DUMA KEY is the engaging, fascinating story of a man who discovers an incredible talent for painting after a freak accident in which he loses an arm. He moves to a 'new life' in Duma Key, off Florida's West Coast; a deserted strip, part beach, part weed-tangled, owned by a patroness of the arts whose twin sisters went missing in the 1920s. Duma ...
DUMA KEY is the engaging, fascinating story of a man who discovers an incredible talent for painting after a freak accident in which he loses an arm. He moves to a 'new life' in Duma Key, off Florida's West Coast; a deserted strip, part beach, part weed-tangled, owned by a patroness of the arts whose twin sisters went missing in the 1920s. Duma Key is where out-of-season hurricanes tears lives apart and a powerful undertow lures lost and tormented souls. Here Freemantle is inspired to paint the amazing sunsets. But soon the paintings become predictive, even dangerous. Freemantle knows the only way forward is to discover what happened to the twin sisters - and what is the secret of the strange old lady who holds the key? The story is about friendship, about the bond between a father and his daughter. And about memory, truth and art. It is also is a metaphor for the life and inspiration of a writer, and an exploration of the nature, power and influence of fiction.
I'm a lifelong King fan, and have read literally EVERYTHING he's written. Mr. King never disappoints, as Duma Key has the same great character development as all previous King novels. I was relieved that there were no awkward molestation/underage intimacy themes (which were prevalent in King's books there for a while). The details in his descriptions of the characters' surroundings makes it possible to almost SMELL the plants and HEAR the ocean! This isn't my favorite of King's works and it irritates me mightily when he injects his political beliefs, but all in all not a bad story. Bring on the next book!
Jul 7, 2009
Another Half Masterpiece
Like many Stephen King efforts, Duma Key is a novel rattling around in a horror story. Or, possibly, it?s the other way around.
At its best, Duma is a buddy story, a portrait of two physically and mentally battered men seeking healing and redemption in friendship, art and ocean air. Mr. King obviously draws on his own physical rehab and his pain endows the story with grit and honesty. Of course, this is a Stephen King story, so witches and specters and malfeasances must muck around in an otherwise decent story. As a suspense writer, I find Mr. King highly overrated. A very few thrills are broken up by long stretches of chatty dialogue and tedious e-mail exchanges.
King?s strength is in writing about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, however, and the characters in Duma Key are particularly vivid. Freemantle?s battle with physical pain and anger, Wireman?s explosive secret and even Mrs. Eastlake?s losing battle against Alzheimer?s are all beautifully drawn and plot enough for most novels.
I suspect some clever screenwriter will rework the ending, write out the evil witches and haunted house, and end up with an Oscar. Until then, we?re left another half masterpiece.
Dec 3, 2008
Wow! What a read. And boy what a ride!
This was my first Stephen King novel. I have always been apprehensive about his books because of their reputation for being SO frightening. As one who scares easily, I just stayed away from them. But I always felt I was missing out on a big piece of American pop culture so I decided on Duma Key as a good, middle-of-the-road scary book; scary, but not TOO scary. Turns out I was right. It gave me just the right amount of thrill without causing me to have to put it down in the middle and think every noise in the house is some evil, lurking THING out to get me! What captivated me about the book is Mr. King's talent for explaining the inner workings of someone's mind, their thoughts, fears, and creative processes, and this book is all about the creative process. You learn how a terribly injured person, who would almost rather die than keep living, straps on the belt of endurance and prepares for a hellava ride. Not only does he survive, but becomes better. I highly recommend this book.
Jul 24, 2008
Only Stephen King...
I am a long time King fan and was really excited when he came out with this latest book. As always, he draws you into the center of his story, making it almost impossible not to know what happens next, while at the same time impossible to guess what happens next! So, you have to keep reading to find out. These characters, Edgar, Wireman and Jack, will live with me forever. I have met people and thought "that's Wireman!" or "that's Jack!" These guys have forever become ingrained in my head, along with Duma Key itself. Wonderful story by the master. You might find it a little slow at first but stay with it and I promie you'll love the ride!!!
Apr 27, 2008
For King followers
Yes, I would recommend the book to someone who is captured by the imagination of Stephen King. For myself, after Lisey's Story, which I could not finish, I swore off King. Then I gave "one more chance" to this, his newest novel. Maybe I was being unfair on the basis of one book. On Duma Key in Florida, a severely injured protagonist finds in his newly discovered artistic talent, a squirmy power to alter reality through his work on canvas. He takes a long time to realize that he is in thrall to the dark story of the Key, and that his empowerment is a terrible captivity. Here we have the paranormal, the personifications of evil, the imaginative color and the twisting plot line of the author. But even though I kept going to the end--a fine end, given the premises on which it builds--my problem persisted: I don't find his work interesting; the magic does not work for me. I was left with questions of just what in this genre appeals to so many people. For many it is, judging by the number of his sales. Why does it work for those who are devoted to it? You can hold his archetypal world up to the light--and light is a theme of this particular work--and stumble around in the human psyche, asking what attracts and why, by what are so many minds and emotional inner forces being drawn. As my father used to say, "It gives one furiously to think."
Publishers Weekly, 2008-02-25 King's latest novel is a fantastically eerie tale in line with his best psychological thrillers. John Slattery offers a triumphal performance-his firm, gripping tone perfectly suits this story of the darker side of human memory and creativity. The characters are each so different and complicated, creating a challenge for even the most seasoned narrator. But Slattery does the near-impossible and physically becomes Edgar Freemantle. In fact, the two become so inseparable the listener almost feels guilty listening to his heartfelt confessions. King's vision of Freemantle's fictional personal memoir demands a narrator so believable and solid in his delivery that it seems almost impossible. But Slattery creates a truly moving experience, commanding and truthful. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Reviews, Dec., 10). (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2007-12-10 In bestseller King's well-crafted tale of possession and redemption, Edgar Freemantle, a successful Minnesota contractor, barely survives after the Dodge Ram he's driving collides with a 12-story crane on a job site. While Freemantle suffers the loss of an arm and a fractured skull, among other serious injuries, he makes impressive gains in rehabilitation. Personality changes that include uncontrollable rages, however, hasten the end of his 20-year-plus marriage. On his psychiatrist's advice, Freemantle decides to start anew on a remote island in the Florida Keys. To his astonishment, he becomes consumed with making art-first pencil sketches, then paintings-that soon earns him a devoted following. Freemantle's artwork has the power both to destroy life and to cure ailments, but soon the Lovecraftian menace that haunts Duma Key begins to assert itself and torment those dear to him. The transition from the initial psychological suspense to the supernatural may disappoint some, but even those few who haven't read King (Lisey's Story) should appreciate his ability to create fully realized characters and conjure horrors that are purely manmade. (Jan. 22) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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