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Thursday, March 14, 2019

REVIEW: Duma Key by Stephen King

Duma Key
by Stephen King

Publisher: Scribner
Publish Date: January 22, 2008
Kindle Edition
801 Pages
Genre: Horror

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 devastating.

My Review:

I did it! I finally made it through this monster of a book.  I actually started this last month for a group read but fell behind so almost a month later - TA DA!

King has been with me through my childhood straight through to my adult years and his books always hold a special place in my heart.  This one reminded me a lot of Bag of Bones, which is in my top 5 of all King books I've read.  I didn't find this one particularly scary or horrifying.  Instead, I found it to be more of character pieces while we learned about Edgar, Wireman, Elizabeth, Ilse.. etc.  I especially loved Edgar's relationship with his daughter, Ilse.  It reminded me a lot of the relationship I have with my Dad.  But nothing can compare to the friendship between Edgar and Wireman - I actually think Wireman is my favorite character! Their banter was SO much fun to read.  Muchacho.

I've heard this has a thousand tie ins to the Dark Tower series but I haven't finished my journey yet so didn't pick up on ANY of them.  ONE DAY!! And this is one of the things I love about King - is the interweaving of all his books in some way or another. 

Duma Key is subtle horror with a touch of supernatural.  A door stopper of a book, King takes his sweet time letting us readers get to know his characters.  When I was younger, I felt these long winded tellings were TOO much and overly descriptive (and to be honest, sometimes now I do feel the same way).  I think this book sets everything up perfectly - we need all those pages to really get a grasp on the subtlety in which things start happening. I'll tell you one thing, this book has not made my hatred for dolls subside in any way, shape or form.

Ultimately, I am once again astounded by King and his ability to keep me interested for 800+ pages.


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