Moving to a town to solve a mystery or moving to a mysterious town?
A vastly different adaptation with the television series ‘Haven’ in comparison to the Novel ‘The Colorado Kid’ penned by Stephen King; The premise of the protagonist investigating a murder remains the same, as do a number of other elements – like the setting of small Maine town called Haven, and the owners of the local newspaper – but the finished product sways deep into the surreal and paranormal in ‘Haven’ than anything in the book.
As a lover of Stephen King’s writing, and after discovering one of my favourite television shows, ‘Haven’ was based on his novel which I had not read yet – I raced out to purchase it immediately without looking into what kind of book it was… I wanted to be surprised.
Expecting the supernatural goings-on like its small screen counterpart, I was disappointed. ‘The Colorado Kid’ is far more poignant. For starters the main character is a intern newspaper reporter, Stephanie McCann looking into an unusual death for the local The Weekly Islander; and while researching the back story of the event uncovers facts which are left open to interpretation (due to narration which may, or may not be reliable). I actually enjoyed that I wasn’t spoon-fed an opinion, but merely presented the situation to which I could draw my own conclusion. It’s a crime mystery novel beyond anything else.
Dave and Vince, the two founders of the newspaper feature in the novel and are equally mystifying and cheeky. I was glad to see their same spirit captured in the screen adaptation.
The television series brought to you by Syfy, due to commence its fifth season tonight (11th of September) where the lead, Audrey Parker (played by Emily Rose) is an F.B.I. Agent who comes to Haven to investigate a murder… and find that the Town is rampant with residents infected by ‘the troubles’ to which she is somehow connected. It still has that element of mystery about it, and Audrey does solve crimes, but it is more of an Urban Fantasy than a crime mystery like the book. There are plenty of twists and turns and over arcing story lines in the show, as well as the crime or mystery to solve in each episode – not to mention some delicious male co-stars – and I’d recommend anyone to view if you love shows with a supernatural spice.
Given that I’m not a big fan of crime novels, I wasn’t particularly taken with Stephen King’s original version, but loved the subjective nature of the narration. The television show has a Mulder and Scully vibe (X-Files) and even though formulaic, manages to keep my interest with each instalment. So the screen version is a winner in this round… and tune in tonight for the beginning of the latest season.
Let me know what you think of either ‘The Colorado Kid’ or ‘Haven’ in the comments section below….
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12 thoughts on “Film vs Novel – Haven / The Colorado Kid”
Really like the TV show I’ve watched since the beginning. I believe this is the last season, hopefully they wrap everything up. Haven’t read the book but King isn’t really my cup of tea.
I absolutely loved the Haven series and sad that it has come to an end, but luckily a happy ending eventhough some of my favourite characters dies in the end. Just finished reading The Colorado Kid hoping to get some more insight of this part of the story line but was dissapointed as Haven seems to be very loosely based on the book and so many unanswered questions at the end of the book.
I feel you – I read the book just after Season 2 of Haven and realised the differences from the tv show to the novel. You never know there may yet be some spin-off novels from the series if SyFy still have the rights and some left over story lines… I guess I’ll just have to be content with re-watching my collection 😉
I had no idea “Haven” was based on “The Colorado Kid”. I have seen advertisements for “Haven” for awhile, I think it’s even on Netflix now, but I have not watched an episode. I guess I know what I will be doing for the long weekend ahead. Thanks for the post!
I am a Stephen King fan and also never knew of “The Colorado Kid” by King. I, too, have not watched “Haven” but will have to check it out.
On face value they are nothing alike, but it was interesting on how ‘Haven’ was inspired my a short story from Stephen King. Though, I enjoyed each for their own merits 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting and happy reading.
I’m with you. I think I did read the book first, but it left little impression on me, while Haven has been one of my favourite recent TV shows.
Hi Casey. I too am a big Haven fan, and watched all five seasons on Shomi over the past year. Part of the draw for me is the setting: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, a Canadian heritage town that beckons me. Those beautiful red buildings along the waterfront are captivating and what an image from the water. I’ve tried to talk my daughter into moving there more than once–actually haven’t given up yet. And then there’s Duke.
At one point, I thought of reading the book, but couldn’t find it in my local library so let it go. I do love murder mysteries so I may try to find it. Being who he is, I’m surprised that Stephen the King of Strange, didn’t add the fantastical dimension to the story. I also love magic realism and write urban fantasy so the other worldliness of the big mystery–who is Audrey Parker and why is she immune to the Troubles?– kept me stoked to the bitter and most satisfying series finale.
I fell in love with Nova Scotia too and had a discussion about taking a trip over there for the possibility of a move – was even looking at some real estate. It is so picturesque. I can see why they chose it as the back drop for this television series.
I have all of Stephen King’s work – huge fangirl – even his work under a pseudonym when he was writing detective and mystery novellas and publishing them in periodicals. Some of his earlier work may be easier to find in a digital format. His writing back then was a little dry, but you can definitely see the brilliant mechanics of storytelling and how it has evolved into his style today.
I was sad to see the ‘Haven’ series end, though, we can always have a nostalgic binge and re-watch the collection on a lazy weekend…
Audrey is da bomb! 🙂
Love your analysis of the book vs TV show. I have been a huge fan since Carrie…though I did get teased about going to the school dance and lighting it on fire…lol
I wonder if you would comment if you preferred Desperation or The Regulators. I love how he took the same people and changed them all around! I was sooooo sad about the dumb TV version of Desperation but I loved both books…I almost like Bachman stuff a little better overall
Thanks for the wonderful comments and reading my review 😀 I haven’t read either ‘Desperation’ or ‘The Regulators’ They look like fun books to read but more in the vein of a Monster book/movie than a detective mystery with a paranormal twist. But I’m slowly reading my way through King/Bachman’s back catalogue and sure to get to these at some point. The movie version of ‘Desperation’ looks like the typical 90’s horror treatment and I’d probably find it more funny than scary like a lot of B-Grade films of that era from over-acting and the pre-digital age of special effects. Thanks for bringing these adaptations to my attention… hope to get to write a comparison soon.
I loved the show gotta admit had a huge crush on Emily rose. The book is different some of the things that Vince and Dave tell Stephanie I think they told Audry.