The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
Book Report by Vincent
The Colorado Kid marks the 28th book I’ve read by Stephen King. I’m not bragging, I’m just saying that I’ve read a lot f his books and I’m only halfway through my goal of reading all of his published work. Hot damn, I can’t believe how much more I have left. I was looking forward to the Colorado Kid because it was short, but I loved the idea of it. You see, it was published in the Hard Case Crime series of books, which is an attempt to bring back the hard boiled, pulp mystery genre. I really wanted to read an old school pulp novel from Mr. King. That’s not really what you get.
The story begins in Maine (what a surprise!) where a young woman reporter (a writer in a Stephen King book?! No way!) is introduced to a mystery that has never been solved. The two old newspaper dudes she works with tell her the story of a man who was found dead on their island. The mystery is damned good and King’s style makes this a real page turner. I sat up late one night reading until I finished it, which isn’t a big feat except that I read at a fifth grade level. Anyway, The problem is that there is no solution to the mystery. The guys finish the story and that’s it. You have no answers at all for the super engrossing and complicated mystery. The point of the book is that in life there often are no simple stories with endings that wrap up everything neatly in a bow.
This is aggravating. Look, I get what he was trying to accomplish here, but the biggest problem is that he tried this experiment in the entirely wrong format. The whole point of these Hard Case Crime books is that the revive pulp mystery novels. There’s nothing about this book, aside from a mystery, that replicates that old school, pulp mystery goodness. I can imagine that the publishers would never have went with a story like this by any smaller author. They just wanted the name Stephen King. Just imagine the let down the editors had when they read the book. “Oh fuck, this is nothing like the genre work we’re trying to produce. Uh, well we have to publish it, otherwise we might as well be flushing money down the toilet.”
Another very minor qualm is that one of the characters is named David Bowie. Come on already, you can’t do that without distracting the hell out of me.
The only recommendation is that if you imagine that the book isn’t supposed to be pulp fiction and it’s a novella that is in a Stephen King collection, then it’s not that bad. If you look at that cover and get excited for some old fashioned fun, you’ll be really disappointed.