The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

Title: The Colorado Kid
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Mystery

Rating: 3 / 5 


This was a pick for a book group I’m in. I think it’s unlikely I ever would have picked it up left to my own devices. I’ve only read one Stephen King, 11/22/63, and that one was a middling read. This one, a fraction of the size at less than 200 pages, falls into the “middling” range as well.

The entire book is a single conversation between three people, a conceit I thought worked fairly well but will likely disappoint readers who desire more action. A few people sitting around an office talking about a death–maybe murder, maybe not–from 25 years back? Not particularly thrilling. Two of the characters are old newspapermen–one in his seventies and one in his nineties–and the third is a twenty-two year old summer intern for the paper from the Midwest who finds herself falling in love with coastal Maine.

[This paragraph contains spoilers.] This book will appeal to those who like a slow and subdued yarn, who find satisfaction in unsatisfying endings, are comfortable with a lack of answers, and don’t mind the absence of a plot. After all, the characters themselves say there is “no through-line” to the story they tell. And I did actually enjoy those aspects of the book. But I think I would have rated it higher if there had been more detail about the titular character’s life. I think I would have enjoyed it more if King had tantalized his readers with more possibilities, making it even more frustrating when there really is no solution or story. As it is, my favorite part of the book is probably actually the afterword.

I think this is a good afternoon read, especially if you’re into mysteries or the unexplained–it’s a short and easy read, undemanding and fairly pleasant despite its focus on maybe-murder-maybe-not. It’s a decent story, more about people’s desire to create a narrative out of what facts they can piece together than a narrative in its own right, and that makes it more interesting to me than it would otherwise have been.


4 thoughts on “The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

  1. I’ve never heard of this book. I’ve only read a few King books, Misery and The Shining, which were quite good. It’d be interesting to read this one which sounds somewhat different.

    • It is different! Some people love that difference, but as some of the reviews on Goodreads will show you, some people are very disappointed with that difference! I can’t really say because I’ve only read one other, 11/22/63, which isn’t at all the “horror” that King is often associated with. I’ve wanted to read Misery for so long, glad to hear you liked it!

  2. I read it a while back when I heard it was the inspiration behind the television series ‘Haven’ with a mix of a newspaper making its own narrative, an element of the unexplained and a protagonist trying to find out the truth…. a fun little story on a murder mystery and perception. Great review.

    • I’m kind of curious about Haven! I’ve read that it offers some more “answers,” and some readers really enjoy that and some think it defeats the purpose of this book.

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