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Duma Key: A Novel by Stephen King

Duma Key: A Novel (edition 2008)

by Stephen King (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,221215943 (3.9)2 / 369
Title:Duma Key: A Novel
Authors:Stephen King (Author)
Info:Scribner (2008), Edition: Reprint, 801 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Duma Key by Stephen King

  1. 40
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (suppenkasperli)
    suppenkasperli: if you love this book, you WILL love the passage
  2. 30
    Bag of Bones by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Similar stories, but I liked Bag of Bones better.

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English (206)  Finnish (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
This was a good, solid Stephen King. I like the focus on a person gaining a power after a permanent physical injury. The setting added a lot of atmospheric creepiness to the novel, and King, as always, let the horror build and build. ( )
  DrApple | Oct 11, 2018 |
A great book. I have stayed in Florida -on the west coast- so I know the area well. Rings true, esp
the art melee which has a well-described art dealer. Nifty read. The magic occurs later in the novel and only uses up a hundred pages or so.

ringstrue ( )
  annbury | Sep 11, 2018 |
I've been a longtime fan of Stephen King, but usually I prefer his more books geared toward horror, like The Stand and The Shining. My views have been swayed, however, with reading some of his more recent and thought-provoking novels, including Bag of Bones, and of course this one, Duma Key. I realized that Stephen King is not just a master of horror, but a master of literature, and an extraordinary story teller. I love his clear and often witty use of dialogue among characters, and the way all parts of his book flow together so well. You won't be disappointed with this book. ( )
  Vivian_Metzger | Jul 25, 2018 |
Edgar Freemantal is a man who suffered from a terrible work accident and left him scared, without an arm and mentally fractured. In what he comes to call his "second life" he moves to a small section of the Florida Keys called Duma Key, located near the Gulf of Mexico. On Duma, his "second life" consists of meeting his new neighbors and discovering his aptitude for painting. There is more than a therapeutic power in his new painting abilities he soon discovers...but as with any power, it holds many of its own dangers. ( )
  Emery_Demers | May 14, 2018 |
I liked the interaction between the two main characters. The story was a little thin in the beginning, which, at least in my eyes, makes the wife out to be very cold hearted for divorcing this poor crippled man. The only thing it was missing (and maybe he's gotten cynical in his old age) is the little touch of a happy ending that keeps a story from being too depressing. In books like these you really need that. "Rita Hayworth..." had it. Even "IT" had it (Audra wakes up...yeah!). But "Duma Key" didn't. It deliberately ended on a sad note, which is unfortunate. Otherwise, it was a great book. ( )
  bekkil1977 | Feb 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
Great book! SK always brings it home to me!!
added by Sujo2 | editHuman Being, SJ Darling (Jun 9, 2012)
Sometimes, you hardly know where to begin. And so it is with "Duma Key," latest in a gloriously long line of tales from the uber-popular Stephen King.
There are bad accidents, and there are horrible accidents, and horror novelist Stephen King knows about the worst kind.
added by stephmo | editUSA Today, Carol Memmott (Jan 22, 2008)
Stephen King’s “Duma Key” ventures to an all-but-uninhabited Florida island where the shells groan at high tide, tennis balls appear unexpectedly, foliage grows ominously quickly, and at least one heron flies upside-down. Given this combination of author and setting, it’s inevitable that something terribly undead will show up before the book is over.
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Jan 21, 2008)
When Stephen King wrote Misery in 1987, making the hero a writer was an unusual departure for him. Recently, however, centring his novels on creative types has become a habit. In Cell, the protagonist is a comic-book artist. Lisey’s Story involves a dead author whose widow struggles to protect his legacy. And Duma Key’s narrator, Edgar Freemantle, is a painter whose work gives him paranormal powers – to know everything about people hundreds of miles away, to predict events, even to heal or kill someone.
added by stephmo | editLondon Times, John Dugdale (Jan 20, 2008)

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
John SlatteryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simmons, JoieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Memory...is an international rumor.
--George Santayana
Life is more than love and pleasure,
I came here to dig for treasure.
If you want to play you gotta pay
You know it's always been that way,
We all came to dig for treasure.
--Shark Puppy
For Barbara Ann and Jimmy
First words
How to Draw a Picture (I)
Start with a blank surface.
Love conveys its own psychic powers, doesn't it? (Edgar Freemantle)
Parenthood is the greatest of the Hum a few bars and I’ll fake it skills. (Edgar Freemantle)
I can do this. (Edgar Freemantle)
Oouuu, you nasty man!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary
Haunted memories

channeled through oil pastels

kept on the Gulf.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743569741, Audio CD)

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?

--Chuck Verrill

Memories are contrary things; if you quit chasing them and turn your back, they often return on their own. That's what Kamen says. I tell him I never chased the memory of my accident. Some things, I say, are better forgotten.

Maybe, but that doesn’t matter, either. That's what Kamen says.

My name is Edgar Freemantle. I used to be a big deal in building and construction. This was in Minnesota, in my other life. I was a genuine American-boy success in that life, worked my way up like a motherf---er, and for me, everything worked out. When Minneapolis–St. Paul boomed, The Freemantle Company boomed. When things tightened up, I never tried to force things. But I played my hunches, and most of them played out well. By the time I was fifty, Pam and I were worth about forty million dollars. And what we had together still worked. I looked at other women from time to time but never strayed. At the end of our particular Golden Age, one of our girls was at Brown and the other was teaching in a foreign exchange program. Just before things went wrong, my wife and I were planning to go and visit her.

I had an accident at a job site. That's what happened. I was in my pickup truck. The right side of my skull was crushed. My ribs were broken. My right hip was shattered. And although I retained sixty percent of the sight in my right eye (more, on a good day), I lost almost all of my right arm.

I was supposed to lose my life, but I didn’t. Then I was supposed to become one of the Vegetable Simpsons, a Coma Homer, but that didn't happen, either. I was one confused American when I came around, but the worst of that passed. By the time it did, my wife had passed, too. She's remarried to a fellow who owns bowling alleys. My older daughter likes him. My younger daughter thinks he’s a yank-off. My wife says she’ll come around.

Maybe , maybe no. That's what Kamen says.

When I say I was confused, I mean that at first I didn’t know who people were, or what had happened, or why I was in such awful pain. I can't remember the quality and pitch of that pain now. I know it was excruciating, but it's all pretty academic. Like a picture of a mountain in National Geographic magazine. It wasn’t academic at the time. At the time it was more like climbing a mountain.

Continue Reading "Memory"

Duma Key
How to Draw a Picture
Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe.

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil... hesitating... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know.

My Other Life
My name is Edgar Freemantle. I used to be a big deal in the building and contracting business. This was in Minnesota, in my other life. I learned that my-other-life thing from Wireman. I want to tell you about Wireman, but first let's get through the Minnesota part.

Gotta say it: I was a genuine American-boy success there. Worked my way up in the company where I started, and when I couldn’t work my way any higher there, I went out and started my own. The boss of the company I left laughed at me, said I'd be broke in a year. I think that's what most bosses say when some hot young pocket-rocket goes off on his own.

For me, everything worked out. When Minneapolis–St. Paul boomed, The Freemantle Company boomed. When things tightened up, I never tried to play big. But I did play my hunches, and most played out well. By the time I was fifty, Pam and I were worth forty million dollars. And we were still tight. We had two girls, and at the end of our particular Golden Age, Ilse was at Brown and Melinda was teaching in France, as part of a foreign exchange program. At the time things went wrong, my wife and I were planning to go and visit her.

Continue Reading Duma Key

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Renting a house on the Florida coast after suffering a crippling accident and ending his marriage, construction millionaire Edgar Freemantle creates works of art that lead him to discover unsettling elements from his landlady's enigmatic family history.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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