THE COLORADO KID | Stephen King
06.04.2019 (first published 10.04.2005) | Titan Books
Rating: 4/5 stars
In a Maine tourist town a man has been found dead on the beach. There is no identification and the death itself seems accidental at first glance. Two local newspapermen believe there is more to this story and how this unknown man ended up in their town. With the help of a forensics graduate student they start to uncover clues that ultimately lead to an identification more than a year after the body’s discovery. The more they learn about the man, the more convoluted the story becomes. It feels almost impossible that things ended for the man the way they did. What really happened?
THE COLORADO KID is a short book that focuses on a mysterious case that happened many years ago in a small tourist town. It’s one of those stories that’s certainly going to polarize readers because it falls outside of what most readers will come to expect when they hear Stephen King has written a book. This isn’t a horror story or a story with underlying paranormal elements. This is a nostalgic, old-school story that reminds me of many books I grew up reading, which ultimately led me to be a lover of crime fiction.
King chooses to unravel the story of the man dubbed the Colorado Kid through two older gentlemen, Dave and Vince, who together run the local newspaper. They have a summer intern, Stephanie, working for them who they feel close enough with to share their town’s best kept secret. It’s one that’s seeming unbelievable and incredibly fascinating. I loved the back and forth between these three characters and came to love each of them for how they chose to tell the story and for how they chose to interpret the events that happened.
King has created within this brief story a level of insight into the town, the residents, the case, and the main characters to ultimately produce a well-rounded and captivating story. What you won’t find here are answers and the open ending to this story is what I believe will make or break the readers experience. You have to be okay with not knowing. You have to be okay with loving the story for what you have received. You have to love the story for leaving you thinking about it well into the night and trying to figure out how the heck the Colorado Kid got to where he did. For me it worked perfectly! The storytelling was powerful enough for me to not need a tidy ending.
I love that King doesn’t ever try to contain his writing to one genre despite the popular viewpoint of him being solely a horror writer. THE COLORADO KID was a mystery, but also a book with heart and characters I grew to love and that at the end of the day is what sells me on so many of King’s books. Is this book perfect? No. King himself mentions in the afterward that you’re either going to love this book or hate it. I suggest you take a chance and find out where you lie!
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