📚 The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

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Goodreads⎮Reviewed July 2018

Narrator: Jeffrey DeMunn
Length: 3 hours 40 minutes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio⎮2005

Synopsis: On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There’s no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues.
But that’s just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still…?

No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world’s great storytellers presents a surprising tale that explores the nature of mystery itself.


3.5★ Audiobook⎮ I started The Colorado Kid because of my recently discovered love of Haven. Haven is a sci-fi TV show currently available for streaming on Netflix. During the opening credits, Haven says it is inspired by Stephen King’s novel The Colorado Kid so, naturally, I picked it up.

Even before beginning The Colorado Kid, Haven’s Stephen King connection was obvious to me. With multiple mentions of Derry, Maine and other Easter eggs, Haven has Stephen King written all over it. Actually, I think I’ve read that King actually had a hand in writing or producing the show (or something to that effect).

Even though “The Colorado Kid” is frequently mentioned in the show, the narrative is very different. The only things The Colorado Kid and Haven have in common are 1) The setting (Maine), 2) Two characters (Vince and Dave), and 3) The mystery of “The Colorado Kid” (sort of). So, if you’re picking this up based on a love for the TV show Haven, you might want to steady your expectations. It’s really nothing like the show.

With that said, this isn’t a terrible little story. Judging it on its own and not against the show, I kind of enjoyed it. Granted, the short length had a lot to do with that. I pretty much thought “Eh, why not? It’s Stephen King.” and decided to continue. Although I don’t necessarily recommend this to the fans of Haven, I do recommend it to those true fans of mystery. I’m talking to the purists, because The Colorado Kid is the epitome of a mystery.

I can understand why the majority of reviewers seemed frustrated with The Colorado Kid. We’ve come to expect most mysteries to have a resolution, satisfying or not.  In one way or another, things are usually tied up at the end. But that’s not realistic, is it? And that’s the whole point of The Colorado Kid. True mysteries are open ended. They leave us wondering. That’s the point Stephen King is trying to make here and he makes it frustratingly well.

Don’t start The Colorado Kid if you’re going to see it as a waste of time. Just enjoy some good Stephen King writing. That was enough for me.

Narration review: If Jeffrey DeMunn is from anywhere other than Maine, I’d be stunned. His New England accent sounded so authentic that I had to strain to understand what he was saying. That’s both good and bad, as a listener. On one hand, I appreciated DeMunn’s authenticity (or portrayal), but on the other,  it really did take a lot of extra concentration just to focus on following the story. At one point, I actually wondered if he was still speaking English or had slipped into some other dialect. However, my mental image of Vince Teague never faltered. ♣︎

$ Available at Audible/Amazon, Scribd, and Audiobooks.com

One Comment

  1. I totally picked this one up because of Haven too. We JUST finished the series this week. I also read that they did the pilot just like the book and King told them to put weird stuff in it, but I don’t know if that is really true. I like to believe it!

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