This review was originally posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 on our now merged AuralNoir.com site.
The Colorado Kid
By Stephen King; Read by Jeffrey DeMunn
4 CDs – 4 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Themes: / Mystery / Hard Case Crime / Murder / Reporters / Newspaper / Maine /
In brief, Stephen King’s latest novel is a good one, though I don’t feel it fits well into the Hard Case Crime mold. Details? Here they are:
Two old newspaper men, both approaching retirement, tell a female intern the story of a man who was found dead on the coast of the Maine island on which they live. They reveal clue after clue that they had put together along with a forensics graduate student that worked with police back when it happened. And that’s… pretty much it. No grisly private eyes, no grifters, and no real danger for the main characters, which is why I think the book is a strange fit for the Hard Case Crime line of novels.
Still, this is a short Stephen King novel reminiscent of an earlier King short novel called “The Body”, on which the film Stand by Me was based. There is much going on here between the characters. The old men are approaching retirement and are sharing their years of investigative reporting experience to the intern. The intern is eager to be accepted. The story of the investigation, the clues, the forensics – all extremely interesting in King’s hands, even though “action” is not a word that I’d use to describe it. The novel is filled with the depth of character that Stephen King is famous for, and I enjoyed it even though it was not quite what I expected.
Jeffrey DeMunn is the perfect choice to read The Colorado Kid. He read one of King’s earlier novels – Dreamcatcher – and also starred in what was easily the best Stephen King miniseries – Storm of the Century, where he got to use his excellent Maine accent. He used that accent in this reading, too, and as the island and its inhabitants are characters in themselves, DeMunn’s added authenticity was welcome and very effective. It is a gem of a performance.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson