Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: The Colorado Kid by Stephen King


To be honest this book I’ve read mostly out of curiosity, since one my favorite TV series, Haven, is based on it. The thing is though that after reading the book I’ve come to realize that its connection to the series is so light that if I didn’t already know it existed, I’d be really surprised if I ever found out about it. What the creators of the series did was take one of the many mysterious cases mentioned in the novel and built on it, while bringing at the same time to the forefront some of the secondary characters.
     But, let’s take things from the beginning. In 1980 a young couple discovers on the shores of an island in Maine, the corpse of a man, to whom the authorities bestow the nickname The Colorado Kid. No one seems to know who he is and how he ended up there, while at first even his death is a mystery of sorts.
     We learn about the story of the Kid, as well as about some other strange occurrences and phenomena that have taken place in the region, through the collaborative narration of the two elderly journalists, who run the local newspaper. Their audience is a young and beautiful intern, who thinks that she has a lot to learn from the two men. The question is though, can she believe them? Well, that’s not so easy to do since what they tell her, doesn’t really make any sense. According to them, strange things have always been happening around there, which over the years claimed an important role in the local folklore: once a group of people fell victims to mass poisoning from drinking tea, an adventure from which only two of them survived, with one of them showing no symptoms whatsoever; at some other time an utterly deserted ship washed to shore and as the locals have it, it was some ghosts that led it there; and after that, the really unexpected happened, an Unidentified Flying Object was spotted by many people in the sky over the town.
     Stephenie, the young woman, listens attentively to the two men, she absorbs their stories and tries to discover all by herself and within her own soul, the answers to the mysteries that her mentors talk about. The two of them seem not only to want to test her analytical capabilities, but also to challenge her logical mind, and thus open her eyes to the realities that she could never up to that moment believe to exist.
     While reading this book the reader gets the feeling that somehow, somewhere there’s a rational explanation for everything that’s happening, but the mystery keeps challenging his senses and the myth keeps his attention alive and alert. Some of the answers will come to light by the end, some won’t. But, one way or another, what matters most is the story, and this is a good one. The author is not interested in playing the fear card, he just wants to tell a story and that he does splendidly.
     If any of you have watched the series I’m sure that by reading this book you’ll only recognize but a few points of reference: the two journalists, the landscape, the female version of the Colorado Kid and maybe one or two of the stories. However, I’d like to congratulate the people behind it for managing to create a whole world, with a pantheon of great characters and plots full of mystery, taking their inspiration from a short novel like this. They really did a great job.

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