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Duma Key

A book by Stephen King

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Brilliant and powerful with the perfect amount of creepy and freaky

  • Jun 24, 2010
Ahh... what can I say about Duma Key, other than it being an extraordinary experience, a literary breath of fresh air, a masterpiece of color and texture without any actual paint being used. I guess there are some people out there think it's boring or long but I instantaneously felt a bond with the book and I can say that I absolutely loved it! The writing itself was so colorful and interesting that I enjoyed each and every page, there was in no rush to get to the ending by any means, but I did like the end, it matched the enigmatic feel of the story and it had a lush, tropical feel to it but it was tainted by something dark and eerie and quite frankly very creepy because it was deadly. Those affected could have never imagine their demise, and whether they believed in it or not, it was coming. I was attracted to this book right away, partially because of the cover; it always begged to be read and as an artist it touched my sensors in ways that kept me thinking of it often so I finally had to sit down and read it and also because one of my best friends started reading it and I had to follow suit so we could enjoy and discuss it together, it was a real treat to read it at the same time and marvel at the unfolding story.

Edgar Freemantle is a handicapped man who moves to a mythical island of Duma Key, a place that doesn't exist in reality but seems more real than half the vacation spots I've been in. He rents a salmon colored house and starts painting with his remaining arm, paintings that change his life - at first for the better but later he realizes that his new found gift is very hungry, and it hungers for things most precious to him. His recovery seems to progress until he starts feeling his missing arm, at the same time strange storms are coming to the island and things that shouldn't be real are happening, Edgar knows that his paintings have more power and meaning than he could have ever imagined and it's up to him to solve the mystery that has enshrouded Duma Key for generations and left many skeletons during it's rein. The story jumps off the cliff with an appearance of a ship on the horizon, Edgar knows that its not good news, something strange and deadly is on that ship and the closer it gets to him during those storms the stranger the hold on his sudden artistic talents and the results are quite shocking, but hey they make for great reading. After reading it I can safely say that it's one of my favorite books ever, I even got the hard cover version so I could have the full dust jacket with it's glorious art to see while I read the paperback and carried it with me everywhere. This might not be for everyone, but that's totally fine with me, I loved it and it made an impact on me, I'm sure there are people out there who wont like it, and that's fine, It only makes me feel lucky that I'm not one of them!

This story is like an exotic fruit bowl, gorgeous from every angle and full of mouth watering rainbow of flavors. The characters in this tale are extremely realistic, from the kooky and zany to mysterious and deadly, each plays a part that paints such a grand picture that the more I think about it the more I feel the need to read it again, just to dip back into that pool of "ahh.." it creates.. It's really hard to explain but this book was marvelous and it made a bond with my imagination, one that will stay with me for a long time. There is plenty of original mystery and horror and love and growth combined with struggles and some deaths, it all paints a picture worth thousands of words, one that I could stare at forever.

- Kasia S.

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More Duma Key: A Novel reviews
Quick Tip by . January 18, 2011
One of my favorite Stephen King books. I read it while on a beach vacation and the setting in the book made it perfect and a little creepier. If done properly it would make a superb movie. Recommend to anyone who likes creepy and great writing.
review by . March 10, 2010
Sometimes I read a long book and wish it were shorter. But reading Stephen King's Duma Key was not one of those times. The story is beautifully plotted and paced, from the slightly off-kilter wonder of the first page--"Pictures are magic, as you know"--to the real-world tragedy of a brain-injured one-armed man, to the fearful, awful revelations around page 600.      The heroes in this novel are very real, very wounded people, old enough to know a bit about life, …
review by . May 23, 2009
Pros: fleshed out characters, interesting subject     Cons: none for me     The Bottom Line:   What time zone am on? What country am I in?  It doesn't matter, it's five o'clock somewhere.  ~Jackson/Buffet     First I gotta say I’m beginning to hate Stephen King. My latest read, Duma Key, his 54th novel, comes in at a hefty 609 pages in hardback and I’ve got to tell Stephen these books are getting …
review by . June 07, 2008
I'm a pretty huge Stephen King fan, dating back to about 1979, when I first read THE SHINING. I've stuck with him through some poor times (THE DARK HALF & NEEDFUL THINGS) and certainly enjoyed the high points. DUMA KEY falls somewhere in the middle of the batch. It has some wonderful writing...aside from the story...King's ability to describe a situation (like an artist's first time gallery -opening) or a feeling (the frustration of learning to live with only one arm) is near its height. The settings …
review by . May 14, 2008
The prolific purveyor of terror, Stephen King, semi-successfully turns his finely honed, `I-know-what-scares-you' gaze from the venue of his beloved Maine to the seemingly serene retiree-haven of the Florida Keys in his umpteenth novel entitled, "Duma Key". This tale of horror explores the idea of an imaginative power so forceful that when it flexes its muscle a combination of all-hell-breaking-loose steam and creative juices gone wild collide with the impact of the construction crane that nearly …
review by . March 06, 2008
Any New England snowbird can empathize with Edgar Freemantle's instant fascination with the west coast Florida sunset.    "As that light skied upward, orange faded to a breathless Maxfield Parrish blue-green that I had never seen before with my own eyes...and yet I had a sense of déjà vu, as if maybe I had seen it, in my dreams."    Whether it's the novelty of a sunset over water or being closer to the equator or further west in the time zone, there's no denying …
review by . February 21, 2008
When my best friend asked me what makes 'Duma Key' a Stephen King book, I had to think about it. I knew just what she meant: what makes it creepy, scary, where's that touch of the supernatural? I realized that what I had been describing to her didn't sound much like a King novel, and there is reason for that.    This isn't an easy novel to read. Edgar Freemantle, our intrepid protagonist, suffers a pretty horrific accident in the early pages, loses his right arm along with mental …
About the reviewer
Kasia S. ()
Ranked #224
   I’m a total book lover; it eclipses all other hobbies, mainly of the horror genre that embraces all the things that make one sleep with their back to the wall. Horror is a lush terrain … more
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About this book


Renting a house on an eerily undeveloped stretch of the Florida coast after suffering a crippling accident and ending his marriage, construction millionaire Edgar Freemantle obsessively creates works of art that lead him to discover unsettling elements from his landlady's enigmatic family history. Reprint.
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ISBN-10: 1416552510
ISBN-13: 978-1416552512
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Date Published: April 30, 2009
First to Review

"King's Third Act begins"
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