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10 thoughts on “Duma Key

  1. says:

    It s funny, I read King s Florida beach novel during a brutally cold Minnesota winter storm Thirty below, not windchill, just straight up bone chilling cold We also got plenty of accompanying snow In this 600 page beast, King still transported me to burning sandy beaches and dangerous tropical storms It begins with a construction site accident, a man horrifically injured and the corresponding confusion, loss, pain, and brutal recovery that accompanies such an accident King published this book in 2008, just about nine years after his experience with a terrible accident that led to his own vicious injuries and ruthless recovery, after a van struck him on one of his walks He clearly draws on his personal experience and it makes his writing on pain and suffering honest and raw The protagonist named Edger leaves his home in the Twin Cities and relocates to the mythical Duma Key to recover physically and emotionally King owns a home in nearby Casey Key, where I m sure he did his own recovery and found inspirations for this book.Somehow the story feels familiar yet extremely different The familiarity comes from a variety of plot lines and themes A sinister supernatural force, slowly revealing itself over the course of the story A protagonist who, like King, is an artist, and finds himself thrust into the spotlight A rich set of characters that come together to support the main character in overcoming the supernatural evil You can see pieces and parts of this story in many of his other works.However, in many ways, it is one of his unique books The location is far from Maine, starting in St Paul, Minnesota, but quickly moving to Florida s gulf coast Just this change in scenery creates an extremely different feel than most of his works The main character is a painter And while King clearly draws on the similarities of writing, this also differentiates this story from the many others where the main character is an author King includes twelve delightful little vignettes titled, How to Draw a Picture , throughout the story These departures really added to my enjoyment.As always King excels at making character s reactions to supernatural events feel believable He also peppers his stories with wonderful observations and little revelations that make his writing so enjoyable Just looking into that mild flat sunlit calm is healing It s a big word isn t it Gulf, I mean Big enough to drop a lot of things into and watch them disappear He also follows his own advice and bravely kills his darlings No spoilers, but he did make the final third of the story hard to swallow for me An event I won t reveal not only made me sad, I felt it made Edger s actions somewhat off at the end It s probably just me, I just hate to even imagine that kind of loss For me it made the first two thirds enjoyable then the end of the book But it s not a bad ending, I just didn t enjoy it as much as I loved the first two thirds.I loved the characters such as Wireman and Jack Jack is a can do, good to the last drop, young friend that falls into Edger s life in Duma Key And Wireman is this unique, kindred spirit, that immediately connects with Edger and has wonderful little sayings throughout the story The three of them make the perfect team and are easy to root for, but also provide genuine concern when they are in peril In the end, this is another magnificent King ghost story, just one with a ghost ship and buried treasure One where you feel like your friend Stephen is telling you, fireside during a thunderstorm It s making the hair on the back of your neck standup, but you don t want it to end This is another example of why I think so many people have such affection for King By the last page, you ll feel like you know him as well as any friend you have, and as Wireman says, that muchacho, can only come from some seriously honest and talented writing.


  2. says:

    DUMA KEY BY STEPHEN KING Most Stephen King fans will admit that the last couple of novels by the international bestselling author, while selling well, have been somewhat lacking coming from the renowned horror writer one might even go so far as to use the term mediocre, and don t get me started on Cell Thankfully, with the arrival of Duma Key, the slate has been wiped clean and the master of horror is back King s first novel set in his alternate home of Florida weighs in at over six hundred pages, and while it reveals a laid back and matured author, with the terrifying days of The Tommyknockers and It perhaps over Duma Key is nevertheless an incredibly well written novel with some wonderfully deep and complex characters, and a world that is just as complicated but in many ways real.Enter Edgar Freemantle An entrepreneur who started a construction company and developed it into a multi million dollar business loving husband of two adult daughters until he is involved in a freak on site accident that should ve killed him, but leaves him missing his right arm, a couple of slowly healing broken ribs, and a damaged mind that results in outbursts of anger and violence The strain becomes too great and Freemantle s marriage falls apart, leaving him an angry, empty shell Seeking escape, he leases a beautiful house on the island of Duma Key While watching the breathtaking sunsets, Freemantle decides to try his hand at some artwork, having sketched a little throughout his life He discovers the he works, the better he gets, soon switching to paints and canvasses he also discovers that painting satisfies the seemingly insatiable itch in his missing right arm Freemantle s work is of the sunsets and the beautiful coastline, along with the occasional abstract object added in to offset it he is eventually tagged as an American Primitive, but as and people discover his work, they are amazed by it and at his first gallery showing all works listed for sale are sold.But beneath the art, there is a sinister plot at work, because this is after all a Stephen King novel Freemantle discovers a psychic ability in his work, painting items he should know nothing about, as well as the eventual power to paint events that come to fruition whether it be the restoring of blindness, or the forced suicide of a serial killer And then there s something wrong with the sold paintings death follows them The plot thickens, deepens, and becomes darker as the enigmatic history of Duma Key is discovered It seems Freemantle isn t the only person in its history to come to the island with a fragile mind and a special ability expressed through art Then there s the south side of the island which has become an overgrown and seemingly impenetrable jungle The last time Freemantle and his daughter, Ilse, took a trip headed in that direction, Ilse immediately felt nauseous and horrible sick, while Freemantle felt the insatiable familiar itch that grew to an unstoppable buzzing upon driving back north, they mysteriously found their ailments disappearing Clearly something evil and powerful doesn t want them getting to the south of the island.Duma Key is not just a novel for the fans, but a cathartic response from King over his near death accident in 1999 no doubt he relived his agonizing recovery while writing about Freemantle, and yet it is because of this firsthand experience, that Duma Key feels much personal and empathetic Also being King s first foray into his new sometime Florida home, one might think his fellow Floridians a little unhappy on this introduction, or being Stephen King, they may feel the opposite and expect this Regardless, Duma Key is a welcome return of the great horror writer, with an extra development of character and setting that King seems to have discovered in his later years, making this book one of his best, and one of my personal favorites.For book reviews, and author interviews, go to BookBanter.


  3. says:

    Every single page is like a lover touching my cheeksometimes it s a caress, and sometimes it s a slapbut every page, every word, has a profound impact upon me I m in the middle of the book, and I m terrified to finish it, but I can t stop turning the pagesJust finished it I heard one reviewer state that it was the best book King had ever written While reviewers have short memories and liberal use of hyperbole, I must admit that this was one of his best he s written While not epic like The Stand, It, or The Dark Tower, it is powerful, insightful, and terrifying Also, the fact that the book is not epic is one of its greatest strengths One of King s self indulgences in the past couple of decades has been his ability to use 1000 pages to write a 500 page story Remember that Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption and The Body were both just novellas In Duma Key, King uses each of the 607 pages with power and efficiency.Another of King s self indulgences has been his treatment of Bryan Smith, the man who hit him during his walk and nearly killed him That same man died a year later from a prescription drug overdose I remember being especially uncomfortable of King s incorporation and depiction of the accident as a key element in one of his stories I HATE spoilers, so either you know what I m talking about or you don t It got to the point where I really started to dislike the man, Stephen King I mean, c mon, let the dead rest.But in this book, King delves into the aftermath of being broken and how being broken made him act and say things that simply were not of his character Noticeably in this story, King only refers to the crane that causes the accident that crushes Edgar Freemantle and sets everything in motion, and he never once speaks of the driver Later in the story as Edgar tests his newfound talents, the test results in the death of a child molester Now, while the bastard certainly had it coming to him, Edgar is overwhelmed with a sense of power, horror, fear, and guilt In this narrative, I believe that King is trying to work through the aftermath of his own brokenness and how it changed him, most noticeably in his treatment of Bryan Smith And an interesting thing happenedI found that I had forgiven King s spite and nastiness during this period of pain and healing.Finally, King puts to words so well what it is like to be brokenwhat it s like to not be yourself and be the monster and victim at the same timeand what it s like to look back on the wake of relationships that will never be the same again Having gone through this myself and I m not out of the woods yet I found myself weeping in sections where King s script perfectly put to words the hopelessness, frustration, and loneliness of a broken person In this book, I found a bit of my own healing realizing that I m not the only one to have dealt with this and coming to terms with the fact that it s not my fault.Was this Stephen King s best book I honestly don t have an answer All I know is that it has had a bigger impact on me than any other work of fiction I ve ever experienced.


  4. says:

    Still every bit as good as I remembered It was red.This must be King s most underrated book, and I ve no idea why Maybe because it was released in 2008 and maybe horror wasn t as cool then and it kind of slipped through the cracks Feels weird calling a book with 70k ratings underrated, but there you go I ve never heard anyone say that Duma Key was up there with the best of King s works After finishing this I certainly will be If this was released earlier in King s career, would it be mentioned as one of his greatest MaybeThis book is creeeeeepy and original The ending is also superb, which isn t always the case in King s books see Under the Dome More than anything, King s ability to create memorable characters and dialogue shines through You need to sit in the chum, sit in the buddy and read this you stupid birch All the stars and perhaps one of my top three King bookswhich is saying something Do the day, and let the day do you


  5. says:

    And this is why adults shouldn t play with dolls Edgar Freemantle used to be the quintessential American success story He was a self made millionaire who built a thriving construction business, and he had a long and happy marriage which produced two daughters However, Edgar s good luck ran out one day when he had a brutal run in with a crane at a job site that cost him an arm, screwed up a leg, and cracked his skull The brain trauma left his eggs slightly scrambled and made him prone to fly into furious rages that his wife couldn t endure so the accident also ends his marriage.While trying to recover from his injuries and the divorce Edgar decides to relocate to Florida and indulge in his long dormant hobby of drawing and painting pictures Edgar rents a house at isolated Duma Key on the Gulf Coast where the gorgeous views and long walks on the beach inspire him to amazing artistic achievements and a rapid recovery of his health In fact, Edgar s progress in both areas could be termed as too good to be true if not downright spooky.I read this for the first time shortly after it was originally released in 2008, and at that time I was intrigued by the story of a damaged man turning to art to heal his body and mind which is a subject that King has intimate knowledge of after being run down by a car King wrote movingly about it in the non fiction On Writing However, I found the supernatural stuff lacking, and I d kinda wished that King had written just a straight up character piece about a guy discovering a latent talent following a tragedy Since then I ve seen what happens when King tries his hand at a non horror genre piece Mr Mercedes so I no longer think that would have been a good idea Overall, I found myself intrigued this time by the supernatural aspects and less enad of the story about Edgar s recovery and development as a painter This is probably because I ve find myself sensitive to the tics of his that I dislike which this has several of.First is that there s a general lack of focus King has always been willing to throw the kitchen sink at a reader, but he really seemed particularly unwilling or unable to pick a path and stick to it here There s elements you see from other stories like Dead Zone with a brain injury leading to weird abilities and there s the ghost story in an isolated locale like The Shining as well as bits and pieces from other King works All of this leads to the typical case of King bloat where it seems like a couple of hundred pages could have easily been shaved from the finished product.The character of Wireman is a prime example of something else I ve grown irritated with in King s work where he creates wise and quirky characters and then fills their mouths with overblown dialogue Here, Wireman frequently refers to himself in the third person, sprinkles his conversations with Spanish jargon, and he s full of meaningless sayings that are treated as profound by Edgar Seriously, if someone ever told me, Do the day, muchacho And let the day do you then I m going to flip them off and walk away Which is a shame because there was much about Wireman in this best friend role other than the way he constantly expressed himself that I really liked.Another King trope that has increasingly irked me in recent years in his habit of creating situations where the characters are fighting the clock but then waste huge amounts of time talking instead of acting In this one there s a point near the end where hell is gonna be unleashed at sunset which is coming fast, and yet Edgar feels that s the ideal time to sit the other characters down and tell them a long rambling story about what he s discovered And then of course they find themselves screwed at sunset How about for once you let them get the job done and save story time for afterwards, Uncle Stevie However, despite these gripes I did enjoy this book King hits the melancholy tone of Edgar, a middle aged man with a broken home and broken body, perfectly Doing one of his stories on a bright Florida beach rather than the spooky Maine woods was a nice change of pace, and it fits the way that there s an underlying tension to all of it There s also an extremely wicked irony at play here in that most of the stuff happening seems like a good thing rather than evil Edgar is healing and he s creating amazing art, and he even uses his newfound abilities to do some good You can see how he s willing to push aside any warning signs because so much of what is happening to him is legitimately changing his life for the better without any of the usual dark down side you d immediately see in most horror books.It s not quite as good as I found it in 2008, but it s still one of the better later era King novels.


  6. says:

    In Duma Key Stephen King taps into extreme mid life crisis and although he stirs it in a bubbling vat of macabre, the core, non magical, element remains What is one to do with one s life Edgar Freemantle struggles with redefining himself after having faced near death trauma, having lost not only his right arm but some of his mental function, and, oh yes, his marriage Have a nice day Luckily for him, and conveniently for the author, he has been a very successful contractor and, having socked away rather large sums, he can afford to take a giant step away from the rubble of his life Eager to heal both body and mind, Edgar opts in to a large beach house on the lightly populated Duma Key This being Stephen King, the beach house and the island itself come with than just sun, sand and surf In short order Freemantle discovers that his amateur s ability for drawing has blossomed into a world class talent for painting Edgar continues to experience sensations in the missing arm, and that feeling seems to connect him with inspiration for his creepy, if inspired canvasses There are dark forces at work, and the paintings Freemantle is cranking out have a little extra in them Down the beach he meets the elderly Elizabeth, owner of most of the Key, and Wireman, her caretaker The three strike up a fast friendship Elizabeth s past is at the center of this tale.Expect creepie crawlies, a few shivers, a puzzle to be figured out, good friends working together to try to do just that, and a powerful resident evil This is a fast paced book I hated to put it down It was fun to read, and scary enough King has a particular fondness for children in his stories, and does not disappoint here, offering not only chapters in which the narrator is a child, but characters both immediate and historical that fit the bill Also, Freemantle s own children, while adult, or near adult, still qualify because of how he feels about them.I did not think that Duma Key was one of his best works But garden variety Stephen King is better than most in this genre He is readable, enjoyable, and taps into enough reality to lend emotional substance to his spook stories A few other SKs we have reviewedUnder the DomeThe ShiningLisey s StoryDoctor Sleep


  7. says:

    Wrap Pet Sematary in a Bag of Bones and you ll have Duma Key Revenants, creepy dolls, paintings that fix the broken, and enough tragedy to fill a swimming pool with tears is what you ll find within these pages The scene at the end with name deleted because spoilers is one of the creepiest heart rending scenes I ve read The descriptions are so well written It truly is masterful The sand coming off her fingers Well, I guess you had to have been there Those of you who have read Duma Key will know of what I speak.This book also has one of my favorite secondary characters ever to show up in a King novel Wireman beats out Trashcan Man for the top honor I like Wireman He s a cool dude Moreover, I could read banter between him and Edgar all day and never get bored of it.If you are one of those who have not felt the draw to read this book, or have never been able to finish it, I really wish you would The level of imagination on display here is impressive King wrote over 50 novels before this one Keep that in mind To still give this much of a shit about his craft after writing that many doorstops Dude, it s just mindboggling.Finally, there are far too many tie ins to the Dark Tower universe to name here especially where the number 19 is concerned but I feel the most important are the obvious ones Roses pop up in a lot of Edgars paintings, and Edgar shares the same gift as Patrick, The Artist from the final book At one point in the book, Edgar thinks of life as a wheel, and there s mention of his daughter hearing a woman talking inside a sink drain For those of you hardcore Tower junkies, you can go to King s website link below and check out all the times 19 shows up, or you can read the bit I copied and pasted below Your choice.Link by Zack There are several references to the Dark Tower Series Edgar refers to himself as a gunslinger pg 433 One of Edgar s major works is Roses Grow from Shells His ex wife tattoos a rose onto her breast Roses are also mentioned several times in the novel The main antagonist wears a red robe similar to that of the Crimson King His daughter s name Ilse Marie Freemantle has 19 letters in it Edgar s E mail is EFree19 and his real estate agent s is SmithReality9505, both of which have numbers the amount to 19, which constant readers will recognize Along with these other 19 s , the first big storm or Alice occurred in 1927, which when added together makes 19 and the flight he takes to Florida is flight 559 Pam s room number is 847 which added together is 19 Edgar s artistic abilities seem to parallel those of Patrick Danville, especially the ability to remove things from reality by drawing and then erasing them Nan Melda loses two fingers on her right hand on a beach, which also happens to Roland Deschain at the beginning of the Drawing of the Three Charley the Lawn Jockey pg 568 shares the name of Charlie the Choo Choo, and the root char, meaning death, also echoed when Edgar thinks about having people sit in the char when he has to think sideways to mean chair In one passage of the book, Edgar compares life to a wheel, in the sense of always coming around to the beginning, one of the main philosophies of the Dark Tower The idea that drawings or paintings can change reality is another recurring motive In summation This book is packed with the magic of storytelling It always surprises me when I hear King fans saying the didn t like this one I honestly believe it is one of his best.Final Judgement Art.


  8. says:

    Awful Cloyingly sentimental, forcedly folksy, sloppily written At first I was hoping that he was doing this on purpose, using the unrealistic dialogue and the instant bonding of the characters to turn it around on us, make us look back and see it as creepy eventually, but it s just bad writing The characters don t act like people, they act like characters in a Stephen King novel When they develop psychic powers, nobody even blinks, and everybody immediately understands how they workbecause these are the things that would happen in a Stephen King novel To an extent he s earned a lot of leeway, and he s still a great natural storyteller, so there s nothing preventing you from reading it it s not the kind of awful where you can t force yourself to read another page Thus two stars But it s just poor work on all sorts of levels.Here s something that particularly bothered me Maybe it s quibbling, but an editor should have caught this, if not the author The first person narrator uses the word febrile on page 248 first time it s appeared in the book On page 249, another character uses it in dialogue It s an uncommon enough word that the reader notices especially since it s out of character for the regular guy narrator If it were ultimately going to be revealed that it s all taking place in the narrator s head, it would be a good, if sort of obvious clue, but because it isn t, it s just a reminder that it s all taking place in the author s head Which, you know, it s sort of his job to avoid.


  9. says:

    How jacked up is it that I m going to say I find Stephen King comforting Yep Pretty jacked up.Then again, I ve been reading him since I was a pre teen or tween, I think that s the proper term for it these days Anyway, when the R.L Stine and Christopher Pike seemed a bit immature, no offense to those authors, I LOVED them as a kid I turned to King.He s what I know insert joke about my psychological issues here After all these years, he still manages to weave a fantastic tale.So, to not give the whole story away, I ll say this A man named suffers a brain injury and loses an arm in an accident he gets hit by a He gets away from his failing marriage in and heads to Duma Key, where he can recover and in peace There, on the island, he discovers he has amazing talent for drawing and painting He creates surreal, haunting art that eventually causes problems Really BIG PROBLEMS Like Naughty, EVIL, art Anyway, he meets and Gets an art exhibition Makes Then tells him to get off the island to and NEVER So then happens and he has to with a few of his new island friends and So they go to and he brings and the next thing you know they see , which is totally fucked up But then he , so that Awesome.AWESOME Thank you again, Mr King., for another great read, and for always being that warped, scary, happy place for me.


  10. says:

    This one gave off a kind of Bag of Bones vibe swell characterizations engaging enough storyline clunky foreshadowing decent, but not thrilling, horror aspects some puzzling plot turns and yet still another disappointing dispatching of a villain and what s with the Slipknot hate, King I m probably in the minority, but I like a lot of King s sober works and this one oddly makes a decent tandem read with Bag of Bones and, of all things, Maugham s The Moon and the Sixpence Cuz it s about painting and creativity and stuff, Jeff Well, yeah, Random Goodreader, but also because they all examine the process of the artist and where, in the sometimes dark recesses of the mind, the creative impetus for that particular muse gets pulled from Plus, Bag of Bones mentions The Moon and the Sixpence a decent amount.Also, Wireman is now a top ten King character and it s what drove the reading experience here characters I gave a damn about.This one isn t on my Cuz Mah Fah says so shelf because she didn t say so, but it very well could have ended up there if in fact, she suggested it.


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Duma Key download Duma Key, read online Duma Key, kindle ebook Duma Key, Duma Key 793367f74727 From The Flap NO MORE THAN A DARK PENCIL LINE ON A BLANK PAGE A HORIZON LINE, MAYBE, BUT ALSO A SLOT FOR BLACKNESS TO POUR THROUGH A Terrible Construction Site Accident Takes Edgar Freemantle S Right Arm And Scrambles His Memory And His Mind, Leaving Him With Little But Rage As He Begins The Ordeal Of Rehabilitation A Marriage That Produced Two Lovely Daughters Suddenly Ends, And Edgar Begins To Wish He Hadn T Survived The Injuries That Could Have Killed Him He Wants Out His Psychologist, Dr Kamen, Suggests A Geographic Cure, A New Life Distant From The Twin Cities And The Building Business Edgar Grew From Scratch And Kamen Suggests Something Else Edgar Does Anything Make You Happy I Used To Sketch Take It Up Again You Need Hedges Hedges Against The Night Edgar Leaves Minnesota For A Rented House On Duma Key, A Stunningly Beautiful, Eerily Undeveloped Splinter Of The Florida Coast The Sun Setting Into The Gulf Of Mexico And The Tidal Rattling Of Shells On The Beach Call Out To Him, And Edgar Draws A Visit From Ilse, The Daughter He Dotes On, Starts His Movement Out Of Solitude He Meets A Kindred Spirit In Wireman, A Man Reluctant To Reveal His Own Wounds, And Then Elizabeth Eastlake, A Sick Old Woman Whose Roots Are Tangled Deep In Duma Key Now Edgar Paints, Sometimes Feverishly, His Exploding Talent Both A Wonder And A Weapon Many Of His Paintings Have A Power That Cannot Be Controlled When Elizabeth S Past Unfolds And The Ghosts Of Her Childhood Begin To Appear, The Damage Of Which They Are Capable Is Truly DevastatingThe Tenacity Of Love, The Perils Of Creativity, The Mysteries Of Memory And The Nature Of The Supernatural Stephen King Gives Us A Novel As Fascinating As It Is Gripping And Terrifying