Book Reviews of The Colorado Kid

The Colorado Kid
The Colorado Kid
Author: Stephen King
ISBN-13: 9780843955842
ISBN-10: 0843955848
Publication Date: 10/4/2005
Pages: 184
Rating:
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 308

3.1 stars, based on 308 ratings
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

72 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
I picked up this book, not because I'm a Stephen King fan (although I am), but because it was part of the new Hard Case Crime division of Dorchester Publishing. I'll admit, the variety of authors they've collected to write for them is extensive, and THE COLORADO KID just happened to be the first one in the Hard Case group to make it to the top of my to-be-read pile.

I understand, after reading THE COLORADO KID, why so many people on here posted negative reviews. I understand, because just like the main characters in the story told me, a mystery with no resolution plain and simply pisses people off. People want a happy conclustion to a problem--whether it be why 9/11 happened, why oil prices are so high, why a young woman in Wisconsin was murdered, or how a man from Colorado went to work one morning and ended up dead on a little island off the coast of Maine only hours later.

Not KNOWING, not having Mr. King spell it out for us, angered many a reader of this book. Should it have? Maybe. But I actually felt like there WAS a resolution to this story--that being that not everything in life has such a tidy ending as we want our stories to have. Of all the people who end up dead in the US every year, how many do you think go unsolved as to cause of death, or in the case of murder, capturing a perpetrator? Life--this roller-coaster ride that we get onto daily and hang on to since our very lives depend on it--is not black and white, and it sure as heck doesn't offer us up tidy conclusions at the end of every day.

THE COLORADO KID is, quite simply, a character study of not knowing. We can get the facts, we can extrapolate what we believe happened based on those facts, but in the end, it's all a mystery.

Kudos to Mr. King for taking an idea, running with it, and showing that he just doesn't give a flying fig if we get it or not. This book left me with questions, yes, and I actually thank him for that. A book that makes you think and question will always be worth more than a book that doesn't.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Not you typical SK story, but still a good read. Not a long book by any means, but the story keeps your attention.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Don't read this expecting horror because it's not. It's not even structured like your typical novella, with the entire story simply a dialog between three people.

I think King is great with premise - setting an eerie stage and invoking intense curiosity; however, he stumbles and falls with this one. Instead of his typical altruistic main character's sacrificial last act of life, this offers no resolution. Well, the story-within-the-story doesn't. And that's what draws us to the story in the first place. Not recommended for anyone, not even King fans.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
As the author says himself, you will either love or hate this book. Not much room for in-between. Personally, I loved it. Vintage King dialogue and New England characters.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Okay - this is a powerful book. Everything King does leads up to the ending which makes perfect sense given the plot - but it still drove me crazy. King is a genius, this books shows it - but my frustration level is 10 on a scale of 10. WHY THAT ISLAND?????
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Not what I expected from Stephen King but truly excellent. This is not horror, but a mystery/detective story of a local unsolved case as told by two old newspapermen to their young intern. It is fascinating to see how little scraps of clues are pursued and woven in to complete a part of the larger puzzle. King is showing part of the inner workings of that masterful mind of his that helped make his works so successful. The reader of this audio book with his Maine accent further enhances the overall enjoyment of the book as well.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
It's a story that right up front tells you is about a non-story, and it certainly was. Cute dialogue, on the audio CD the reader does a very good Maine accent, but when it ended I thought I was missing a disk. If Steve King came over to my house and told me this story, when he was done I would have said, "And...?"
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is confusing and very boring. Seen the movie and thought maybe if I read the book I would understand it more. NOPE!! Can't believe Stephen King wrote it
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 148 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very different from typical King novels. Not horror, just a good old-fashioned murder mystery with reporters --- not police or detectives--- being the main truth seekers. 2 aging "journalists" for a small town weekly take a female intern under their wing and share the story of a still unsolved murder that still stirs the locals' imaginations years later. A nice example of seniors mentoring a newcomer to their career field. Enjoyed the local color thrown in also!
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A nice read, with a lovely cover. But Ach Du Lieber it is short. Took me like 45 minutes to read this thing. And it was, how much? I don't even remember.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Great characters and a great storyline. For a Stephen King fan, what more can be expected and this one does not disappoint.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Excellent, but short book, a real departure for King, highly recommended.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Good book...Especially if you like crime cases. A little different for Stephen King, but he did very well with this book
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Good, quick read, a departure from his regular work, but still King!
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
More "Stephen King" than mystery. Shorter book - but very good - I couldn't put down - of course that may have been because I was so excited that he was still writing "after retirement". Many twists and turns. I wish there were more like this one.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 1072 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A new and different Stephen King...altho I was not a real fan of this particular books topic, it is easy to see that King has mastered the "Dime Crime Novel" genre. Brought me back to when I was a child and my Dad would take me shopping with him and buy me the latest installment of the 10 cent novella. Worth the read to see a different style from King....
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
From the fist page you want to know the dead mans secret.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not your "typical" Stephen King book. More mystery than horror.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Short, fun read by King, as part of the Hard Case Crime series.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I quit reading Stephen King in the 1980s after being dissatisfied with his work for a number of reasons, and this is the first King novel I've read in twenty years. It wasn't worth the wait. King goes on and on showing us how he can imitate localized diction and colloquialisms, trying to cleverly infuse his characters with local color as if to say, See, I can create interesting and colorful characters too, just as a writer such as Dickens did. Well, he spends so much time trying to imitate characters a la Murder She Wrote (which is referred to frequently), that one soon gets the sense that the novel is an exercise in character development -- and a weak one at that. If you like crime fiction and mysteries, stay far away from this. I can only think that the editors were so excited to get a writer of King's renown involved that he was given carte blanche to write a novel with no closure and one that is supremely unsatisfying.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am an avid King fan, this one was very disappointing. My King books are like gold and I do not give them up to ANYONE, but had no problem putting this one back in the system. The plot was boring and didn't go anywhere. If you are a King fan, don't bother w/this. I can't say if this is a good book for the genre, but if it is, then what an "anti climatic" genre.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 197 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An oldie but good.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not the usual King, but a good quick read.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 89 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the world's great storytellers presents a moving and surprising tale whose subject is nothing less than the nature of mystery itself.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 279 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I breezed through this book. I was suprised at his willingness to leave this 'unfinished' so to speak. I was impressed!
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 119 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good mystery story, but don't look for an answer. If you're expecting gore and mayhem this is not for you.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on
Helpful Score: 1
Bowing to peer pressure, I gave this book 4 stars instead of 4.5. A totally different, yet noticeably Stephen King book, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Developing characters you can easily picture, and fall in love with, this book keeps dropping hints then waiting chapters before totally explaining them in a way that I have come to enjoy most from Uncle Stevie. Throughout the story you feel as captivated as the female lead Stephanie, and entertained by the Abbott and Costello Duo Vince and Dave (Bowie???).A true joy to read, and at 178 pages, very quick read that's hard to put down. Some may be disappointed with the ending, but I, myself agree with the King's Afterward whole heartedly. Not your typical Crime novel, but definitely recommended to readers with an open mind and no expectations.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very quick and interesting read. I was drawn to this book because of the TV show "Haven." If you are looking for a book that wraps everything up neatly at the end, this is not for you. Otherwise, I highly recommend.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 296 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a very interesting puzzle and leaves you through the whole book wondering if it will ever be explained. I would not ruin it for anyone telling them the answer to this question! I strongly recommend that you read it.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 142 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
When I heard there was a good old-fashioned mystery novel from Stephen King, I was surprised but intrigued. I knew there had to be a twist to it, something different. I was right. I can't give it away, so read the book and you'll know what I mean.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The worst SK I've read. He says in the back that you'll either love or hate it, well I hated it. Just not what I expected from SK. No resolution, just a mystery. I guess it's supposed to say something about the nature of life, but when I read a book I want it to have an ending.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on
This was one of King's early works and frankly, based on this book, I wouldn't have continued to read him if I had started with this one! Probably can tell that I didn't care for this other than the fact that it shows that King did improve. Low character development and it ends with an anti-climax.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 45 more book reviews
An interesting and much misunderstood book. It's not so much about the unsolved mystery as it is a young woman from the outside finding her place in a small New England community.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on
This wasn't like King at all. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I'd recomend it more for Elmore Leanord fans. It's different. I got it has a gift so yea. Not the best.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 23 more book reviews
I didn't like this book at all. I knew that it was not a typical SK book, however it just didn't do it for me.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 24 more book reviews
A short story by Stephen King. Not so much a crime story. A body is found on a beach with no identification. This is a quick read, humorous at times. The ending very suprising. I recomend this book.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 31 more book reviews
If you got this book to figure out more about Haven the TV series supposedly based on this book, YOU WILL BE SORELY DISSAPOINTED. How they even got to the series from this book is beyond me.

However, the book itself is both clever and annoying as hell. If you want a succinct ending you will not get it, and this book will leave you with more questions than answers. But read it anyway.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on
This book is more of a novella than an actual novel because the story all takes place in one afternoon. I read this book because I watch and like the show Haven on Sci-Fi. According to the show it is based on the book "The Colorado Kid" by Stephen King and honestly it is a really really loose interpretation with very few similarities. As for the book it is basically about two older men who own the local newspaper telling their intern about the case of a dead man found on the beach of their small town and how long it took to solve the case of who he was and why he was there.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 5 more book reviews
This is the origin book for the TV series Haven which, sad to say, is better than its source. The book is intriguing because it does not have a neat ending. But, by the time you finish you love the characters. So it is a win. Short read by a master.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 9 more book reviews
Not typical Stephen King - if there is such a thing. But it is an interesting and quick read. Story of a 25 yr old murder in a small coastal Maine town told by a couple of great local oldtimers to a young female reporter. Though I was frustrated by the ending, Stephen King is a good story-teller. The character development of these two old gentlemen is excellent-I would like to sit down for coffee with them-and it's a short book so I didn't feel cheated.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 63 more book reviews
I am a huge fan of Stephen King's work, but quite frankly, this book left me cold. I don't mind that it's not his usual genre (I knew that going in), but a fictional crime story should have some resolution, and this one doesn't. It's like SK signed a contract to write this book and had a general idea for a story. Then, about 150 pages into it, and possibly with a deadline fast approaching, ran into a brick wall of writer's block and decided to end it right there. . Frankly, I felt a bit cheated.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 99 more book reviews
The other Stephen King. Interesting story. A stranger comes to town and then disappears. Keeps your interest start to finish.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 7 more book reviews
Shocking that this book was written by Stephen King.... did not find it good at all.... Keep in mind that this is not a typical King horror though.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 12 more book reviews
If you like answers with all the loose ends tied up neatly, don't read this book! A puzzle is presented, but no solution given. A quick, entertaining read.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 163 more book reviews
Hard case crime by Stephen King..pulpy type cover PB.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 39 more book reviews
The Hard Case Crime series is a wonderful idea: a mix of original and reprinted hard-boiled detective novels by some of the best writers in the field, packaged to look like lurid 1940s and 1950s thrillers. And getting Stephen King to write a new novel as part of the series was quite a coup. King is the author of record when it comes to fiction set in America in recent decades, and here he is with a noir detective story. Maybe...You'll have to read it to find out!
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 7 more book reviews
Even average Stephen King is worth reading. I'd call The Colorado Kid, a short novel (almost a novella) a notch above average, maybe 3.5 stars.

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 1980. 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..."
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 207 more book reviews
Excellent story, surprisingly brief for Stephen King (4 CDs, unabridged), and surprisingly not focused on horror or the supernatural, this was a straight-up "whodunnit" -- plus the "why?" and "how?" and all the other questions journalists seek to answer.

Narrator Jeffrey DeMunn did a beautiful job of creating distinctive voices of two elderly Maine coast newspapermen, without reducing their "down East" accents to something laughable or unintelliglble. He also kept separate the voice of a grad student interning with them.

This book interested me when I learned it was the basis, or at least the initial inspiration, for the SyFy TV series "Haven," and it did not disappoint.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 441 more book reviews
A traditional story has 4 parts, although some sources say 5; a web search will provide various definitions. For the purposes of this review, let's go with "Exposition (Introduction)", "Conflict", "Climax", and "Resolution". If you try doing the same search regarding "life", you'll see it's not so easily broken down into such defined components. Life is not as structured as a story.

This is the basic theme of Stephen King's "The Colorado Kid". Straddling the border between a novella and a short novel, "The Colorado Kid" describes the mystery - no, make that mysteries - surrounding a body found on a Maine beach. It tells how some aspects of the situation are discovered over time, and others are assumed with a well-educated guess or two that are founded in the facts. It also sets out to show that some aspects may not be readily apparant, may be open to interpretation, or simply may never be discovered.

It is a story within a story; the situation that Mr. King sets up is that two old small-town newspapermen are describing their town's biggest mystery to their relatively new colleague, a recent college graduate from "the big city". Further, the story within the story within the story is to provide a lesson in storytelling - what makes a good story, what is necessary to tell a good story, and what unknowns can kill a story.

The published opinions on "The Colorado Kid" are mixed. It appears that the biggest haters detest the thing that actually drew me into the story - its uncertainty! Mr. King makes no secret of the fact that the mystery being described is unsolved; folks who expected a miraculous change to that circumstance by the last page will be disappointed to learn that things aren't revealed and resolved. It is my opinion that a miracle ending would have been a cheat, and would have invalidated the storytelling lessons being revealed by our narrators.

Further, anyone looking for resolution on THEIR story will also be disappointed! With limited exception, glimpses into the future are not given to mortal man, and the same is true for the characters in "The Colorado Kid". However, anyone looking for lessons on how to tell a traditional story can certainly learn something from this book, not just from what the characters reveal (a glimpse into the mind of the famed author, I must assume), but by what they describe as NOT present.


I am rating this story at 5 stars. I liked it, regardless of the opinion of other readers / reviewers, and most importantly, it is one of those rare books that stayed with me after I moved on to the next item in my To Be Read pile.
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Fast reading from Stephen King
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 92 more book reviews
No rest for this guy. This is a slight departure from his regular style of writing, nevertheless he doesn't fail to entertain. Find out for yuhself what the mystery is along the Maine coast.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 3 more book reviews
This is a great book! But, be warned, it's a total switch from normal King work. Although you can tell without a doubt that it's totally his story, it's completely different. I had heard rumors of his retirement, but if he starts up with this new genre, I think he has many years ahead of him yet!
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 20 more book reviews
The book held my interest and made me believe what should very well be inprobable if not impossible. King does it again.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 10 more book reviews
Too gimicky. King spends too much time on the characters telling the story instead of just telling it. I didn't finish this book.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 17 more book reviews
Two old newspaper writers tell the story to their young female intern of The Colorado Kid, an unsolved mystery from back in the 1980's and as the clues pile up it leads to an intersting discussion and revelation.

This book is definitely typical of Stephen King as I've read most of his books. There is very little gore or supernatural activity which is indicative of his writing. King himself states in the afterword that people will either love it or hate it.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 29 more book reviews
This was not a scary/gory Stephen King but rather an old-fashioned mystery. Does take the Lord's name in vain a couple of times but, no sex. It would be fine for your mother or grandmother if they like mysteries. My mother--prefers them a bit spicier actually.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 22 more book reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Pure entertainment from the master of horror turned mystery pulp fiction writer. Great job, Mr. King!
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 36 more book reviews
A little differant... for King.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 52 more book reviews
Interesting, not the typical SKing. Great folk, from New England, of course. A nice, relaxing story.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 17 more book reviews
interesting new test of King's talents. Good read.
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Different for Stephen King.
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A new slant for Stephen King as a mystery writer. I didn't really like the book because the ending was anti-climatic. I prefer Stephen King as the horror writer.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on
Interesting read for a few hours. Not at all what the Hard Case Crime logo suggests.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 20 more book reviews
A well written Stephen King story. An intriguing who-dunit story that was well conceived and well executed. Once again we get an isiders view of the monds of the New Englander minds. They way they view those that visit and even those that come and stay. Two crotchety old newspaper men school a youg journalist on the way of the world. Was a really good read. If your looking fro the supernatural or the arcane, this is not the book for you.
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can't recommend.
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 5 more book reviews
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, and it's more than a year before the man is identified.
And 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...?
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 216 more book reviews
I simply must read ANYTHING SK writes. But this is a skinny paperback so I thought I would share it with other SK fans!! Great little story.
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From the cover:

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, and it's more than a year before the man is identified.

And 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....?
reviewed The Colorado Kid on + 170 more book reviews
Fresh out of journalism school, Stephanie McCann is an intern at a weekly newspaper in an obscure corner off the coast of Maine. She is writing homey features and reporting on trivial stories, but she rather enjoys it. Then a big-city reporter comes to town to gather stories about "unsolved mysteries." The paper's owner and the managing editor send him away unsatisfied, and then tell Stephanie the only real unsolved mystery on the island. The banter between the two old men provides all kinds of local color, but it also means the pace of the storytelling is glacial. It takes most of chapter one to explain why they filch the cash the big-city reporter left to pay for a meal. We're in chapter five before they start telling the story that gives the book its title. Years earlier, two high school sweethearts found a dead body on the beach. There was no identification, and only a few items found with the body gave any hope of telling where he was from. It isn't until too many chapters later, after much meandering, that the old men tell Stephanie (and us) how they found out the man was from Colorado, which led to the identification of the body. Nor do we actually care, since none of the characters do. They're only telling the story in order to explain that it's not a story at all-a conclusion with which readers will heartily agree.
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Always like Stephen King.
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WITH AN ALL- NEW INVESTIGATION INTO THE UNKNOWN

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,
and it's more than a year before the man is identified.

And thats just the beginning of the mystery,Bacause 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....???
reviewed The Colorado Kid on
Brand new. Never read.