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Duma Key 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 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 workbecaus 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 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 bo 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 foundinspirations 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 hisunique 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 thirdsenjoyable 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 We can t imagine time running out, and God punishes us for what we can t imagine Duma Key focuses on the story of Edgar Fremantle, a self made millionaire who becomes injured at work after a crane crushes his pickup truck Following the loss of his arm, amidst other injuries, Edgar becomes a little too much for his wife to handle and she asks for a divorce He leaves behind his wife and two daughters and heads off to Duma Key, a stunning but eerily quiet stretch of the coast where he has rente We can t imagine time running out, and God punishes us for what we can t imagine Duma Key focuses on the story of Edgar Fremantle, a self made millionaire who becomes injured at work after a crane crushes his pickup truck Following the loss of his arm, amidst other injuries, Edgar becomes a little too much for his wife to handle and she asks for a divorce He leaves behind his wife and two daughters and heads off to Duma Key, a stunning but eerily quiet stretch of the coast where he has rented a house Very quickly upon his arrival, he encounters the charismatic Wireman and the old lady he looks after Elizabeth Eastlake Although suffering from dementia, Elizabeth s tragic and heartbreaking history begins to unfold, while at the same time, Edgar finds himself able to paint striking, haunting pictures However, the ability to paint such pictures seems to come from some other outside forceIt s been a while since I posted a book review three weeks to read Duma Key But let me emphasise that this was due to being busy and not because I wasn t engrossed in this story This book is held with high regard amongst the King community on bookstagram and pretty soon after starting this book, I realised why This book easily has two of King s most likeable characters in Edgar and Wireman What a duo Their friendship just lifts up from the page from the get go There s just a real respect and love there and the lengths they will go to for each other and for their friendship is pretty astounding I think these two characters are a huge part of what makes this book so enjoyable And what makes their inclusion evenfascinating is that they re just pretty normal guys Normal guys going through a kinda crazy situation King s ability to build a story based on his characters is simply unparalleled In addition to the friendship between Edgar and Wireman, the relationship between Edgar and his daughter, Ilse, is just so sweet and believable King clearly draws on his real life relationships when putting his character s relationships on page, which explains why they re just so real and touching Heart eyes.As for the story itself, it was captivating From the very beginning, I just had no idea where King was going to go with this one, and I was kept guessing for the majority of the book The story actually gets pretty scary at times, there s some parts that made my hairs stand on end and were quite unsettling I quite enjoyed the supernatural force at work within Duma Key, I liked the story behind it and thought King executed it perfectly I also feel like King was commenting on the mixed blessing that comes with having an artistic talent and how often such talents come with their own drawbacks.Now I am not one for locations such as the Floria coast, I m not a beach kinda gal, but King really sells Duma Key to me The location of this novel is GORGEOUS His descriptions of sunsets and the beach and the house itself is just beautiful He builds a real atmosphere, and if it wasn t for the scary forces at play, I d move to Duma Key, like yesterday.As for the ending PERFECT King s endings are often criticised but this one cannot be faulted, for me, personally The book continually built up to a crescendo and didn t fall at the final hurdle This one will stay with me for a long time, and has even forced itself into my top 5 King books Outstanding.Edit reread June 2020 Still holds up Love this book Just 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 w Just 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

  • Hardcover
  • 611 pages
  • Duma Key
  • Stephen King
  • English
  • 02 September 2019
  • 1416552510

About the Author: Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father s family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support After Stephen s grandparents passed away, Mrs King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966 From his sopho year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate He came to support the anti war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional He graduated in 1970, with a B.A in English and qualified to teach on the high school level A draft board examination immediately post graduation found him 4 F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students they married in January of 1971 As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men s magazines.Stephen made his first professional short story sale The Glass Floor to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967 Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men s magazines Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.


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