Duma Key Mass Market Paperback – Oct 21 2008
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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?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Stephen King RULES. This novel right up there in the "cannt put it down" category. The characters are believable,compelling and entertaining.
I loved it!
I couldn't finish it, my mind kept wandering. It's just so much woffle woffle woffle like wading through a field of dead leaves, looking for anything that might catch one's... Read morePublished 10 months ago by BB2Shoes
This is a little bit different. The premise is supernatural but believable. The supporting cast are really wonderful characters you really care about. Scary but heartbreaking.Published 14 months ago by Mr.Bingley
Different and thought provoking ...... a great story with characters we learn to know.Published 16 months ago by Teresa
Once again, Stephen King demonstrates his genius story-telling abilities! Awesome goose-bumps causing twists with a story about family, and friendships woven into it! Read morePublished on April 27 2013 by Amazon Customer
I listened to Duma Key when it was first released and thoroughly enjoyed the story and the audio version. John Slattery's voice is absolutely perfect for the role. Read morePublished on June 16 2010 by Jeffrey Swystun
I feel horrible that I spent a week reading this. I did a lot of reading during said week; probably could have finished 4 novels in the time this one took. Read morePublished on March 28 2010 by Brad Fast