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.

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A Grimm World

August 1, 2012 at 1:19 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The new season of Grimm starts August 13, 2012; roughly two weeks until round two! Because of this, my husband, who just fell in love with the show via Hulu, has been making me watch season one. I say “making me” as though it is this incredible chore, but in reality, it is a relaxing date-night type activity for us once the kiddo has gone to bed.

The NBC original series portrays the Brothers Grimm as magnificent demon hunters, and the main character their detective descendant.  As a Grimm, Nick sees demons for what they are and can catch the bad guys of urban legend with his handy dandy Grimm family heirlooms as well as the help of the police department.  It’s CSI meets Van Helsing. Of course, the original stories weren’t collected by demon hunting bad asses, just two brothers in Germany in the very early 1800’s enthralled with folklore.

So, as we wait for 9pm (kiddo’s bed time) to hit every evening, I have decided to start reading my copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.  I bought one of those shiny lettered, fancy leather-bound copies long ago (the cheaper version from Barnes and Noble, not an Easton Press or anything) with the intention of my husband reading them to the kiddo before bed at night when she gets older.  The stories are rather short and as I read to her all day, I think it best for bed time stories to come from Dad.

 The stories are mostly terrible.  In theory I love mythology and folklore, but what I’m discovering more and more is that I adore lengthy retellings rather than the original short stories.  Yet, I’m a serious advocate for source documents.  Just as I don’t want to watch the TV show Grimm without reading the original stories – I definitely would be appalled at myself for reading a fancy retelling in the form of a novel without reading the original collection of tales.  As in most things, I believe in the principle of it.

I found The Little Farmer to be especially awful.  What a deceitful and greedy group of people! And the fact that this horrible little man becomes the sole proprietor of the town and all the riches therein is quite appalling.  I enjoy stories with a solid moral, a bigger picture, lessons for life about the merits of goodness.  Instead, The Little Farmer breeds selfishness and sociopathic characteristics.  The Life Lesson being: the cheaters that are most cunning rule the roost.  Of course, this is a valid truth in most societies, but in my perfect story I want there to be inspiration to persevere under the pressure to keep up with the Joneses (or just kill them off if you can’t), and do something great in your life.  The Little Farmer may walk off a wealthy man, but he has no friends and he has not lived a fulfilling life.  Be proud of hard work, rather than trickery.

I am not a fan of people getting rewarded for bad deeds or laziness.  Just as I cannot get my novel published until I finish writing it (blaming my main character Dani for being elusive and moody when I’m trying to get her life organized), the princess shouldn’t get a Frog Prince to marry when she hasn’t been anything but mean to him.

There are, however, wise stories in the Brothers Grimm, not just the “only people who share are the people who don’t have anything” kind (a real-life adage from my own father).  The Nail is the very story which proves one of my old martial arts instructors’ words correct: slow makes fast; or, as the Grimms tell us: Make Haste Slowly.  Stories like these, though the horse suffered much for the sake of the warning tale, is what keeps me reading and what reminds me that the kiddo will benefit from growing up with the stories as well.

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