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Talk about the Novels > The Colorado Kid

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message 1: by Angie, Constant Reader (new)

Angie | 2572 comments Mod
Discuss what you think about this book here. I have not read it yet, maybe I should pick it up?


message 2: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Angie, You should. It's an interesting story, not at all like King's usual stories. This was written for the Hard Case Crime series of books.

This review actually explains it much better than I can... I actually just upped the rating from 2 to 3 stars after reading it! I can't give it 5 like she did, but she made me appreciate it more. I think I'll go tell her so now. :)


message 3: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (bopp) | 17 comments I read it, maybe a year ago. I thought it was a really good little read. Very different from his usual offerings. I read that he was quite the fan of these crime, mysteries when he was a young fella. I guess that's the reason he wanted to contribute one. I really enjoyed it. And I love the cover!


message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve | 247 comments BTW--don't let the cover mislead you as to its contents! ;)


message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark | 35 comments I also enjoyed this book. I donated it to the Hiroshima English library after reading it. Kind of wish I had kept it in my library since I am now moving out of town. It's a good read and won't take you long. Enjoy!


Tim (Mole) The Gunslinger (Mole) | 128 comments What do you mean Agrimorfee I doubt anyone that is on goodreads would actually judge a book by its cover!

Not being rude just think were all a tad more intelligent than that I think anyone thats an avid reader would never no pun intended judge a book by its cover!


message 7: by Tim (Mole) The Gunslinger (last edited Dec 21, 2008 04:26PM) (new)

Tim (Mole) The Gunslinger (Mole) | 128 comments As with the majority of posts i agree it is very different than any other S.K its a good read it will make you use your imagination if nothing else!


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Mole, I actually do judge books by their cover. If the cover doesn't grab my attention, I will pass it up. I do this a lot with fantasy books, since a lot of them have (excuse me for saying so fantasy book-cover artists) cheesy artwork on the cover.

I'm working on it, because I know that this is wrong of me, and a terrible habit to have. That's one of the reasons I love GR so much, because I can get great recommendations for books that I'd have passed up in a bookstore.

Thank you for having faith in my intelligence anyway, though... However short-lived it was. ;)


message 9: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) | 665 comments I have to say I also judge books by their covers, but only in 1 instance.....if I decide to read a book and find that there are several different covers for the book (this happens so often, it's crazy!)....I will go with the cover that attracts me most. Now I was going to read the book anyway, the cover didn't make that decision for me....so I don't know if that counts.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I do that too Kathy! But, I am a card-carrying member of the IBCJS: Insane Book-Cover Judger Society. Wait, is "judger" even a word?

Assuming I know nothing about a book, I won't be tempted to pick it up if the cover doesn't grab my attention. And, to make matters worse, I have pretty finicky taste as to what makes a good, eye-catching, attention-grabbing cover. I like simplicity. I like to be intrigued by the image on a cover, not feel like the entire story is there. I also like abstracts and bright colors- even though I'm a more subdued kind of girl IRL.

It's inaccurate as hell I'm sure, but if the cover doesn't do it for me, I don't feel like the contents will either. But, like I said, I'm working on it!


message 11: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) The Colorado Kid was okay. It got me into the Hardcase Crime Series even though it's probably my least favorite one. The covers are great!


message 12: by Dung Beetle (new)

Dung Beetle (dungbeetle) | 79 comments I had a book in my to-be-read pile that I knew was going to be good (Blood Lite, a short story anthology edited by the Horror Writers’ Association), but I kept putting it off because the cover art was so lame I was embarrassed for people to see me reading it!
Then I enjoyed the hell out of it. So, um, don’t judge a book by its cover and stuff…but it’s hard not to.



message 13: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I know Dung, it's really a terrible habit to have. But I don't care if the cover is embarrassing so much as I just don't "see" books if they don't have an appealing cover.

You already did one better than me Dung, you picked up the book even though you weren't really fond of the cover. I'd probably just dismiss the book completely.

But I don't think that Blood Lite has a bad cover.

Blood Lite: An Anthology of Humorous Horror Stories Presented by the Horror Writers Association by Jim Butcher <-- One I'd pick up without knowing anything more of the book.

Magic's Pawn (Valdemar, The Last Herald-Mage Series, Book 1) by Mercedes Lackey <-- One I probably wouldn't.


message 14: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) | 665 comments King Dinösaur wrote: "Yeah, Mole, I think in this case the cover is almost deliberately misleading. It's packaged as a hard-boiled crime novel like the others in the series (and I love the look of those retro-covers, b..."


I couldn't agree more. I haven't seen any of the other covers in the series, but the King cover definitely gave me the feel of those old crime pocketbooks that my dad used to carry around. I love the retro look. I really liked the story, too. "Gentle" is a good word, King Dinosaur, to describe it compared to that genre.



Tim (Mole) The Gunslinger (Mole) | 128 comments Ok but that is not technically judging a book for its cover it may grab your eye thats marketing but would you still read after reading the flap if you thought it sounded bad?


message 16: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) | 665 comments No, unless it was an author that I loved and was hoping that there was still more to the book! My judging by covers is strictly left to after I've already decided to read a book and I have a choice of cover versions....then why not! :)


message 17: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Tim (Mole) The Gunslinger wrote: "Ok but that is not technically judging a book for its cover it may grab your eye thats marketing but would you still read after reading the flap if you thought it sounded bad?"

If I thought it sounded bad? Nope.

Too many books and not enough time for me to be unbiased in what I choose to read. If the blurb on the back doesn't intrigue me, the book goes back on the shelf and I move on.

If I think it isn't going to entertain me, I'm not going to waste my time when there are plenty of books out there that I know WILL entertain me. But that's a good reason for me to be on GR... I can get recommendations for books that I otherwise wouldn't read. :)


message 18: by Kandice (last edited Dec 30, 2008 06:45PM) (new)

Kandice | 4074 comments I try not to, but, especially when I am browsing used books, I wont even pick up certain books if the cover is cheesy. Sometimes the title on the spine looks promising, pull it out... looks like a Harelquin! Definite deal breaker for me.

Colorado Kid-I LOVED the cover. I agree, this must be a tribute to his reading preferences as a kid. I remember these kinds of books, along with Louis L'Amour, on the spinning rack in the drug store. Sweetly nostalgic.
The story was good, but oh! what an incredibly frustrating non-ending! I read it a few years ago, but have not re-read it because I remember being so irritated by the lack of a finish!


message 19: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) | 665 comments It's not my type of book. I tend not to read mysteries, but had to read it because it was King. I enjoyed it, but can't see myself rereading it like I have so many others.


message 20: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 4074 comments As I read my post above I think "Oh, what a difference a few years make."!

I am addicted to this book. I am on my third reread this year alone and am absolutely certain I can figure out how it was possible. Not only that, but why it happened! That only makes sense if you've read the book, but the mystery has eaten it's way into my brain and I can't stop thinking about it.


message 21: by Nick (new)

Nick Iuppa | 4033 comments It's getting late. I’m about to dive back into the book in a few minutes and I thought I’d comment on the 70 pages I’ve read so far… which is to say, I like it, but I'm having a hard time getting over the fact that Stephen King was commissioned to write a hard case crime novel, and it just seems to me that King (teacher that he’s been) can’t resist the temptation to expound on the requirements of such a novel: impossible to solve, impossible to understand, with clues that are impossible to track. This so the reader knows exactly what he’s up to, and how good he is at it.

Vince Teague’s telling of the story to Stephanie sounds a lot like a classroom session, and just to make sure we don’t miss the point, King keeps telling us. None of this is to knock what King is doing in the book, though. I like the characters, the setting, the mystery, etc. I just wanted to get that off my chest before I got any deeper into the story. I'm sorry I didn't know about the TV series because I think it sounds great. Anyway... more later.


message 22: by Nick (last edited Aug 20, 2015 10:46AM) (new)

Nick Iuppa | 4033 comments I'm at page 134 and now I'm starting to see how this book could become addictive. The newspaper guys, aided by Stephanie's keen insights are tracking down the clues: uncovering the identity of the Colorado Kid, meeting his wife, figuring out how he could get from Colorado to Maine in the available time, talking to friends who saw him last. Bottom line, the mystery seems totally solvable, and I've just done something I hadn't done the last time I read the book... I'm starting to think that, if I pay close enough attention, I can get to the bottom of the whole thing... the clues must be there if I just look hard enough.


message 23: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 74 comments I read it three times! I didn't like the story but I adored the two old fellows ! I'm sorry to say that I believe it's totally unsolvable , and I believe this is the purpose of it! To indicate the easiness of making a mystery that you do not intent to solve in the end!


message 24: by Nick (new)

Nick Iuppa | 4033 comments Margaret wrote: "I read it three times! I didn't like the story but I adored the two old fellows ! I'm sorry to say that I believe it's totally unsolvable , and I believe this is the purpose of it! To indicate the ..."

That was my first take on it Margaret, but now I'm older and wiser :-) so who knows what I'll find this time around. I like the old guys and Stephanie too. I thought her fascination with being a reporter and finding a new life after college was really well done, as of course were the descriptions of the local scene.


message 25: by Nick (new)

Nick Iuppa | 4033 comments Trying not to rush to the ending, hoping to find more clues... I have to say that the last couple of chapters didn't yield much, except the business about the charter plane flight (or flights), and a discussion of motives, and again nothing conclusive. (I actually went back and re-read the chapters this morning to try and make sure I didn't miss anything.) I'm afraid that the these chapters felt like they were as much disclaimers and backsliding as anything else, and that doesn't yield a lot of promise for the final chapter. I can see how people would re-read and re-read this. I keep feeling that I'm missing something. (Feeling guilty for not trying hard enough.)


message 26: by Ron (new)

Ron | 134 comments Nick, I noticed that you've also read Joyland, which I thought was excellent and a Hard Case novel. I have yet to try Colorado Kid, and didn't know it was also a Hard Case until I read your notes.


message 27: by Nick (new)

Nick Iuppa | 4033 comments Ron wrote: "Nick, I noticed that you've also read Joyland, which I thought was excellent and a Hard Case novel. I have yet to try Colorado Kid, and didn't know it was also a Hard Case until I read your notes."

I'm trying to keep an open mind about this, but at least so far, Joyland is a better book than Colorado. Of course that opinion may change, especially depending how I feel about the ambiguous ending,but so far....


message 28: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 74 comments I adored Joyland for it was an amazing revival of an era that had just ended when I was growing up! I had its scent in my nostrils while I was reading, and not only for the "conditions" or the "events" but mainly for the emotions , the feelings, the fears, the hopes, of youth at that time.


message 29: by Ron (new)

Ron | 134 comments Very much so. I enjoyed the ghost story mixed with the mystery. Plus the Atlantic coast felt very real.


message 30: by Nick (new)

Nick Iuppa | 4033 comments I've published a review of the book which goes over all the obvious stuff that King keeps reminding us about: That it's the process of dealing with mystery not the solution that this book is all about. Still, in spite of warnings from both newspaperman Dave and Stephen King in his Afterward, I’ll emphasize one thing and tell you what I think happened to the Colorado kid. Here goes:

James Cogan left his wife and suburban home and little son and went to his job at an ad agency in Denver. At around noon he left the building to get lunch and instead slipped into a limo he had hired to take him to Stapleton International airport. There he got onto a private plane and flew to Bangor Maine. He went to the town of Tinnock, ate fish and chips at Jan’s Warfside, and then took the last ferry to Moose-Lookit Island. He gave the boatman a cup of tea on the crossing. By then he had ditched his suit coat and his wallet and donned a yellow jacket. From then on no one saw him or knew where he was, but the next morning he turned up dead, propped up against a dumpster on the beach. He had choked to death on a piece of steak… a midnight snack. There was a pack of cigarettes on the nearby sand but only one cigarette was gone. The stamp on the bottom of the cigarette pack was from Colorado and this allowed the newspaper guys to trace his identity back to Colorado and find his wife. Oh, Cogan didn’t smoke. Oh, and the change in his pocket included seventeen dollars, some US change, and a Russian ten-ruble coin. Oh, and there is a possibility that a muscle relaxant added to the steak that he was eating could have caused him to choke to death… which would have made the death murder not accidental. Oh, and one more thing that I’ll be you missed: James “looked almost good enough to be the subject of one of those romantic poems by Mr. Poe.” His wife? Well, old man Vince says, “I was sort of expecting a pale and dark-haired beauty. What I got was a chubby redhead with a lot of freckles.” (The old “good-looks disparity” motive.) You want to solve the puzzle? King says, “I could have provided half a dozen (endings) three good, two a-country fair, and one fine as paint.” How about this one?

“Stephanie started back toward her own desk than something caught her eye on the wall length bulletin board at the far end of the room. She walked over for a closer look.” The left hand of the bulletin board was layered with old newspaper clippings. In the very bottom corner was a yellowed snippet from the Boston Globe. It simply read, Prominent Russian ballerina Elena Miskaya was found dead in her hotel room last night… apparent cause of death, choking on a small mouthful of chicken Kiev. Ms. Miskaya had been touring the US recently as part of an advertising campaign for the Moscow ballet. She was the wife of noted Russian chemist Vladimir Miskaya.

Okay, the KGB-spy ending would have been better, but harder to explain.


message 31: by Debra (new)

Debra Barstad | 1 comments I read this book and thought it was good and I also agree that it is so different than normal King books. There was a show that was based on this book also and it was good and fun to watch. The show is called Haven and can be watched on netflix.


message 32: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 4074 comments Debra wrote: "I read this book and thought it was good and I also agree that it is so different than normal King books. There was a show that was based on this book also and it was good and fun to watch. The sho..."

I'm pretty much addicted to that show. Can't decide if I love Duke or Nathan more and cannot wait for the new season to begin!


message 33: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 4074 comments BTW, I think the actor that plays Nathan would make a pretty good Roland Deschain. Duke might even be a passable Eddie Dean.


message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael | 30 comments I love Stephen King's books. This fell a little flat for me. Here's my review:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 35: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Hetzel | 469 comments I LOVED this book ! 5 star, IMO !
I did not feel at all cheated that King did not provide us w/ a solution to this mesmerizing mystery, as I don't always need solutions, especially when this book, with all its clues, made me THINK !
Did the no solution really bother you?

And, what's up with the book cover? Not my "picture" of 22 year old Stephanie from OH but can understand why Vince/ Dave would want to keep that babe on the paper :)


message 36: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Hetzel | 469 comments Something else that I liked about this book:
Steff liked her job at the paper , and she loved the beautiful ME coast. She said it was "the bluest water she had ever seen.'
Dave made a comment, "Island living has a way of creeping into your blood and doesn't leave."

Although I've never been to ME, that put a nice image into my head.
Has "Place" ever been that significant to you?


message 37: by Nick (new)

Nick Iuppa | 4033 comments Besty:

I'm pretty sure the cover is homage to the pulp mystery covers of the 40s and 50s. They often had a "babe" (as you say) like that on the cover. Now that you've read the book you should watch the TV series HAVEN which is based on the colorado kid. (you can get it on DVD) Almost none of the characters are the same, nor is the story, but that Maine coastline is there, almost as though the location is the star of the series.


message 38: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) | 155 comments This was a re-read for me. The first time I read it was because I was watching HAVEN and I was disappointed because it didn't add anything to what was going on in the TV series. NOW I re-read it for this group and loved it. I liked King's explanation about mysteries that have no end. I liked the mystery here too. I know some readers weren't satisfied with the ending but I sure was. One thing I liked a lot was listening on audio and the voices of Dave and Vince, so well done and enhanced the story.


message 39: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) | 11 comments Every time the poll came up, I voted for TCK, so I'll read this one this month. I already gave it 5 stars, but I've wanted to reread it.


message 40: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Hetzel | 469 comments Looking forward, Squire, to your comments about TCK !

When Steff asked the 2 old timers, who had been on the job together for ~ 50 years, if they had ever come across a 'real, unexplained mystery" , I liked the way they closed the office and the 3 of them went out onto the porch to sit and talk about it.
I like how they accepted her as one of their own when I had heard that ME folk are very "tight' w/ each other and very exclusive toward outsiders.
This gave me a very comfortable feeling as I continued to read.
A special King touch.


message 41: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 4074 comments This is one of my favorites for a variety of reasons. Here's my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I loved the show Haven as well, and explain in my review, but I think my favorite thing is that the show does something with the book that is completely contrary and yet comes out so great!


message 42: by Squire (last edited Sep 05, 2016 03:41AM) (new)

Squire (srboone) | 11 comments Immediately, King's characterizations are at the forefront of this story-within-a-story as is his love for the New England region. I never saw what this story had to do with hard-boiled noir crime, but King's existential musings on the journey of life as an unexplainable mystery that need only be accepted to be enjoyed made this one of my favorites of King.

(view spoiler)


message 43: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Hetzel | 469 comments Something I didn't really understand. I felt that once the men started their tale, I was reading the STORY of the Colorado Kid.
But one of the men said, "There were too many unknowns thus there was NO story." ".... it was just a bunch of unconnected facts surrounding a true unexplained mystery."

So, I wonder: Why, when King is such a great storyteller, there is no story ?? What am I missing here? a story has a beginning, middle and.... was it because there was no end ??


message 44: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 4074 comments In a way, yes, it'e because there was no end, but also because there was no through line.


message 45: by Squire (last edited Sep 05, 2016 03:50AM) (new)

Squire (srboone) | 11 comments But you have to ask yourself what exactly is the story? Is it the unexplained mystery or is it the story of Steffi try to find her way in the world of journalism? Every story has a beginning, middle and an end, no matter what anybody says; a story may begin and end in different places depending on the character and the teller's intent; and those stages may not be as clearly defined a reader would like, but they are there. King's statement to the contrary is ironic given his profession--and he knows it. He's having fun with his yarn and so am I.

Even Cell had an ending (the one King intended and one I really liked).


message 46: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Hetzel | 469 comments Something else I wondered.... when the Dr. determined that the cause of Cogan's death was "Asphyxiation due to choking"....
Were you OK with that?
The fact that he also suffered a stroke got me to thinking of Cogan's possible motivation, but this is just MY thought:
I remember being told that cogan had had a series of heart attacks and perhaps he thought that his death was premature and imminent so he planned and prepared for it.
BUT... WHY would he DO all that he did and go from CO to ME to do it ??
Accident, planned death or murder ?? I really can't decide. What were your thoughts?


message 47: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 4074 comments Squire wrote: "But you have to ask yourself what exactly is the story? Is it the unexplained mystery or is it the story of Steffi try to find her way in the world of journalism? Every story has a beginning, middl..."

By necessity all stories have a beginning, middle and end, but I think he means that most good stories have a logical ending that leaves the reader, in some small way, satisfied. Of course not all stories do, but the exceptions are just that, exceptions.

I think the "through line" part has to do with the "why" of a story. There must be a motivation for a character's actions and events. Until that has been revealed, the story seems incomplete. Your example of Cell is perfect because there is an ending just no real resolution and that's ok.


message 48: by Nick (new)

Nick Iuppa | 4033 comments Squire wrote: "But you have to ask yourself what exactly is the story? Is it the unexplained mystery or is it the story of Steffi try to find her way in the world of journalism? Every story has a beginning, middl..."

King likes to develop his stories in answer to the "what if" question. To me, the question is "what if there was a truly unsolvable mystery?" Then the logical answer to the question is "it would leave everyone unsatisfied but still enjoying the concept of a great mystery." I think that's what King set out to do when asked to write a cold case mystery (wasn't this the first book in the series?)... examine the concept of a great mystery, where the clues just never quite added up.


message 49: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 4074 comments Yes, this was the first in the series. I agree that his goal was to write a mystery that was simply unsolvable. There is no reason. It happened. Finit.


message 50: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Kealy | 4 comments I read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it and was glad to read it again. It is always my "go to" recommendation for people that say they don't like Stephen King and still think he is only a horror writer.
I loved the mystery and that it was unsolved. I go over and over it in my head and I can't work it out (probably because it can't be solved) and I love all the extra bits in there that can spin you off into another direction. What how did the Russian coin get in his pocket, how do we explain the cigarettes (am not comfortable that they were deliberate on his part that so he could be traced). There was meat stuck in his throat. He had a fish basket for dinner so where did the meat come from (I can't remember if that was addressed).
Someone mentioned this was a book in a series. Can someone please tell me the titles of other books or ones like it?? Would love to read more


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