Bring me the head of Stephen King!

The 50 Book Challenge saunters along!

#6 - The Colorado Kid by Stephen King - When I first found this book, I was pretty excited. First of all, the idea of King writing a pulp novel-type mystery story was pretty appealing. I like his writing best when he works in genres other than "Stephen King" (Eyes of the Dragon, for instance, was a dandy little fantasy novel). Second, the sales blurb on the back compared this story rather favorably to the works of Dashiell Hammett and Graham Greene. Great people to emulate with this sort of thing, so I'm still with you there. Finally, and perhaps most amazingly, it's short. 178 pages to be exact. Short Stephen King novels are like short Grateful Dead songs; you've heard rumors that such things exist, but you never thought you'd actually encounter one. So with all this in its favor, I figured I'd give the book a shot.

Please learn from my mistake. Don't give this a shot. You want to know why you shouldn't? Glad you asked. It's not really the murder mystery story the sales blurb makes it out to be, not in the conventional sense anyway. It's about two grizzled, elderly newspaper veterans telling their intern the story of a local unsolved "mysterious death" case. And that's it. A story about a story. Hold on, let me add some emphasis to that. IT'S A STORY ABOUT A STORY! You know who writes stuff like that? Lazy high school creative writing students who put off writing their final project until the night before it's due (I speak from personal experience here). And you know what else? Even after the retelling, the story never even gets resolved! And then we get an afterword from King trying to excuse his lack of satisfying-ending-writing skills by basically saying "Well, life's like that sometimes. Tough titty. Don't question me on this. I've outsold the Bible. What the hell have you done with your life?"

Honestly, I don't even think the man has an editor anymore. Avoid this, please.

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