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Duma Key: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – October 21, 2008
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Amazon Significant Seven, January 2008: 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?
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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The supernatural component, though it exists throughout the book, the horror is not so on the face. Instead we get to spend a lot more time with Edgar Fremantle and wireman, two of the most colorful characters in king's universe. The rise of their friendship is palpable and lends almost a sitcom like feel-goodness to the plot, which feels surreal considering the grimness that we know is coming.
The ending is sort of simplistic, but it's all right. I wish the villain was a stronger and not quite as easy to overcome. But it's a nice change to the otherwise elaborate ruses to defeat the supernatural
Overall, this is one of the better king books for me.
Still, it is a Stephen King book. It's full of heavy handed premonitions and spoils itself in a way that only King seems to do. Maybe spoil is a bit harsh. Those mini spoilers he tends to pepper throughout his books do a nice job of pulling the reader along, but there were a couple in this book that were maybe a bit extreme and felt heavy handed.
In typical King form, he bashes Republicans as closed minded morons, while being very closed minded himself. That portion of the Stephen King formula is old and stale indeed. I could do without the preaching in his books. He's one of the few liberals I'll give a pass to though, because his stories are so well crafted. His slams on Republicans are predictable, boring, and are also heavy handed.
Doesn't sound like I'm giving this a 4 out of 5 am I? Truthfully, if he had expanded on the art section of this book a bit more, it likely would have been a five. I won't spoil anything here, but I will say that I wanted that section to go on longer than it did. It left me a bit unsatisfied with the ending. That too is typical of King (Dark Tower series, I'm looking sadly at you).
As I tell my wife though, King books are about the journey, and this one is WELL worth the read.
Most recent customer reviews
It should have been a better ending. Love Stephen Kings novels!! On to the next one.