The TV show Haven brought me to this tale, which was more of a story about stories — a kind of using fiction to figure out a kind of aesthetic — that makes a clever distinction between stories that are good for the news media (ones that have only one thing strange about them and that can be summed up easily) versus stories that don’t work in the news media, that is stories that are too strange or unresolved or have too many points in them to be easily summed up.
Of course, as I read, I couldn’t help but see the actress Emily Rose from “Haven” as the newspaper intern, and Richard Donat and John Dunsworth as the older newspapermen, even though the book is more elliptical — more mysterious — than the Syfy TV show, even if the mystery of the book is never as entertaining as the multiple mysteries/supernatural events that make up the TV series.
The mystery of the book — how the body of a man they call the Colorado Kid ended up on the beach of their small Maine town — is never actually solved, though many of the possibilities are explored. The book acts like people talking about the possibilities of a puzzle box, without ever solving the puzzle box’s puzzle.
It may give some insight into Stephen King’s method, but I can’t help but think that, in acting as a puzzle, King himself is only pointing to the existence of a writing aesthetic (in the discussion of newspapers stories vs. other stories) without actually giving that aesthetic away.