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Duma Key

A book by Stephen King

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One of his best

  • Mar 10, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+4
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, and sad enough to maybe wish they knew less. There's a woman suffering with Alzheimers, sometimes there, sometimes far far away, and sometimes somewhere in between. There's the man who cares for her. And there's the builder turned artist, whose brain injury leaves him struggling for words, whose honesty compels him to blame himself when his family drives him away, and whose pictures come to glorious life in the author's vivid descriptions.

There are lessons about forgiveness and hope, about flawed relationships, and love and loss. They're lessons just as valid to the only slightly wounded as to these characters coming to terms with the hurts of their pasts. And there's a beautiful sympathy in the telling. Meanwhile there are undercurrents of whispering fear, childlike requests that hide a child's memories, and grown-up obstinacy that hides an all-too-familiar childlike fear.

I loved the characters and wished I could see them healed. But Stephen King is a master of making the most of only partial healing, reflecting the real world in the imaginary, as his character's pictures reflect their own strange truths.

Duma Key is a haunting book filled with complex characters, thoughts and images; a long, slow, scary and wonderful read.

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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 . June 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 …
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
Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #42
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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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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Details

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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