Duma Key

Duma Key

by Stephen King
4.2 568

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Overview

Duma Key by Stephen King

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.

The tenacity of love, the perils of creativity, the mysteries of memory and the nature of the supernatural -- Stephen King gives us a novel as fascinating as it is gripping and terrifying.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416560371
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2008

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Bill Hodges Trilogy—Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel), Finders Keepers, and End of Watch—and the story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. His epic series, The Dark Tower, is the basis for a major motion picture starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It is also now a major motion picture starring Bill Skarsgård. King is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Hometown:

Bangor, Maine

Date of Birth:

September 21, 1947

Place of Birth:

Portland, Maine

Education:

B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970

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Duma Key 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 568 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read most of Mr. Kings books since my fist book read by him called Salem's Lot. Duma Key was his first book to take place out of the New England area. If is not my favorite book written by him but it is in my top five after The Stand, IT, Green Mile and Dreamcatcher. Duma Key is one of those books I would read until I had to put up because I was ready to fall asleep. Just a great, great book.
Kasia_S More than 1 year ago
Ahh... what can I say about Duma Key, other than it being an extraordinary experience, a literary breath of fresh air, a masterpiece of color and texture without any actual paint being used. I guess there are some people out there think it's boring or long but I instantaneously felt a bond with the book and I can say that I absolutely loved it! The writing itself was so colorful and interesting that I enjoyed each and every page, there was in no rush to get to the ending by any means, but I did like the end, it matched the enigmatic feel of the story and it had a lush, tropical feel to it but it was tainted by something dark and eerie and quite frankly very creepy because it was deadly. Those affected could have never imagine their demise, and whether they believed in it or not, it was coming. I was attracted to this book right away, partially because of the cover; it always begged to be read and as an artist it touched my sensors in ways that kept me thinking of it often so I finally had to sit down and read it and also because one of my best friend who started reading it and I had to follow suit so we could enjoy and discuss it together, it as a real threat to read it at the same time and marvel at the unfolding story. Edgar Freemantle is a handicapped man who moves to a mythical island of Duma Key, a place that doesn't exist in reality but seems more real than half the vacation spots I've been in. He rents a salmon colored house and starts painting with his remaining arm, paintings that change his life - at first for the better but later he realizes that his new found gift is very hungry, and it hungers for things most precious to him. His recovery seems to progress until he starts feeling his missing arm, at the same time strange storms are coming to the island and things that shouldn't be real are happening, Edgar knows that his paintings have more power and meaning than he could have ever imagined and it's up to him to solve the mystery that has enshrouded Duma Key for generations and left many skeletons during it's rein. The story jumps off the cliff with an appearance of a ship on the horizon, Edgar knows that its not good news, something strange and deadly is on that ship and the closer it gets to him during those storms the stranger the hold on his sudden artistic talents and the results are quite shocking, but hey they make for great reading. After reading it I can safely say that it's one of my favorite books ever, I even got the hard cover version so I could have the full dust jacket with it's glorious art to see while I read the paperback and carried it with me everywhere. This might not be for everyone, but that's totally fine with me, I loved it and it made an impact on me, I'm sure there are people out there who wont like it, and that's fine, It only makes me feel lucky that I'm not one of them! This story is like an exotic fruit bowl, gorgeous from every angle and full of mouth watering rainbow of flavors. The characters in this tale are extremely realistic, from the kooky and zany to mysterious and deadly, each plays a part that paints such a grand picture that the more I think about it the more I feel the need to read it again, just to dip back into that pool of "ahh.." it creates.. It's really hard to explain but this book was marvelous and it made a bond with my imagination, one that will stay with me for a long time. There is plenty of original mystery and horror and love and growth combined with
Computer_BookLover More than 1 year ago
I love Stephen King books. This is a long reading book, but you can get lost for hours in it. Keeps you enthralled and wanting to find out what happens next. I actually bought it on CD also so that I could work around the house and listen to the story. Excellent.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and didn't want to put it down. However, I only gave it 4 stars because King needed to add a few more details to complete the story for me; and of course I did not appreciate the way certain characters had to die. I actually found the back story of Elizabeth Eastlake so good that I wish King would have spent more time writing about her. I really wanted to know what the main character ever did with the rest of his paintings. Did he sell them or destroy them? I also feel that this book would make a fantastic graphic novel and I would love to look at the art that King so vividly describes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As usual, Stephen King knows how to write a story. "Duma Key" starts off totally different than most of his books in that I began to think he had just gone to "mildly weird" instead of his usual "jerk you off the chair" weird. I was reading along thinking it was just an enjoyable read when the book shifted into more of what you expect from reading Mr. King's books - a story that won't allow you to put the book down. Thank you, Stephen King, for sharing the stories in your head with the rest of us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read and/or listened to all of Mr. King's work and this, I feel, is by far his best work to date. Couple that with John Slattery's dead-on skills at interpreting the characters through his voice as he's reading the story and you've got one memorable experience. I've listened to this book several times now & I find something new each time. As I read in one professional review (and I agree with), King doesn't wander off course in this novel as he sometimes had a tendency to do in his earlier work (I have yet to read "Under the Dome", but one might guess from the sheer size of the novel that some deviation from the main course might take place). The story is to the point, the characters are as memorable as some of my personal favorites (take, Andy Dufresne for example). All in all, a great read/listen.
Jennmarie68 More than 1 year ago
worst attempt was to read The Stand, which I found to be too realistic... So I sat him aside for a while. I'm really glad I got back into him, and Duma Key was a great book to start with. I think this book was brilliant. King writes from Edgar Freemantle's point of view. We get to go through his rehabilitation with him. In the begining I had a hard time understanding what Edgar was trying to say, but as the book goes on and Edgar learns to speak again, and I got used to how he talked I didn't notice the speech problems. The story took me a VERY LONG time to read. I think I bought this one back in March and I just finished it, so just shy of 6 months. Part of this was because I was reading other books and part of it was because the beginning was kind of slow. But once I got about halfway through and was really connected to the story it only took me a few days to finish it. As the story got going, and I started to figure out what was going on, I couldn't stop reading it. I had a few sleepless nights with this one. As usual King's writing takes you on a trip along with the characters. I could see what was going on clear as day. There was very little that I couldn't picture. Even the weird stuff was described so well I could see exactly what King was describing. This was a great book, and I'm glad I stuck it out. 700 pages seemed pretty daunting, but there was so much that made the story that had it been cut to make the book shorter I know I wouldn't have liked this one. If you like Stephen King and haven't read this one go get it, it's well worth it. If you've never read King and think 700 pages is too much just take my word, you won't be disappointed. Just promise you'll read through at least halfway before you decide if you want to finish it or not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My boyfriend bought me a Nook for Christmas. I purchased this book, and had it read in 6 days. Great story. One of Stephen King's best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to admitt I haven't read a King novel in over 25 years. I saw this book on sale and thought I'd give it a try. I liked it. I loved Edgar's relationship with Wireman. I laughed at his relationship with "Red" - you bad bad man. I had some preconceived notion that the book was going to be scary (maybe b/c I read his early books as a youngster) but it was just enjoyable. If you haven't tried King in a while, give it another try.
peptrapp More than 1 year ago
I am an avid Stephen King fan, and this book was another success, but it was also something different from his norm. He's THE master of his genre, but he may have missed a second calling as a comic writer. There were a couple of scenes in this book that had me laughing til I cried. It was wonderful.
WendiKaye More than 1 year ago
Duma Key is vintage King -- meaning it's almost impossible to put this book down once you turn page one. The main character is Edgar Freemantle, a construction company owner, who is still trying to recover from an almost fatal injury caused by a crane at one of his work sites. Yes, the plot does have a ring of familiarity, doesn't it, considering King's own brush with death after being hit by a car a little over ten years ago. The crane accident results in Edgar loosing an arm and in a round about way, his family when brain injury causes Edgar to have bouts of amnesia and anger issues. Edgar's doctor orders a change of scenery to help him in his recovery and something pulls Edgar to south Florida's, Duma Key. While in Duma Key, Edgar picks up a paint brush -- and lets just say, the fun begins. With a small cast of endearing characters and a story-line that simply enthralls, Duma Key will make you think twice about vacationing at the beach this year.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Sometimes I read a long book and wish it were shorter. But reading Stephen King's Duma Key was not one of those times. The story is beautifully plotted and paced, from the slightly off-kilter wonder of the first page-"Pictures are magic, as you know"-to the real-world tragedy of a brain-injured one-armed man, to the fearful, awful revelations around page 600. The heroes in this novel are very real, very wounded people, old enough to know a bit about life, and sad enough to maybe wish they knew less. There's a woman suffering with Alzheimers, sometimes there, sometimes far far away, and sometimes somewhere in between. There's the man who cares for her. And there's the builder turned artist, whose brain injury leaves him struggling for words, whose honesty compels him to blame himself when his family drives him away, and whose pictures come to glorious life in the author's vivid descriptions. There are lessons about forgiveness and hope, about flawed relationships, and love and loss. They're lessons just as valid to the only slightly wounded as to these characters coming to terms with the hurts of their pasts. And there's a beautiful sympathy in the telling. Meanwhile there are undercurrents of whispering fear, childlike requests that hide a child's memories, and grown-up obstinacy that hides an all-too-familiar childlike fear. I loved the characters and wished I could see them healed. But Stephen King is a master of making the most of only partial healing, reflecting the real world in the imaginary, as his character's pictures reflect their own strange truths. Duma Key is a haunting book filled with complex characters, thoughts and images; a long, slow, scary and wonderful read.
Pengiun222 More than 1 year ago
King always, always does a great job of making me feel as if Im "in" the story and along for the ride. I love the bits of knowledge incorporated in all his works. His stories leave me full and satisfied but I always find myself hungry soon after for more. I enjoyed the use of the supernatural and at times, my right arm was itching with Edgars. This story is great inspiration for anyone with creative and or artistic talent that hasnt yet gone public. I had 2 questions at the end of the book but wont post them as it is a crime to ruin the plot or ending for someone else in my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read rhis book, it is so mutha truckin good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent excellent characters. Loved every page. Definitely recommend.
sjs54 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Duma Key and loved it. The way Stephen King writes, I felt like I was there on Duma Key. The characters seem so real and when the bad stuff starts, it sucks you right in. There are very unexpected plot turns that left me in tears. The way Stephen King decribes things, I could feel the pain the people were suffering. Also, things he reference compel me to research further, such as music and art. Great book for your library and I would recommend it for everyone who loves a good, scary story with a touch of sentiment. Buy it now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book and a good twist...
bigedEL More than 1 year ago
a little to long and it seems to drag the plot out, but it was still very enjoyable and I do recommend it, make sure you have a couple of days available when you start it.
foxyCR More than 1 year ago
Mr. King never disappoints. As always a great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. It grabbed me from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. It had the supernatural element tied in well. The way he ties in a story from the past with the present fits perfectly.
Dumbledore_is_my_hero More than 1 year ago
This was one of Stephen King's best works yet. It keep my attention until the very end. The way King fits everyone and everything together is amazing. I have almost everyone of his books. I can't wait until the next one comes out.
Book_Lover67 More than 1 year ago
I've long been a Stephen King fan, especially after reading The Dark Tower series. Two of my other favorites are The Stand and Salem's Lot ... I'm just a hard core fan.

I actually "read" this book on audio, because I'm a single parent and am constantly driving around in my car, and this book really sucked me into it. I'm from West Palm Beach and managed to make it down to the Florida Keys once when I was in high school, and I could just imagine Big Pink, the sunsets on the beach, and other parts of this story. The first half was good, but the last half was better .. totally classic King .. and as soon as I finished listening to it I started it again from the beginning! The reader, John Stattery does an EXCELLENT job of reading the story .. creating believable personas with his talented voice.

Thank you, Stephen and John, for creating a MUST READ masterpiece!

Monique Allaire,
Die-hard Stephen King Fan
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
Edgar Freemantle loses an arm and almost his life in an accident at his construction site. He's left with a 'phantom' limb and an ability to paint. Edgar's wife leaves him and his two daughters are grown so he decides that the change of scenery his doctor recommends sounds pretty good. He's got nothing left to lose....except maybe his sanity. He moves down to the Florida Keys...namely Duma Key. He rents a big pink house literally right on the Gulf Coast and meets a couple of very interesting characters who live down the beach. This is where Edgar discovers his new found artistic talent. This is where he starts effecting reality with his paints. This is where he learns about the Eastlake family from down the beach and how a little girl named Elizabeth once made birds fly upside down and lawn jockeys come to life with her own paintings. Duma Key is magical and horrifying all at once.

Duma Key seems somehow more mature and mellow than his other novels. Maybe it's the change of scenery but this book just seems different. The horror in the novel is more subtle I think and more emphasis is placed on the mystery surrounding the storyline. The storyline by the way is very intriguing....I will file this book under page-turner for sure! I won't go into details about the characters but I will say that the relationship between Edgar and the neighbor man down the beach, Wireman, is beautiful and affecting. Wireman is going down as one of my favorite characters in a King novel. Longtime fans of King as well as people just looking for an eerie and wonderful story should be impressed with Duma Key.
Lidy More than 1 year ago
Old Stephen King. Could not put the book down. Characters were very likable. Enjoyed it very much
Guest More than 1 year ago
SK wrote a lot of great stories, but this one is probably my favorite of all. It has all the ingrediance for a great book. Horror, suspense, funny and all around spooky. I loved it!