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Duma Key Mass Market Paperback – Oct 21 2008


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Gifts For Dad
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Canadian Edition edition (Oct. 21 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416599312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416599319
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 3.3 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #121,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

It would be impossible to convey the wonder and the horror of Stephen King's latest novel in just a few words. Suffice it to say that Duma Key, the story of Edgar Freemantle and his recovery from the terrible nightmare-inducing accident that stole his arm and ended his marriage, is Stephen King's most brilliant novel to date (outside of the Dark Tower novels, in which case each is arguably his best work). Duma Key is as rich and rewarding as Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (yes, that Shawshank Redemption), and as truly scary as anything King has written (and that's saying a lot). Readers who have "always wanted to try Stephen King" but never known where to start should try a few pages of Duma Key--the frankness with which Edgar reveals his desperate, sputtering rages and thoughts of suicide is King at the top of his game. And that's just the first thirty pages.... --Daphne Durham


Duma Key: Where It All Began
A Note from Chuck Verrill, the Longtime Editor of Stephen King
In the spring of 2006 Stephen King told me he was working on a Florida story that was beginning to grow on him. "I'm thinking of calling it Duma Key," he offered. I liked the sound of that--the title was like a drumbeat of dread. "You know how Lisey's Story is a story about marriage?" he said. "Sure," I answered. The novel hadn't yet been published, but I knew its story well: Lisey and Scott Landon--what a marriage that was. Then he dropped the other shoe: "I think Duma Key might be my story of divorce."

Pretty soon I received a slim package from a familiar address in Maine. Inside was a short story titled "Memory"--a story of divorce, all right, but set in Minnesota. By the end of the summer, when Tin House published "Memory," Stephen had completed a draft of Duma Key, and it became clear to me how "Memory" and its narrator, Edgar Freemantle, had moved from Minnesota to Florida, and how a story of divorce had turned into something more complex, more strange, and much more terrifying.

If you read the following two texts side by side--"Memory" as it was published by Tin House and the opening chapter of Duma Key in final form- -you'll see a writer at work, and how stories can both contract and expand. Whether Duma Key is an expansion of "Memory," or "Memory" a contraction of Duma Key. I can't really say. Can you?

--Chuck Verrill

"Memory"
Memories are contrary things; if you quit chasing them and turn your back, they often return on their own. That's what Kamen says. I tell him I never chased the memory of my accident. Some things, I say, are better forgotten.

Maybe, but that doesn’t matter, either. That's what Kamen says.

My name is Edgar Freemantle. I used to be a big deal in building and construction. This was in Minnesota, in my other life. I was a genuine American-boy success in that life, worked my way up like a motherf---er, and for me, everything worked out. When Minneapolis–St. Paul boomed, The Freemantle Company boomed. When things tightened up, I never tried to force things. But I played my hunches, and most of them played out well. By the time I was fifty, Pam and I were worth about forty million dollars. And what we had together still worked. I looked at other women from time to time but never strayed. At the end of our particular Golden Age, one of our girls was at Brown and the other was teaching in a foreign exchange program. Just before things went wrong, my wife and I were planning to go and visit her.

I had an accident at a job site. That's what happened. I was in my pickup truck. The right side of my skull was crushed. My ribs were broken. My right hip was shattered. And although I retained sixty percent of the sight in my right eye (more, on a good day), I lost almost all of my right arm.

I was supposed to lose my life, but I didn’t. Then I was supposed to become one of the Vegetable Simpsons, a Coma Homer, but that didn't happen, either. I was one confused American when I came around, but the worst of that passed. By the time it did, my wife had passed, too. She's remarried to a fellow who owns bowling alleys. My older daughter likes him. My younger daughter thinks he’s a yank-off. My wife says she’ll come around.

Maybe , maybe no. That's what Kamen says.

When I say I was confused, I mean that at first I didn’t know who people were, or what had happened, or why I was in such awful pain. I can't remember the quality and pitch of that pain now. I know it was excruciating, but it's all pretty academic. Like a picture of a mountain in National Geographic magazine. It wasn’t academic at the time. At the time it was more like climbing a mountain.

Continue Reading "Memory"

Duma Key
How to Draw a Picture
Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe.

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil... hesitating... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know.

My Other Life
My name is Edgar Freemantle. I used to be a big deal in the building and contracting business. This was in Minnesota, in my other life. I learned that my-other-life thing from Wireman. I want to tell you about Wireman, but first let's get through the Minnesota part.

Gotta say it: I was a genuine American-boy success there. Worked my way up in the company where I started, and when I couldn’t work my way any higher there, I went out and started my own. The boss of the company I left laughed at me, said I'd be broke in a year. I think that's what most bosses say when some hot young pocket-rocket goes off on his own.

For me, everything worked out. When Minneapolis–St. Paul boomed, The Freemantle Company boomed. When things tightened up, I never tried to play big. But I did play my hunches, and most played out well. By the time I was fifty, Pam and I were worth forty million dollars. And we were still tight. We had two girls, and at the end of our particular Golden Age, Ilse was at Brown and Melinda was teaching in France, as part of a foreign exchange program. At the time things went wrong, my wife and I were planning to go and visit her.

Continue Reading Duma Key


--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carol on Feb. 4 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was disappointed in King's book "Lisey's Story" but our library had just gotten "Duma Key" in so I thought I would give it a chance, having read almost all of King's work over the years. I was captured by the first page and could hardly put it down. Great characters and dialogue and without giving away the ending my only disappointment was one person's fate at the end in Mexico. Steven King can still write a great novel where many other modern day writers fail to keep up to their fans expectations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark D. C. Brownlie on Feb. 28 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was really pleased with this latest effort. It was King's best in years. A truly creepy novel filled with the rich characters his fans have come to expect. If you are a King fan you will want to have this in your library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clayton Bye on April 25 2009
Format: Hardcover
Duma Key

By Stephen King, Scribner, 611 pp., $32

Stephen King has built his career by putting ordinary people into the most unusual of situations, slipping horror into many of his stories as naturally as you and I go through our days. "Duma Key," although set in the Florida Keys with a less than ordinary King protagonist, does not disappoint.

Edgar Freemantle, the millionaire contractor who's lost an arm, suffered some serious brain trauma, wrecked one leg and lost his wife, has found himself recuperating on a sparsely inhabited Florida Key with a handfull of interesting characters. Turning to an old skill, Edgar begins sketching and painting as a kind of therapy. But instead a peaceful return to some semblance of normality, he finds himself painting a series of disturbing works, some of which he barely remembers painting.

This being a King story, we automatically look for the fright factor. Is it Edgar's strange paintings, his new friend with the bullet in his head or the strange old woman that lives in a mansion up the road? Bringing us slowly, almost leisurely, into the lives of these people, we begin to sense something is very wrong on Duma Key. Centering on the theme of creativity unleashed by injury to mind and body (something King has worked into several novels since his near death experience in 1999), the maturing author gives us a frightening look at the cost of second chances.

A welcome read after his disappointing novel, "Cell," King returns to the unusual character creation he gave us in "Lisey's Story," and once more takes us masterfully to the edge of our imaginations.

"Duma Key" brings us sea shells that talk, paintings that kill, giant frogs with "teef" and birds that fly upside down. Only King could write a book like this. I'm glad he decided not to retire.

Copyright © 2008 by Clayton Bye
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FeedYourFame on Nov. 10 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Duma Key takes a very leisurely approach to storytelling; for a supposed horror novel it certainly meanders along with enough descriptive prose for at least three other novels. Never has so much amounted to so little. Tough going at the best of times, I started it over a year ago and still have not finished three quarters. A must read for insomniacs with a high boredom threshold.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Edgar Freemantle, a Minnesota construction manager, is recovering from a crane accident that cost him his right arm. Also recovering from the disintegration of his marriage, Edgar rents a house on Florida's Duma Key. He divides his time between physical therapy and a renewed interest in sketching and painting. Edgar's art takes on an eerie quality as he creates haunting scenes he does not understand. And as he begins to paint with his missing right hand.

Edgar progresses along two paths. As planned, he gets on with his recovery. Edgar becomes physically stronger, proving his growing stamina with lengthening walks on the beach each day. He comes to terms with his estranged wife, two adult daughters, and former life in Minnesota. And Edgar makes friends, both on his little island and off. These are solid friendships with interesting people. Some, like Jerome Wireman from down the beach, have their own stories to tell. Others, like his handyman Jack Cantori, reveal little of themselves, but bring stability to Edgar's new life on the Key.

Like others who find themselves in a Stephen King story, Edgar also goes down a darker path. He draws on his terrifying supernatural experiences, his friends' knowledge of the Key's troubled history, and his emerging understanding of his own otherworldly artistic talent. Edgar slowly figures out the evil power confronting him and the rules of the supernatural world Stephen King has drawn around him. Edgar's progress along both paths is braided into a story that binds our attention. Some find the pace slow between the book's scarier events, but this time is well used to show the steady progress of Edgar's physical recovery and deepening friendships.

It surprises no one when this author tells a superior horror tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Misslou on Sept. 16 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have been a King fan since I first read "Carrie" way back in 1974. Until I read "Duma Key", "The Stand" had been my favourite. Now I'm happy to have 2 favs! This book kept me wanting to keep reading. For anyone who has done any sketching and/or painting, you can truly relate to Ed. This is a awesome book and I've already read it again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Lavallee on May 17 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I fell away from Stephen King books for a little while until I read a review that stated this book was a perfect introduction to Stephen King. That reviewer was absolutely correct. Duma Key is a perfect blend of thrills, angst, other worldliness, and subtle humour. Very enjoyable, and highly recommended.
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