The Colorado Kid -- Stephen King
From Stephen King's Afterword:
Depending on whether you liked or hated The Colorado Kid (I think for many people there'll be no middle ground on this one, and that's fine with me)...
Very true. I really liked it -- read it in one sitting -- but I can imagine that there'll be a lot of people that don't. At one point, one of the characters has a thought that so perfectly describes the book:
It was that kind of story. The kind that's like a sneeze which threatens but never quite arrives.
It isn't a traditional mystery story with a beginning, middle and end. It has a beginning, a middle, and a load of unanswered questions. Have you seen Broken Flowers? Yeah, it's like that.
It also reminded me a bit of The Big Kahuna -- all of the action (or lack of action, really -- all of the dialogue) takes place in one place, with two veterans talking to a rookie. In The Colorado Kid, though, it's journalists instead of salesmen. The Colorado Kid is affectionate -- to the journalism profession, to the mystery genre, to mysteries in general, to old-timers from Maine.
I loved this bit -- one of the storytellers is describing the mayor:
He goes up and down Bay Street shaking hands and grinning with that gold tooth flashing off to one side in his mouth, got a good word for everyone he meets, never forgets a name or which man drives a Ford pickup and which is still getting along with his Dad's old International Harvester. He's a caricature right out of an old nineteen-forties movie about small-town hoop-de-doo politics and he's such a hick he don't even know it. He's got one jump left in him--hop, toad, hop--and once he gets to that Augusta lilypad he'll either be wise enough to stop or he'll try another hop and end up getting squashed.
I also loved this -- but it's kind of an in-joke:
I think he mentioned Madawaska. Maybe he'll find some unexplained mysteries there. Why anyone'd want to live in such a place, for instance.
Check out Hard Case Crime. They're doing reprints of old pulp novels as well as publishing new stuff. I'm so jazzed that there's a publisher out there that's doing a Book Club for pulp novels at pretty decent pulpy prices -- this one is listed at $5.99 -- SO COOL. I don't think I've EVER even been tempted by a book club before. The book even has one of those tear-out postcard advertisements in the middle. And the cover art is rad. The whole shebang just makes me happy.