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The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime #13)

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  14,953 ratings  ·  1,263 reviews
Crime mystery written by Stephen King in the pulp style.
Mass Market Paperback, First edition, 184 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Leisure/Hard Case Crime (first published October 4th 2004)
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The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
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67th out of 123 books — 2,177 voters
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Worst Stephen King books
16th out of 45 books — 347 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jennifer Wardrip
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 t
"Ever come across a real unexplained mystery?"

The ratings for THE COLORADO KID were all over the place...I have only started reading Stephen King again in the last few years- after a couple disappointments in the late 90s, but after taking a chance with some of his more recent offerings- and loving them...I decided to take a chance with this one too.

The Main Characters:

Dave Bowie – The 65-year-old managing editor of The Weekly Islander, the small newspaper servicing the island of Moose-Lookit.

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? ...more
“Well then, I'm going to tell you a secret almost every newspaper man and woman who's been at it awhile knows: in real life, the number of actual stories - those with beginnings, middles, and ends - are slim and none. 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.”

Stephen King, the seemingly natural born storyteller, offered this little mystery tale up via the pul
Dennis D.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Auntie J
Just a few thoughts here about this book...first I listened to the audio version. It was well done and the narrator did a good job. I haven't checked how many pages the text version is, but at just over 3 1/2 hours for the audio version I consider this a short story. So I consider the Audible $21.27 "regular" price and $14.89 member price to be seriously overpriced.

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
Jul 30, 2014 Mimi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of unsolved mysteries; fans of the show Haven
Shelves: mystery, 2014-reads
3½ out of 5 stars

Stephen King is a summer tradition that started when I first read Carrie and The Shiningone summer. Both books left an impression by scaring me quite a bit; I really shouldn't have read them back to back. Since then summer usually meant horror, but I've out grown most traditional horrors. Now summer just means Stephen King. I don't have the patience for many of his longer novels so I stick to short ones. At only 170-something pages, this is a fast read.

The story starts out asan
Cathy DuPont
While I love Stephen King, I can't read horror and Stephen King, as we know, writes mostly horror.

When I found this on the library shelf (an audio) and it was checked as mystery on the spine, I was elated.

I remember Stephen King forever and everything I've read about him he has been an upstanding person and writer. Never flamboyant like some very successful writers, never 'it's all about me' like some writers and best of all, he's never had anyone else (that I know of, that is) write his books.
This is King's entry into the "Hard Case Crime" imprint, and it's an interesting addition to the genre. According to their website, they specialize in "hardboiled crime fiction," which brings to mind the likes of Mickey Spillane and Ellmore Leonard. Lots of tough guys, fast-talking women and some poor dead bastard whose murder will probably get away scot free.

So it's interesting that King should write a hardboiled crime story with, as his characters tell us over and over again, no story to it. "
Elaine White
The Colorado Kid is the first Stephen King novel I can remember reading. I wanted to read it the minute I saw the TV show Haven, and saw that it was based on The Colorado Kid.

I hate stories without endings. At least in novels. Yet, I’ve happily read and enjoyed not only this book but also The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective, which is also based on a true story, and which also does not give a satisfying ending. However, I love the Afterw
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 ...more
M.K.  Carroll
There was a point in time where I thought King had lost his touch - I've always thought of him as a superb storyteller but there were a few books after the accident that just didn't hold my attention. I started one of them over a few times and finally gave up. I don't know when King's mojo returned, but I'm inclined to say that it's definitely back in The Colorado Kid. This book may not seem like a noir, not at first, but the elements are there and it's a mystery story about storytelling and mys ...more
I buzzed through this little book in one day. It was told in such a way, I felt like I was listening to an old friend tell me a campfire tale. I sped through the pages, gathering details, making my own notes and theories. I even liked the end, because it's going to keep me thinking for a good long while, wondering what happened to the guy. For being such a short book, I felt a kinship with the characters, like I was there with them. I know this story has gotten disparaging remarks, but I'm going ...more
200 or so pages should have been under 50. 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. Typical & why I quit reading him years ago.

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
Stephen King pulls a fast one with his Pulp-Mystery, The Colorado Kid, dragging the reader into the tale with an intriguing mystery that begs to be solved. A man that no one seems to know is found dead on an island off the coast of Maine, with no identification and sparse clues as to how he came to be there.

In typical King fashion, he grounds his story with interesting but believable, hometown characters that could easily be the people next door. However, I had a hard time believing that Stepha
James A.
I can see where THE COLORADO KID would not necessarily be a favorite for most people, but I absolutely loved it. More than anything else, I think it's a character study of the three people who are actually talking through the course of the story and as such I thought it was brilliant. I immediately developed an affection for all three and that doesn't surprise me at all, because that's one of Stephen King's strongest abilities as a writer. He tells a mean story, true, and when it comes to ratche ...more
Dan Keating
When I picked up The Colorado Kid at a used book store, I figured I was paying a couple dollars for a quick, fun afternoon read. I'd heard of the book because of the Syfy Channel original series "Haven," which claims to be based on it. I didn't think it'd wind up being one of the best books I'd read in a long time - but that's what it wound up being.

First off, The Colorado Kid is a mystery, not a horror novel. It also does not explicitly involve anything supernatural - as a matter of fact, it go
Oct 05, 2010 Bunny added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE. NOOOO ONE.
God, I hate Stephen King.

I mean, I really hate him. He's an awful writer. Yes, I've read almost every book he's written (excluding the Richard Bachman books, The Dark Tower series, and some of his newer books), and I'll be the first to say he's absolutely incredible at coming up with story ideas.

A car that comes to life and murders people, both outside and inside the car? Holy shit. A girl who is bullied by classmates and her own mother, and retaliates by killing them with her brain? Brilliance.
Aug 09, 2012 Alex rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alex by: Kaz
I've been consuming King in paper and audio a lot this year. The audio for this one was nice and quick (just under four hours) and the reading came highly recommended. I can absolutely concur with that. The reading and production is easily a 5 star rating. The reader does a fantastic job with the voices of the two elder journalists. He goes to his normal reading voice for Stephie, rather than affecting an obnoxious falsetto. Another thing that make the reading so effective is that the frame stor ...more
Sara Thompson
This is a short, easy to understand book so it could easily be read by a juvenile. This book is not your typical Stephen King. I wanted to read it because I have fallen in love with Haven on the Syfy channel which is based on this book. I was a little nervous that it might ruin the show for me - like give me the answer to the mystery. The book was good maybe even great but I haven't really decided yet.
The book is a story told from two elderly newsreporters (at a very small newspaper in a small t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bill Rogers
Reading reviews on The Colorado Kid I find most people are disappointed by it. I liked it a lot, myself, but I can see why other people don't.

This isn't a "Stephen King Book" even though Stephen King wrote it, and that's a problem for mass popularity. Imagine Agatha Christe trying to write a "Jane Austen" or Robert Heinlein trying to do "Terry Pratchett." Just the fact that I can name an author and you know what sort of book I mean shows how typecast authors can become. So with Stephen King. If
lynne naranek
The only reason I picked this book up from the library was SyFy (ugh!) Channel's Haven that is based on this book... that and in its opening credits there's an old newspaper article with a headline about a Rev Randall Flagg, the walking dude himself, yet another link to the Dark Tower...

The book itself is nothing like the series. And this is a review of the book, so enough about the show :)

The story takes place over the course of a few hours, between two elderly men of Moose-Lookit Island who
I picked this book up because I am a fan of a Haven series, and in the credits I read it is based on it. The mysterious murder of Colorado Kid is not covered in the series, but is mentioned many times as part of the town's history. So I wanted to learn more about it.

Main characters from the show are not even mentioned in the book, the storytellers here are cute pair of newspaper reporters: Vince & Dave.

Not seeing anything cute about them? Well, you gotta know them to love them. :D

When I fini
I was very disappointed with The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. He wrote the book especially for "Hard Case Crime", a series of books by classic mystery writers and new ones that were supposed to have a 1940s/1950s old time mystery feel to them. I was expecting a hard boiled crime story and what I got was two old geezers in Maine telling their wide-eyed intern about some guy from Colorado who may or may not have choked to death on a steak sandwich. I kept waiting for the book to get better and it ...more
Say "Ayuh" ONE MORE TIME!!!! Grrrr. This is a novel that, as King admits, will divide folks; they love it or hate it. I did not hate it, but I'm not impressed. This is a story of two very old journalists retelling a "weird" incident that happened many years prior. But this novel is not about that mystery or those journalists. It is a novel that is a ruminating on the nature of a news article or a story (in any sense), and what makes a mystery story a mystery. Angela Lansbury and Nero Wolfe are n ...more
I really enjoyed this story. Great characters, wonderful interaction with the two old reporter guys and their young reporter intern. I can just picture the 'quaint' town in Maine this took place in and 'hear' the locals talk. This mystery didn't have a resolution, which is OK with me as you could add up the facts and form your own opinion. Quite a different kind of Stephen King story than his usual fare.
Nice rural story from Maine and a mysterious death. Extra points for the shout out to Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman LP. Enjoyed the dialogue. Plan to read more King.
At the beginning I didn’t know how to set this review. Don’t get me wrong, I read it in two or three hours and I must say that I really liked. But there is a strong risk of saying too much. It 'a short story (indeed, to use the words of one of the characters ‘it is not even a story'), but it demonstrates the ability of King to tell and to keep the reader nailed to the book. Of course, in the first time, my imagination ran to the TV series Haven and I realized that I knew a lot of the information ...more
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solution to the mystery? 7 274 Nov 27, 2014 12:49PM  
Stephen King Fans: The Colorado Kid 19 179 Oct 07, 2014 07:48PM  
Stephen King Fans: Haven 101 357 Sep 28, 2014 06:21AM  
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
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