Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Colorado Kid

I am a big Stephen King fan. It's not the horror I like; I can take that or leave it; it's his sheer ability at telling a story. I happened upon this novella somewhere and read it last night. It is a puzzle of the 'locked room' variety. A 40-year old man turns up dead on the beach of an island off the coast of Maine. He apparently died of natural causes, but who is he and how did he get there.

It is told as a discussion between a couple of old fellas who run the island weekly newspaper and a young woman journalism graduate who is doing a placement with them. For her it is a test - will she make the grade as a journalist; for them it is an interview - should they offer her a job.

After eighteen months an interesting fact (which I won't give away) enables them to identify the corpse and to do a good deed, but leaves them another puzzle: how did he get from Denver to rural Maine in six hours and why. They think of a how but the why is left to the reader's imagination.

If you know the story and if you have a good reason post it in the comments section. I have my own idea.

King is the king of small town America. My favorite story of his is 'Stand by me'.


Anonymous said...

I am mixed about Stephen King. He's a decent story-teller, but I don't think I'd like him as a friend. I wonder if he has any friends.

I read 'The Shining' at an illegal campground in the Sierra Nevadas, with a bunch of marginal folks staying close by in the dark. Perhaps not the best choice. Indeed scary.

However, I detect in some of his stories a tapping into things that are evil and malicious, the absolute worst in people. Beating animals to death. Literally torturing your siblings to their deaths.

I love a good scare and a good mystery, as you have noted here. However, I don't like his heart and his soul, and I've stopped reading him.

His horrific car accident may be (I think it is) some sort of payback or karma to the publication of these terrible people and events.

Lael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I don't think I could stand to read one of his novels. But, his work has been the inspiration for a couple of events in my sometimes chaotic life.
1) I named an old car "Christine" because of an unfortunate incident where I nearly got ran over by it. So, now I am more careful about putting it in "park". These kind of events make me think I probably won't die of CLL (ha!).
2) I went to a party dressed as the Kathy Bates character in Misery. I look enough like her to make it really creepy. I even talked a friend into letting me wheel him around in a wheelchair.
I screeched "Pauuuulllllllll" a lot and had a lot of fun. Okay, it went to my head that a professional video person called it "pure genius" or something equally positive.
In the meantime, I'll stick to my tame reading instead of going the horror route.

Minnesota, USA

Terry Hamblin said...

I'd be happy to give advice but I need some more information. E-mail me on terjoha@aol.com

50s something professional in recovery said...

Hey Terry, I like King as well, and I disagree with one of the prior posts, yes there is Evil (and King makes it seem very real) but in most of his stories Good triumphs, as it will and does in the real world....