped this one up quickly without much investment. Where that is strong and complex, this is feeble. Jan 26, Olivier Delaye rated it liked it. Or in this case, to not find out what happens. Either way, I loved it! View 1 comment.

Jul 02, Wayne Barrett rated it liked it Shelves: stephen-king , , crime , horror , mystery. Well written with a nice flow and likable characters but there wasn't much in the way of entertainment here. I was into the suspense, looking for the resolution, even though we were warned there would be none, and when the end finally arrived Still, I could have used a little more meat and potatoes, even though it was only one mouthful that done in our victim Feb 21, Toby rated it really liked it Shelves: whodunnit , popular-fiction.

But if you can give your readers just one unknown thing two at the very outside and then kick in what Dave Bowie there calls a musta-been, your reader will tell himself a story. I actually decided to give the series a shot after learning of its existence whilst purchasing the book, turns out Haven is terrible, and yet still I remained eager to read King's ripping yarn. Luckily there appears to have been little of the novel, if anything, harvested to create such a cheap and tack abomination. The Colorado Kid is never going to be considered a King masterpiece, it's a slight little story that feels like he wrote it one afternoon when the inspiration hit.

Two old geezers sit around telling a tall tale to a young girl; an interesting mystery unfolds, the kind that can really get the gears turning, a John Doe turns up dead on a remote beach on an island off of the coast of Maine, a lazy investigation ensues and leaves our intrepid duo with many questions and a desire to get to the truth. But Stephen King is not content to simply tell a whodunnit, or even quietly deconstruct the genre whilst referencing Poe, Doyle, Christie, Queen and Stout, he is afterall a man who seems to spend his every waking moment constructing stories and with The Colorado Kid he is revelling in simply being a storyteller by dissecting the nature of telling stories.

It is not thrilling, it is not taxing, it may even be a little frustrating for those of you who need a beginning, middle and end but it is a light and enjoyable read that could easily work as a template for anyone considering using a simple framing story in your novel, screenplay or video game. I wish the makers of Haven had taken that advice.

View 2 comments. Oct 05, Johann jobis89 rated it liked it. I did enjoy it, but ultimately was left feeling unfulfilled. And I get the point of the book and that not everything has an answer The characters were great, as were the interactions between them So there were definitely positives to the book! I'm just a bit meh about it all The Colorado Kid was first published in the US in and has been out of print for a decade.

It was never released in the UK…until now. You can see the love and the care have gone into creating the book and included within there is an introduction by Charles Ardai, one of the co-founders of Hard Case Crime. The book itself is an illustrated edition, featuring artwork from a plethora of talented artists and I have to say that the included artwork is phenomenal.

Dave Bowie and Vince Teague, the two elderly proprietors of the island newspaper, The Weekly Islander along with their young new intern Stephanie McCann have met with a writer from the Boston Globe who is looking for stories about unexplained mysteries for an upcoming feature. Over the lunch, the duo of newspapermen share some of the local unexplained mysteries that abound in the area with the writer that they have heard over their many years in the business.

He soon departs from the bar in time to catch the afternoon ferry back to the mainland leaving Dave, Vince and Stephanie to finish their lunch before heading back to the office to resume work. Later in the afternoon, back in the newspaper office and with her own interest in the subject piqued Stephanie broaches the subject with the duo, asking them about unexplained mysteries, the stories that surround them and that, if perhaps, they do have any stories to tell that for whatever reason, they kept back from the writer….

Even though Stephanie is an outsider to the island, someone who has only been there for three months, there is something about her, she gets the way of life, the island life, she understands the small community, the small-time yet important news, she belongs and in her Dave and Vince see a kindred spirit, someone who is like them and someone who is worthy of the mysterious tale of the Colorado Kid. Twenty-five years ago, in April a dead body was found on Hammock beach by two high-school children out for an early morning run. The man was newly arrived on the island and then, less than a few hours after his arrival, he was dead.

For sixteen months after his body was found the man was a John Doe, there was no name, there was no idea where he came from and there was no clue as to his identity. The only thing that they have is a cause of death but it is uncertain, it is a mystery, did he die accidentally? Was his death by natural causes? Was he murdered? Did he commit suicide Then, thanks to a moment of insight over a year later, a flicker of memory about the old case, the young post-graduate forensics student, now at law school who was assisting the two investigating detectives at the time of the death notices something purely coincidentally.

Something innocuous, something random that was overlooked and that finally shines a light on who the deceased mystery man is and where he came from. But, the question, more pronounced than ever after his identity and origin is revealed still remains of what was he doing on the island? The Colorado Kid takes place over an August afternoon and a large part of the book plays out like a conversation that is full of the regional dialect and colloquialisms of the area between the trio of Dave, Vince and Stephanie.

The three of them sit out on the deck of the newspaper offices and there is something enchanting, something magical about the way that the story unfolds between them as they while away the hours. The aged duo relate the story of the Colorado Kid to Stephanie, sharing, passing the telling of it back and forth with Stephanie, herself also getting involved, asking the occasional question, adding her own insights and thoughts. The characterisation by King is, as ever, stellar, you expect nothing less from King and he once again delivers as his characters come to life on the pages both those in the story and those telling the story.

No, you feel like you are involved in the conversation, you feel like you are sitting right there with them, part of something important, part of the group. As a character, Stephanie is likeable and inquisitive but where King really shines is with the duo of Dave and Vince who are an absolute joy to read about. They are congenial old timers, affable, charming and friendly grandfathers, a duo who have great affection for each other and who share light-hearted banter. They are two people who have known each other for years, who are comfortable around each other and getting to spend some time with them was warming to the soul.

One issue that I can see people having with The Colorado Kid is the ending and the lack of a full resolution to the mystery. The ending is ambiguous with certain questions remaining unanswered and part of the mystery unsolved. Not every story is the same, not all endings are tied up nicely and presented with a bow in a neat package.

In the world, unexplained and unsolved mysteries abound and it is the mystery, not the resolution that draws you in, that keeps you coming back looking for answers. As a species, we are curious by nature and the ending leaves the reader to contemplate, to muse on, to ponder, to think for themselves, it is very cleverly done and I liked it I read The Colorado Kid in less than a day and like the characters in the book I whiled away my own pleasant sunny afternoon lost in the mystery of the Kid.

The book itself is around pages in length, only a short read but it a captivating story that is full of spirit, a little gem of a thought-provoking book. Oct 24, Alexandra rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , mystery , own-on-audible , avail-on-kindle. Just a few thoughts here about this book It was well done and the narrator did a good job.

The cover pic has absolutely zero to do with the story and implies to me a story of a certain flavor and genre which this story do Just a few thoughts here about this book The cover pic has absolutely zero to do with the story and implies to me a story of a certain flavor and genre which this story does not meet. This is not a detective noir story. There's no sultry redhead. There's no hardboiled detective. Neither the characters or the tale they tell are set in the 30's or 40's. While there is nothing wrong with this cover as a cover, there is a lot wrong with it for this book since it may mislead people into reading it or not reading it assuming it's a different kind of story than it actually is.

Instead it's a story set in a small town with two long time residents who also run the town paper. These men have a conversation with a new resident newspaper intern about a mystery and possibly unsolved murder that occurred in the town's past. As has been mentioned in other reviews this story presents a mystery without a resolution. I knew that going in, thankfully, so I wasn't annoyed by it as I would have been if I hadn't expected that. Not only is there no resolution to the mystery, but there aren't really any likely plausibilities presented for what really happened.

We get to wonder. We get to think. We get to come up with our own ideas. What we don't get is to know or any real answers. For others who may be taking a look for that same reason you'll probably want to know that this story has about zero to do with the plot of the TV show. It has two characters in common, and the name of a restaurant. That's it. That being said I did enjoy this story. I think the writing is King outdoing himself. It's better writing than King usually is when at his best. Perhaps because of the short format, the story is tighter and more concise than King usually is.

Perhaps also because this is basically a character study, a conversation between three people, two of whom have a fascinating "real life" mystery to tell. And characters are something King does very well. The enjoyment for this one comes from the characters, the way we get a feel for their personalities as the telling of the mystery unfolds, and the interesting mystery itself.

This one is about the journey, rather than the destination, and I'm glad I took the diversion. Even average Stephen King is worth reading. I'd call The Colorado Kid , a short novel almost a novella a notch above average, maybe 3. It's not really a "hard-boiled" mystery, though, and I don't know why it's labeled as such. That sultry dame on the cover is pretty misleading; the story is actually an unsolved murder being related to a young reporter working on a small tourist island newspaper in Maine by two old-timers who've been living there and reporting for the paper since forever.

There are two stories here; one is the human interaction between the old-timers and their young protege as they discuss fine nuances of human behavior wrapped in small mysteries, everything from why they didn't leave a tip on the table for a hard-working waitress to why they don't tell the big city reporter working on a series for a Boston paper about any of the real mysteries they know about, and stick to old unsolved ones everyone knows about like the mysterious coast lights and the poisoned church picnic.

King has always been good at inserting little bits of human mystery like this into his stories. The second story, the one The Colorado Kid is really about, is that of a man from Colorado who was found dead on this Maine island back in As the two journalists tell the tale, more and more odd details surface, and as they try to work through answers to each one, the case becomes stranger and stranger. The thing is, The Colorado Kid is actually a bit of a meta-story, and appreciating it requires knowing a little bit about Stephen King.

Like the fact that in recent years he's been connecting all of his fiction loosely together in a self-referential manner. Consider a supernatural thriller with inhuman creatures, magic, aliens, or whatever, operating in secret. Imagine the collateral damage these stories leave lying around: dead bodies, burned down buildings, unexplained holes in the ground. What happens when "mundanes" come across the aftermath of such incidents?

They have no idea about parallel dimensions or battles between good and evil, they just know there's a dead body lying here and they have no idea how it got there or how he died. They try to piece together the clues, but there are holes in any story they come up with, because even if they are open-minded enough to consider the paranormal, they can't know the whole truth. This story is kind of like getting a peek at a mystery like that. If you take it at face value, it's just an odd tale about an unsolved death. If you think about all the other King you've read, you say, "Damn, some shit went down here, and these people just have no clue Only pages and for seven days I am trying to finish this book.

So Boring! To imagine the tv series is definitely much better Sep 27, Jim rated it did not like it Shelves: 2fiction , mystery-thriller , 3hard-case-crime , 1paper. The idea, that life doesn't have the pat answers of a story, is OK. The 3 characters are OK, but he took way too many words to say it. His repetitive, bland descriptions do not dig me deeper into the world he is painting, they just bore me to tears. I was hoping for something different, more like his old style, out of a book by this publisher. Didn't get it. If you haven't read it, don't bother. It's a wast or so pages should have been under Like the other Stephen King 'short' releases this was just ok.

Worth reading because it's the main man but not spectacular. Jul 23, Nick Iuppa rated it really liked it. When I was a kid of about seven or eight, there was a question my sister and I started asking each other every Christmastime. The question is simply this. In his Afterward to the Hard Case Crime Novel, he almost When I was a kid of about seven or eight, there was a question my sister and I started asking each other every Christmastime.

King of course goes one step further in the Colorado Kid.

4 Colorado Kids

This one is easy to solve. A very nice young woman Stephanie McCann who has a young man who probably wants to marry her very soon, has come to a little island off the coast of Maine to do an internship with a small local newspaper.


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Vince Teague, the year-old guy running the paper and his year-old partner, Dave Bowie, both like her and are considering offering her a full time job maybe even more than that at the paper. But before they do they want to see if she really has a sense and a passion for newspaper work and reporting. She is. We live our whole lives with the uncertainty of where we came from and where we are going, no matter how solid our religious belief system or the lack thereof.

That still is not enough for you? Here goes: James Cogan left his wife and suburban home and little son and went to his job at an ad agency in Denver. At around noon he left the building to get lunch and instead slipped into a limo he had hired to take him to Stapleton International airport. There he got onto a private plane and flew to Bangor Maine. He gave the boatman a cup of tea on the crossing. By then he had ditched his suit coat and his wallet and donned a yellow jacket.

From then on no one saw him or knew where he was, but the next morning he turned up dead, propped up against a dumpster on the beach. He had choked to death on a piece of steak… a midnight snack. There was a pack of cigarettes on the nearby sand but only one cigarette was gone. The stamp on the bottom of the cigarette pack was from Colorado and this allowed the newspaper guys to trace his identity back to Colorado and find his wife.