The Colorado Kid / Haven

April 6, 2014 at 1:39 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

paperback_prop_embedTitle: The Colorado Kid

First Edition Release Date: October, 2005

Author: Stephen King

Synopsis taken from stephenking.com:

Vince Teague and Dave Bowie are the sole operators of The Weekly Islander, a small Maine newspaper. Stephanie McCann has been working for them as an intern. When Stephanie asks if they’ve ever come across a real unexplained mystery in the fifty years they’d been publishing the paper, they tell her the story of The Colorado Kid.

I have to be honest, I picked up this book because I have developed an unhealthy obsession for the tv show Haven.

Which, despite being drastically different stories, I like both King’s original story and the tv show spin off, a lot.

There are a lot of complaints on the internet about the show having nothing to do with the book.  I wonder what KingHaven thinks, actually, because even though there were some definite creative licensees taken, I think the writers of the show have tried to honor the original creator.

In the book, Vince and Dave are not brothers – in the show they are.  I’m not sure why that particular route was taken for the show, I don’t think it would have made a big difference to keep their original relationship.  I do, however, like their characters’ dynamic in the show.  And I adore the actors who play them.

The book focuses on the intern, Stephanie, who is asking Vince and Dave questions regarding the biggest mystery in Hammock Beach.  In Haven, Audrey Parker (FBI) has come to town to investigate a different murder.  Absurdly different, until you dive deeper into the show where you find that Audrey’s entire reason for being in Haven (or Hammock Beach, as it is called in the novel) has everything to do with the 1980’s mystery of The Colorado Kid.

If you have the patience to really get into the show, you’ll find that the show and the book have this main common thread:

In 1980 an unidentified body is found on a beach in Maine, wearing gray slacks, and a white shirt. No one seems to know who he is, or how he got to be there, but he is dubbed The Colorado Kid.

colorado kid

King’s book allows this mystery to mostly go unsolved, as Dave Sturm wrote in 2009:

“[…] King has written a meditation on stories by telling one that heads to a letdown, because the central mystery — SPOILER: How did the body of a Coloradan end up dead on a Maine beach just hours after he disappeared from Colorado???: END SPOILER — is left a mystery at the end.

King has violated a central tenet inherent in Hard Case Crime. The story has no plausible resolution.”

by Dave Sturm
Rambles.NET
8 August 2009

The point of the book is the beauty of things that are mysterious, how one answer unveils another question – at least that’s what I got out of it.  The book also leaves itself wide open to becoming a set of mysteries that must be solve to explain the existence and death of this strange man on a beach, which the tv show honors.

So, in Haven, every answer Audrey Parker uncovers in the show leads to another series of questions.  The show has one magical quality – it’s entire existence is someone’s creative answer to King’s unsolved mystery.  By the fourth season, you may start to catch my drift.  I am still patiently waiting for season five to get uploaded to Netflix.

In short, I adore the show and I loved the book.  I read the first 137 pages of the book during my one hour lunch break.  I read the rest of the book as soon as I completed my work.  One thing that I missed doing, however, was read King’s afterward.  I was in a hurry to get home, but couldn’t go without finishing the story – but putting all my thoughts in review here I wish I had taken the extra moments to read what he had to say about his own work.

haven_graveyard-plot-301_hvn_1161

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1 Comment

  1. George Padgett said,

    Nice take on this – Thanks.

    I read The Colorado Kid last year and finished his crime thriller Mr. Mercedes this week. Though he’s a master at horror, I find his stories set in the ‘natural world’ like both of these to be his most enjoyable.

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