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The Colorado Kid

The Colorado Kid

Written by Stephen King

Narrated by Jeffrey Demunn


The Colorado Kid

Written by Stephen King

Narrated by Jeffrey Demunn

ratings:
4/5 (107 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Oct 4, 2005
ISBN:
9780743552431
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

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...
Released:
Oct 4, 2005
ISBN:
9780743552431
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, and Doctor Sleep are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.


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Reviews

What people think about The Colorado Kid

3.8
107 ratings / 37 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Good read. Left me waiting for a surprise ending. Kept me interested.
  • (5/5)
    This is a small story. Went in expecting the show, but this more accurately would be a play. Definitly not a Broadway, but at least a head turner. A story about death investigations, and journalism. I dont know if you get a bad ending here, but ... maybe you get an ending about endings. And that's all Ill say. Except that's an ending i can live with.
  • (3/5)
    Entertaining but took me a while to get into it and I wasn’t thrilled withe the ending.
  • (5/5)
    The fact you could get 5 Seasons of “Haven” out of this is astounding!! Not at all what I expected, but I enjoyed it anyhow!!
  • (1/5)
    While I am a huge Stephen King fan, I must say that I was NOT impressed with this book. It can hardly be considered a murder mystery as it ignores some of the basic rules of detective fiction. I would not recommend this book to any first time King readers.
  • (2/5)
    This was just kind of silly. King always has trouble with the endings of books, so this just doesn't have one. I don't think I'm giving anything away that I shouldn't by saying that. It's exactly like reading a book that has the whole ending ripped out, and then someone who didn't know the story tries to wrap it up and tack on an ending.

    Up until that point I was OK with it.
  • (3/5)
    Not really a crime book, despite the cover, title and the series. This is Stephen King reflecting on what makes a mystery and what makes a story. Interesting reading, I am becoming quite interested in King's fiction.
  • (5/5)
    Passionate and brilliant character/cultural study of New England. The story doesn't seem to go anywhere, but since King tells you that upfront, you can let yourself float on his beautiful characterizations. An unrecognized masterpiece that is due another look.
  • (3/5)
    Short and entertaining. I should say up front that I'm not a huge Stephen King fan. I don't read everything he writes. I absolutely loved the Dark Tower Series, and I enjoyed The Stand. But beyond that I haven't read much Stephen King. I came to this short story in a backwards fashion. I've been watching the SyFy show Haven, loosely based on The Colorado Kid. I think the TV show is finding its stride, so I decided to read the story that started it. "Loosely based" is the key phrase here. If you're a fan of Haven, you won't find any revelation in "The Colorado Kid". And in reverse, if you loved "The Colorado Kid" you aren't going to find any more answers in "Haven". That's the context.

    It was a fun short story. There is a lot of play with the nature of mystery, and small town interactions. You'll be saying "ayuh" for days after reading this story. And despite the open ending, you'll find yourself turning this mystery over in your mind. It's not a horror story like "The Mist" (one of the small handful of King Short stories I've read). But taken as a short story on it's own, not a Stephen King short story, it's a good read. Given it's length (even for a slow reader like myself you could finish it in a good afternoon of reading) I'd recommend it. Had it been stretched out into something longer I would have been harsher. I can't imagine anyone reading this and hating it, but on the other hand, i can't imagine anyone reading it and proclaiming it the most amazing thing ever.
  • (2/5)
    Audiobook. I really enjoyed the narration, however this was not quite what I was expecting from the story. I've been watching Haven on Syfy and wanted to read the book that it was based on, The Colorado Kid. It was nothing at all like the TV show. It was a good story, but not even something I would have expected to read from Stephen King. If I had read the book first it may well have turned me off of watching the show
  • (4/5)
    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. But rather than the traditional formula of a mystery story, The Colorado Kid was more about the art of telling a story than the story itself. 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.
  • (4/5)
    I always wondered how Stephen King would fare as the writer of a hard boiled mystery. When I started to read this little slip of a book, I looked for the horror aspect. I waited. I fretted. I decided that I hated this stupid book. I put it down.I admit that I read the author's afterword when I figured I would not finish the book. Then I thought about it for a while. And I picked the book and continued to read. And I have to say that it is written as a true hard boiled mystery. I've been so spoiled by the entertainment of the detective who points a finger and exclaims "AHA!" that I forgot that a mystery is the unknown. It is simply speculation because, by nature, it is unsolved. It CAN'T be solved. That's what makes it a mystery. Once I realized and accepted that my questions were not now or ever going to be answered, that I was free to make any and all assumptions about what occurred because there would never be any resolution, I enjoyed the hell out of the story. The easy banter between the three characters was delightful. And I loved the ending paragraph. I will say that I do not see myself reading much of this particular kind of mystery. I like resolution. I like knowing that the door closed behind me guards no more secrets. But that doesn't mean that the occasional true mystery is not juicy and exciting. It is. It definitely is.
  • (3/5)
    I'm not a big fan of Stephen King, but I really enjoyed this book. It had good pacing, unlike most of his books [excluding Carrie]. However, I honestly started it during my first period class and had it finished by sixth. That made me a little sad, but that's more my fault because I'm a really quick reader. I liked that the book was up front about the myster being unsolved. I also liked that it was unsolved; now I have something to ponder while I go to bed.
  • (5/5)
    I got introduced to The Colorado Kid while watching the new tv show Haven, so I decided to look for the book that this show was based on. The book starts out with Stephanie working with the local Newspaper men. After interning them and learning the ropes she wonders if there is a crime that was never solved. They sit her down and proceed to tell her about The Colorado Kid, a man who wound up dead in Maine with no identification, and no idea how he came to be on the beach. The biggest question through out this book is how a man goes from Boulder Colorado to this small town in Maine from 10:30 til 5:30. That's a quandary in itself. This book unlike normal mysteries doesn't have an answer to it. Just leaves you wondering about the Colorado Kid. What a great story, loved it.
  • (2/5)
    Who knows what Stephen King is doing these days? I personally think he is cleaning out his desk drawers, donating his previously unpublishable stories to small, new publishers like Hard Case Crime, using his name to boost their profiles. Nothing wrong with that, if the story is worth reading. I didn’t think this one was. It’s a narrated tale—not my favorite literary device—told by two old coot newspaper owners to their cute, young intern about the unsolved mystery of a man from Colorado who turns up dead on a Maine island beach. The mystery never does get solved, which apparently is the point of the whole thing, but I didn’t get it. It’s more frustrating than entertaining, if you ask me. Also, I couldn’t really see how this story fit into the publisher’s niche of retro hard-boiled crime. Again, I suspect King of cleaning out his desk, rather than writing a good, new tale that works.
  • (2/5)
    I never thought I'd see the day that I'd be so bored by a Stephen King book.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't think I was going to like this one at first, but I wanted to read it anyways out of curiosity. Surprisingly, it was actually really good. I'm hoping King decides to do a few more in this style.
  • (4/5)
    A tale told to a cub reporter by two older newspapermen. It's a story of a man found on a beach, a story closer to truth than fiction and a story that asks more questions than it answers.I found it interesting but would love to know where they got the inspiration for the TV series from this! The only real relationship is in some of the characters names.
  • (4/5)
    King can tell a story. The Colorado Kid is a very fast read, and pretty enjoyable.
  • (4/5)
    Pretty good. I love how the story was presented, and how it leaves one do decide what the final outcome is.
  • (3/5)
    Say what you like - Stephen King is a wonderful writer. Who else could get us to invest so heavily in three characters and a little local mystery which ultimately has no solution, and yet to finish the book feeling quite satisfied. Please note, I use 'quite' in the sense of considerably rather than completely.A young woman, a journalism cadet, does what we used to call 'field work' with a small island newspaper in Maine under the guidance of the old men who keep the paper going: she finds, to her suprise, that she loves the life of the hamlet reporter and she soon comes to love her elderly mentors who repay her regard by telling her a story.A true story, but an unsolved mystery and so full of hypotheses and suppositions. Not the sort of story that would insterest a mainstream paper because there are no answers, no solution, but a puzzle the men have chewed at for several decades and which they now share with their student. A quiet, slow, gentle story with a pace belying the tragedy revealed over a liesurely chat on the verandah this is King at his most masterful, driving a simple tale onward by force of his storytelling, lazily turning overc rocks to reveal the rather unappetising underbelly. I bought this from the really cheap rack at the local hypermarket and am glad I got it at a rockbottom bargain basement price: I completely acknowledge King's brilliance as a writer but most admitt I prefer his full-scale horror productions above little polished gems such as The Colrado Kid...
  • (3/5)
    I understand where King was going with this book: "In real life, nothing is as cut and dry as it is in a story. In real life, sometimes there's no real resolution. So I'll write a book about it!" And while that may be the case, I feel that it's really just an excuse for an author who wrote himself into a corner and couldn't think up an interesting ending. King has a tendency to do that--write a really cool story and then, when he can't figure out a good ending, simply concluding it in some haphazard way. "The Mist" is another good example of that predisposition. And while King has a very good point (that in real life very seldom are the resolutions neat and tidy), I didn't need him to tell me that. The reason most of us read fiction is because people want an escape. Moral and intellectual edification are all well and good (and I myself enjoy such a read from time to time), but that's not what the vast majority of readers want. It's that whole "conflict and resolution" thing your 6th grade English teachers were always talking about. If people wanted to read unfinished stories without resolution, they could just live their ordinary lives or read the newspaper. There's something inside of all of us that yearns for resolution, and stories (written, verbal or visual) fulfill that need. So to build up a promising tale and then end it with a cliffhanger and a sorry justification is like promising the reader a cupcake and then shoving your thumb up their ass instead. It's not at all satisfying, and in the end it really just pisses them off....well, maybe not for some people, but that's another story.Anyway, King is a good writer, and this story has all the tools it needs in order to deliver a great tale. It just fails to deliver what it seems to promise. The "great revelation" about how the real world works isn't enough to redeem it. And while the point is valid, I don't think it was the right venue. That's why I gave it two and a half stars.
  • (4/5)
    Does Vince know the full story ?(SPOILERS) The revelation at the end of the book that he took the photo of the lights above the baseball pitch suggest to me he might,but he aint telling.Regardless of this King spins a nice yarn about mysteries told by three warm and engaging characters.not, it seems a very popular book. But i loved it.
  • (4/5)
    Steffi McCann came from Cincinnati, Ohio to Moose-Lookit Island in Maine to do an internship on the newspaper "The Weekly Islander". Her elderly bosses at the newspaper, Vince Teague and Dave Bowie, have plenty to teach her, including the fact that, unlike newspaper stories, real life doesn't always have stories that come neatly wrapped in packages with a beginning, middle, and end. To illustrate that point, they tell her the story of a body found on the beach, the body of the man they call the "Colorado Kid". Early on in this short novel, Stephen King warns readers that the mystery of the Colorado Kid will not be solved. This may keep some from reading this book, but that would be their loss. "The Colorado Kid" is a wonderful example of what Stephen King does best - create characters that you care about and want to know more about, long after you've finished reading the book. Vince and Dave are the standout characters in this book, so well written that at times I felt that they were talking to me instead of Steffi. Steffi is not written as clearly (and the book cover, which I guess is supposed to be an illustration of her, is a distraction) but King does write enough so that we know her as a character. Readers will even come to know the mysterious Colorado Kid and wonder why and how did he travel from Colorado to Maine and did he really choke to death on a piece of steak or was he murdered? Perhaps the best part is that King does not answer those questions, but lets the reader draw his or her own conclusions. To further stir debate, King hints on his website that "The Colorado Kid" may have some connection to his Dark Tower series which opens even more possibilities and more questions in this reader's mind. "The Colorado Kid" is a multi-layered and well-written book and not to be missed.
  • (2/5)
    Certainly the worst King book I've ever read. I had hopes that this would be good, since King's shorter books (e.g., Carrie or Misery) tend to be a lot better than his overblown magnum opuses such as The Stand. I have usually enjoyed his short stories most of all. (I know this is opposite of most people - so sue me.)This is just lazy writing. The whole story is two old newspapermen sitting around talking to their young intern about an unsolved mystery from 25 years before. And that's all it is. It gets pretty tedious, what with all the cute asides about Maine and the inane conversational gambits of the three characters. King keeps telling us how fascinated the intern is, leaning forward to catch every word. Meanwhile, the book is so tedious that even as short as it is, and as big as the print is, it takes three days to read.King feels compelled at the end to offer an afterword strongly defending his decision not to actually tell a story!Almost as bad is the ridiculous text on the back cover: "With echoes of Dashiell Hammett's THE MALTESE FALCON and the work of Graham Greene...."Give me a break! If this didn't have King's name on it, it would never have been published.
  • (3/5)
    Not at all typical fare for Mr. King. I frankly found the story to be interesting but not a page turner. Short as this book is, it took me a long time to finish as it had a tendency to migrate to the bottom of the pile.
  • (3/5)
    I'd argue that most Stephen King stories aren't so much about the horror or fantastic elements in the story so much as they're about how those horrific or fantastic elements affect ordinary people. King's great strength is taking ordinary characters, developing them a bit and then setting them down in some circumstance and watching how they deal with it. For some like Jack Torrence, they go mad. For others, like Roland the Gunslinger, they become a sort of anti-hero. But in all of these stories, the insanity of the worlds King creates are grounded by characters who feel authentic. For King, it's less about the destination and more about the journey. Let's see how these characters react to things, he seems to say. Such is the case with his latest novel The Colorado Kid. Really, to call it a novel is stretching the defintion, especially by the tome sized standard King has set with previous novels. Weighing it at just under 200 pages, this one might be better classified as a novella. Luckily, it's part of the Hard Case Crime series and is published to increase the visiblity of the line (it helped me with as I've read half a dozen of the other books published under this banner). Also, it's offered at a lower price to the consumer. So, if it only takes you a couple of hours to read, you're only out six bucks and not the price of a hard-cover. Now, I will warn you--those of you looking for a neat, tidy little mystery might want to look elsewhere. King acknowledges this in his afterward saying this novel will be one that fans love or hate with little middle ground. And I can see why. The story is one of a dead body discovered on a beach in Maine and how the investigation into solving that mystery affects his family, the people around him and two newspaper reporters who have kept the story to themselves all these years. The story is told by the two guys to a young female reporter so they can share the secret and keep it going. Again, let me say that this is not a neat, tidy package where thing will all be resolved in the end. King offers up some solutions and bits of answers, but there is no great denouncement or a smoking gun. In short--this ain't an Agatha Christie mystery where the culprit is denounced by the final chapter after a lot of red herrings over the course of the novel. Instead, what you get is a story of how the mystery affects everyone is comes in contact with. Some are forever changed, some aren't. And King's greatest strength--creating intersting characters, whether it be for two pages or 180 plus--is fully on display here. There is little or no supernatural stuff happening here, but instead an interesting little story that is a pleasant way to spend a few hours with a good book.
  • (4/5)
    I've never really been much of a Stephen King fan, but I have married an obsessive fan and as such chose this to be the first book of his I read (as it wasn't horror and I'm not particularly a huge fan of that genre). And I thought it was fascinating. It comes across as almost a sequel to Paul Auster's "New York Trilogy", this very simple crime story with the centre very purposefully removed. It's not quite an exercise in postmodernism and neither is it quite a shaggy dog story, but it's very much - from reading more King later on - the writer stretching out a bit and enjoying himself in a somewhat new form. Only problem with it is that he names one of the characters David Bowie and I spent the whole book half imagining this elderly New England gent with a zig zag painted on his face. Ah well.
  • (3/5)
    a simple story involving two old newspapermen and one young female cub reporter, who hash over the remarkable case of the Colorado Kid, a man found dead from allegedly choking on a piece of meat. This is a simple yet interesting non-story, but then again it could be a story if you think the young lady has learned anything from it and a change has occurred in her. Forgettable.
  • (4/5)
    Charming tale about an old mystery. Great ending.