Wednesday, March 25, 2009 By: Suzanne

Duma Key by Stephen King

I have read a large number of Stephen King's books. I was a semi-fan of his until a friend moved in with me, and then I began reading way too many (or she might think I still haven't read enough)! I like his style. A lot of people who are turned off by King are not opposed to his horror but to his style. They think he gets too wordy and spends too much time on the descriptive stuff. He can spend a fairly long time describing some one's house or the country side so some people get bored. I like it. I'm a visual person and when I read this stuff I can see it in my head like a picture.

Speaking of pictures, this is exactly what Duma Key is mainly about. Edgar Freemantle is the head of a contracting company who is crushed with a crane. When his wife asks for a divorce, he takes the advice of his shrink and heads out of town for awhile. The place he picks is a little island just off the Tampa/St. Pete area of Florida. Now I lived in this area and when King states at the end that he took liberties with the Florida geography in the book, he's not kidding. Somehow this didn't seem to bother me so much. It wasn't so overtly done that it would be annoying to those that are familiar with the area. The island, Duma Key, is not a real place but the picture King paints of it is very detailed and beautiful. It makes me wish it was! Edgar has some artistic ability before he arrives at Duma but it is greatly enhanced by the mysterious supernatural power (it IS Stephen King guys!) that emanates on the island. From the back of the book:

After a terrible construction site accident severed his right arm, scrambled his mind, and imploded his marriage, the wealthy Minnesota builder faces the ordeal of rehabilitation alone and enraged. Renting a house on a stunningly beautiful and eerily undeveloped splinter off the Florida coast, Edgar slowly emerges from his prison of pain to bond with Elizabeth Eastlake, a sick old woman whose roots are tangles deep in Duma Key. And as he heels, he paints - feverishly, compulsively, his exploding talent both a wonder and a weapon. For Edgar's creation are not just paintings but portals for the ghosts of Elizabeth's past...and their power cannot be controlled.

I have to say that this is probably the first King novel where the main character is not my favorite person. I just love the friend he makes on Duma, Wireman. Wireman in my imagination is a very large (tall and muscular not fat) black man with a very soft voice. I honestly can't remember if he described as being black but, even though he speaks a lot of Spanish throughout the book, that's how I picture him. If this were to ever be a movie I could see Michael Clarke Duncan playing him. The funny thing is, I do remember that Edgar psychiatrist IS described as a very large (fat) black man with a voice like James Earl Jones but for some reason I didn't see him that way in my head! It's funny what our imaginations do when we're reading.

I really enjoyed this book and am glad I finally picked it up again after all this time. There were parts of the story I simply could not stop thinking about when I put it down and never once had to remind myself what was happening if I spent more than a day away from it (as sometimes happens with books that don't make an impression). The weird part for me was that 200 pages before the end of the book, I felt that the story was ending. It's not that there was another part of the story beginning, it really did end for 200 pages. I still enjoyed the 200 pages but kind of had the feeling of "isn't this over yet?"

If you have ever enjoyed a Stephen King book, pick this up. You will love it!


Ruthanne said...

Plah! Yuck!

No, thank you. :D

I am SO not into scary stuff - too much of a chicken. ;D

Tonya said...

haha! I love psychological thrillers like Stephen King but not really into horror movies because most of them are slasher (i.e gross) not actual horror.

Kristi said...

When I was a teenager I read a lot of Stephen King stuff (luckily, my parents were not readers, so they didn't really monitor what I was reading!) I picked up Duma Key last fall after not reading him for years and loved it! You did a great review.

Tonya said...

Thanks! I always wonder if the books I like get a good enough review. I'm more critical of books I don't like but I'm able to give concrete reasons why. With the books I like, I'm afraid it's simply to going to sound like "Book was good."