RARA-AVIS: Re:Stephen King's THE COLORADO KID - A solution to the mystery

From: thebradstevens ( bradstevens22@hotmail.com)
Date: 21 Nov 2006

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, BookBitch <BookBitch@...> wrote:
> Okay, I gotta ask - what did you come up with? My
> book group discussed this book and we could not reach
> a concensus.

Hi Stacy - Always a pleasure to hear from anyone who writes for Book Bitch, one of my favorite websites.

The back cover of THE COLORADO KID claims that the book has "echoes of Dashiell Hammett's THE MALTESE FALCON". Well, there's only one part of THE MALTESE FALCON that has anything to do with THE COLORADO KID, and that's the story of Flitcraft, which you will find in the 'G in the Air' chapter of Hammett's novel. Flitcraft sudenly decided to walk away from his life when a falling beam which came close to killing him showed him how fragile his well-ordered existence was. It seems pretty clear to me that something similar must have happened to Cogan in THE COLORADO KID. After he leaves his office, something happens to make him want to run away from his former life. Vince and Dave make a big thing about how carefully Cogan must have planned everything in order to get to Moose-Look island in the time he did. But it all makes perfect sense if we assume that Cogan had no intention of ending up in Moose-Look - he simply wanted to run as far as he could in any direction in as short a period of time as possible, and simple happened to end up in Moose-Look. So he jumps in a taxi in Colorado, drives to the airport, somehow talks himself onboard the next plane that's taking off (perhaps charming the pilot with the sheer arbitrariness of his behavior), ends up in Maine, wanders to a nearby highway, sticks out his thumb, catches a ride, and finds himself headed for Moose-Look.

The cigarettes he probably finds at the airport in Colorado. He's never smoked before, but since he's decided to change all his old patterns of behavior, he picks them up. He smokes his first cigarette when he arrives on the island, but since he's a non-smoker, he begins coughing, and is still coughing soon after when he tries eating a steak, which is why he chokes on it.

The Rusian coin I can't quite fit in - maybe it's meaningless.

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