Michael's Reviews > The Colorado Kid

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was ok

Well, I see. Yes, mystery is important, but let's talk about Sudoku. Imagine a game of Sudoku that gets to the last few moves, just when you have to make the deepest analysis - essentially when you win or lose the game because of your skill - and then, well, you put the puzzle away and keep it in your pocket. You think about it off and on but you don't really make progress. Then you spend an entire afternoon telling someone about the game that you couldn't win. And then nothing. Instead, you say, "Sudoku is important."

I did like the characters. I like the setting - really familiar turf.

That's about it.


Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Colorado Kid.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

August 18, 2015 – Shelved
Started Reading
August 30, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Nick Iuppa Great analogy, Michael. I thought there was a little more to it than that, but you certainly summed up most people's frustration with the book... including mine at the first reading. Then I decided to make up my own solutions to the puzzle.

Michael I saw that review before. I had a similar thought except a little different:

1. The Colorado Kid is actually a KGB agent. He is living in disguise in Colorado, posing as an advertiser as he is trying to get information on NORAD. He's probably got a bunch of contacts.

2. At some point he turns double agent, but the KGB find out. He doesn't know.

3. They pick him up outside his office where he is actually about to drop off a microfiche with the names of the KGB agents at the Starbucks (in 1980 did they have a Starbucks in Denver? I know they had them in 1971 in Washington but did it move that fast? I don't remember...) where a CIA agent is waiting.

4. The plane is waiting. He still doesn't know that they know he's turned a double agent. They explain that he's being reassigned and that a Russian sub is going to take him to Havana.

5. He spends a bittersweet evening on the beach. Eats greasy fries with vinegar and a steak (hard to find in Cuba in 1980), and goes to the rendezvous.

6. The sub arrives. An inflatable raft comes ashore. They kill him.


(A) Why the cigarettes? He's bringing them back to someone in Russia. He may have had a case, but they didn't find the last pack. He smoked one to find out why anyone would want it and (yes) probably tossed it in the ocean.

(B) Why the Russian 10 ruble coin? A good luck charm?

Anyway, this is a crappy ending too. I am dubious when King says:

“I could have provided half a dozen (endings) three good, two a-country fair, and one fine as paint.”

The mystery just isn't that good really. Do you remember reading "Murder on the Orient Express"? Now that was a mystery.

Nick Iuppa I was trying to tie it into the stand without having to re-read the stand and the colorado kid again. In my version CK is trying to sell secrets on the American germ warfare project to the Russians. I think the cigarettes are, as noted in the story a way of giving a clue to his real identity because he is worried that he is going to get rubbed out. He could be a double agent rubbed out by the KGB or a double agent done in by the CIA.

Michael But that wouldn't be his real identity if he were actually a double agent. His gig in Denver, the wife, & baby etc would be just an elaborate cover for a heartless dealer in GW secrets. That story falls apart like countless others (mine too) because it is not just an unsolved mystery but one without a satisfying solution. The book is a bit of an art-piece and I would appreciate it more if I had any confidence in the storytellers.

How about another possibility? There never was a CK. instead it's just two old farts having fun with the reporter from Away. Sad but also possible.

Nick Iuppa I go back to my original interpretation that CK was seduced by a sexy russian agent who lured him away from his pudgy wife. The Ruble is a clue to that. She lured him into a double life. Then either he turned away from her and was killed by the KGB or the CIA got him. I also entertained the idea that it was actually the old guy telling the story who murdered him... maybe for the CIA. But I also like your idea that the two old guys just made the story up so they could play mind games with their new apprentice.

Michael Yeah, a 10-ruble coin is not going to be just lying around in 1980. It's funny how you blithely dismiss the involvement of the pudgy wife though. She might be KGB and that may be why they are together. Or perhaps he was CIA and she was KGB (like Spy vs Spy, but a marriage).

But actually I like your idea of the old guy murdering CK. That would be a legitimate twist and absolutely chilling if well played.

"I offed him. He was from 'Away'." Vince bared his teeth - she counted four of them, all very sharp though. "Let's discuss your future, Steph."

Michael What is going on with this cover too? Is that how a reporter on a cold island in Maine would dress?

back to top