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Duma Key

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  55,886 ratings  ·  3,571 reviews
Six months after a crane crushes his pickup truck and his body self-made millionaire Edgar Freemantle launches into a new life. His wife asked for a divorce after he stabbed her with a plastic knife and tried to strangle her one-handed (he lost his arm and for a time his rational brain in the accident). He divides his wealth into four equal parts for his wife, his two daug ...more
Hardcover, 609 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by Scribner Book Company (first published January 1st 2008)
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The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
26th out of 123 books — 2,155 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerThe Host by Stephenie MeyerThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Best Books of 2008
30th out of 1,360 books — 6,770 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alex Telander
DUMA KEY BY STEPHEN KING: Most Stephen King fans will admit that the last couple of novels by the international bestselling author, while selling well, have been somewhat lacking coming from the renowned horror writer; one might even go so far as to use the term “mediocre,” and don’t get me started on Cell. Thankfully, with the arrival of Duma Key, the slate has been wiped clean and the master of horror is back! King’s first novel set in his alternate home of Florida weighs in at over six hundre ...more
Jake Kern
Feb 10, 2008 Jake Kern rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who's ever been broken.
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Every single page is like a lover touching my cheek...sometimes it's a caress, and sometimes it's a slap...but every page, every word, has a profound impact upon me. I'm in the middle of the book, and I'm terrified to finish it, but I can't stop turning the pages...

...Just finished it. I heard one reviewer state that it was the best book King had ever written. While reviewers have short memories and liberal use of hyperbole, I must admit that this was one of his best he's written. While not epic
...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
How jacked up is it that I'm going to say I find Stephen King comforting?

Yep. Pretty jacked up.

Then again, I've been reading him since I was a pre-teen (or tween, I think that's the proper term for it these days). Anyway, when the R.L Stine and Christopher Pike seemed a bit immature, (no offense to those authors, I LOVED them as a kid!) I turned to King.

He's what I know.

(insert joke about my psychological issues here)

After all these years, he still manages to weave a fantastic tale.


So, to not g
...more
Howard
Awful. Cloyingly sentimental, forcedly folksy, sloppily written. At first I was hoping that he was doing this on purpose, using the unrealistic dialogue and the instant bonding of the characters to turn it around on us, make us look back and see it as creepy eventually, but it's just bad writing. The characters don't act like people, they act like characters in a Stephen King novel. When they develop psychic powers, nobody even blinks, and everybody immediately understands how they work...becaus ...more
Will Byrnes
In Duma Key Stephen King taps into extreme mid-life crisis and although he stirs it in a bubbling vat of macabre, the core, non-magical, element remains. What is one to do with one’s life? Edgar Freemantle struggles with redefining himself after having faced near-death trauma, having lost not only his right arm but some of his mental function, and, oh yes, his marriage. Have a nice day. Luckily for him, and conveniently for the author, he has been a very successful contractor and, having socked ...more
Lisa
Mar 03, 2008 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Just about anyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gary
This book is a return to King in his classic style. The writing was tight and concise, umlike some of his 90s material which tended to ramble a bit. He claims to be writing more slowly as he ages, and tyhis is working in his favor. This book capitalizes on the author’s ability to create likable characters that we care about, foreshadow tragedy, and establish settings that can drive the story when the plot lags.
The story focuses on Edgar, a protagonist that has suffered a tragedy and goes to an i
...more
Jon
I wasn’t far into reading Duma Key before it dawned on me that there was, quite possibly, something very important about this novel. It’s no secret that King was almost killed in a car accident in 1999 and, for quite some time afterwards, there was doubt whether he would ever recover enough to be able to write again. The author himself even gave voice to the idea that he was considering the very distinct possibility of retirement, because of the constant pain he’d suffered from since the event. ...more
Becky
I've read a lot of King. I read a lot of King, and this is among his best. I know some people feel that after his accident he lost his touch for the creeping horror that made him famous, but I assure you that is not the case. This book proves that King not only still has it, he's still improving.

I listened to this on audio, and I'm sure that lent something to the suspense, but I'm very glad that I did. (I downloaded from Audible, and each part was preceded by music that is creepy on its own. I'
...more
Kasia S.
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 ...more
Imogen
More literal magical negros than we usually mean when we use that phrase (although this one shows teaches white people things too), more classic-rock-oriented tragic heroes than you see in Sophocles, and arche/stereotypes so predictable and effective that you're totally sucked in even as you're laughing at the dialogue and the plot twists: you know when you are reading Stephen King.

I'm glad I started reading him when I was little and I liked everything, instead of now that I am old and I hate e
...more
Alan
It must be nice to be Stephen King. Everything you write is automatically a bestseller -- no editor or publisher will ever tell you "no." But the flipside of such omnipotence is also evident in this book.
A building contractor from Minnesota has an awful accident in which he loses one arm and also suffers brain injuries from which he slowly recovers. His wife leaves him so he moves to an almost deserted Florida key and begins painting strange works of genius. It turns out that evil has awakened i
...more
Jamie
In preparation for doing this review of Stephen King's latest, I did some poking around and read some other reviews on the 'net and was surprised to find that a lot of people like it. I, despite being a King fanboy, didn't care for it that much. It's gotten to be that King barely writes what you can fairly call horror books anymore. That's his prerogative, of course (roaring, scarcely imaginable success has its privileges), but between this, Blaze, Cell, Lisey's Story, and The Colorado Kid it's ...more
Kealan Burke
Feb 19, 2008 Kealan Burke rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans
In many circles, Stephen King's last novel LISEY'S STORY is considered his masterpiece. I couldn't get past the 50 page mark, the gauge by which I judge the readability of a book. This is not to say that it isn't a classic. We've all put down books with a snort of disgust only to try again sometime later and realize them for the great works that they are (or, in some cases, are not.)

Before LISEY'S STORY came CELL, and while I found it entertaining and worth reading, I didn't consider it a good
...more
John Wiswell
Aug 22, 2008 John Wiswell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans, surrealist readers, magical realism readers, modern Fantasy readers
Recommended to John by: Flea
If Stephen King had died fifty years ago and left all these books for us to read whenever and in whatever order, I wouldn’t have placed this one in the twilight of his career. This would have gone in the “good and thoughtful” pile. I guess being hit by a car helped him write Edgar, the man who lost an arm, mangled a leg and lost part of his mind to a construction accident. Edgar is our sympathetic narrator, who stumbles out of a marriage that couldn’t survive the accident even if he did, and mov ...more
Kathryn
Another great book by Stephen King. My only complaint about it is, sometimes, once the real story got going, about Nan Melda, the girls, the 'supernatural' stuff going on, it got a little confusing, or I felt like it needed to be clearer. Maybe that's just me, but I found myself having to re-read a few passages over because I would get a little confused about what was going on. The ending left me sad, and quite honestly, once I realized what was going on, it had nothing to do with my original th ...more
Oscar
¡Me gusta la pizza, que le voy a hacer! Un cocido, un bistec o una paella están muy bien, es comida sana, sin duda. Pero reconoced conmigo que de vez en cuando no apetece una buena pizza, con su queso fundido, su mozzarella, su atún, bueno, lo que sea. Pues lo mismo me sucede con Stephen King, que cada cierto tiempo me apetece leer alguna de sus fantásticas historias.

Pero, ¿es Stephen King un buen escritor? La respuesta es un rotundo y merecido sí. Aparte de se aportación a las letras norteameri
...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Quotes must be popular, since many liked minds used them. I copied these passages as I read, so I'm using them.

From 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
...more
Robert Beveridge
Stephen King, Duma Key (Scribner, 2008)

Once a decade or so, Stephen King goes through a terrible writing slump, and I inevitably find myself wondering if King is finally past it. It happened in the early eighties (Christine, Cujo, Firestarter, et al.), the early nineties (culminating in the grandly awful Insomnia), and the late nineties (in which he went from the brilliant The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon to the... not at all brilliant... Bag of Bones). In the midst of this last batch came the acci
...more
L.C. Lavado
Oh God! Stephen king likes to write, no doubt of that. Just look at the number of pages!

Another book with a great story line but also loooonnngg... story line.

There was countless times that this plea pop in my head "please just say what you want to say!!!" It's was like his fingers just kept vomiting words without a glimpse of an end...

Unfortunately this book was not so dark as I was expecting from a Stephen king story and I may say (forgive me the unconditional fans) that it was even boring at
...more
Jackie
I’ve always been a coward when it comes to reading Stephen King. Seeing his name on a book cover automatically makes me turn around and run away. It’s nothing personal against King. It’s just that I tend to shun anything with horror…from movies to haunted houses to books. King being “The King of Horror” automatically puts him on that list. The thing is I have a few GR friends that are King aficionados who kept insisting that King wasn’t scary at all and that he’s great and blah, blah, blah. So f ...more
Joe
This has become my personal favorite.
Many of King's fans have been upset with some of his later work because of the lack of true terror. Others were pleased because there was a bit more variety or literary quality. Me, I feel that I can't say his books ever got better or worse.

Stephen King writes so many different kinds of stories that everyone is going to be happy with some and disappointed with others. For me this has had very little to do with when he wrote them. It was all about how he gain
...more
Pam
Jan 25, 2008 Pam rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I've finished the book -- I think it's one of the best he's done in a long time. King blends a ripping good supernatural story with what must have been his own experience in recovering from a horrific accident. It felt very personal without being self-indulgent. I think King is getting some distance from his accident, but he's seeing clearly.

The parts of the book where Edgar talks about the artistic process are beautifully written and insightful. King's written about the artistic process before,
...more
Lisa
Good prose and King sets a really good mood, but it ended up going absolutely nowhere. Very anti-climactic.

Second read: It's with a heavy heart that I'm putting this one aside. I thought maybe I didn't give it a fair shake the first time around and I always wanted to give it another go. But again I'm just not feeling it. There's a point where the story loses me and I just can't seem to pull myself through it. Instead I end up losing all interest. It's starting to feel like a bit of a slog, and
...more
Steve
I don't know what to make of the current King. In Lisey's Story, which I sort of liked, I saw a genre writer trying to stretch himself, while keeping a foot in things (Horror, Suspense) he loves (or loved), and placing the other foot onto turf he longs for ("Serious Fiction" ). There is of course an enormous gray area between the two, and I would hope for a writer to just write what he or she knows best and let the chips fall where they may. But the way King is going about it, wanting it both w ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I've been a King fan for over 30 years now, so I'm a little biased, but I was really pleased with this new one. I'm not even a horror fan, just a Stephen King fan, because he is such an incredible storyteller! (I'm now a Joe Hill fan as well, but still not a horror fan.)

King went through a few years there where I wasn't too thrilled with the stories he was writing, but with Lisey's Story and now Duma Key, he's back in a fabulous groove.

One of the best things about this book is that it's more c
...more
David
Oct 09, 2012 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: One-armed painters, Percy
It sounds cruel to say this, but I kind of miss the old coke-snorting alcoholic who wrote Cujo and The Shining and The Dead Zone and Misery and a lot of those scary-ass short stories in Skeleton Crew and Night Shift, et al. That doesn't mean I'm not glad that Stephen King sobered up and no doubt extended his life span and writing career considerably. But his older books had a certain unhinged quality about them. He wrote straight-up horror stories with monsters and ghosts or truly freaky-ass ali ...more
Abhinav
Well, I tried not to write a review for this book but I'm gonna write it out of habit, albeit a short one.

There is no doubt that the reason behind the success of the phenomenon called Stephen King is his storytelling ability. He may not win the most prestigious literary honours for his writing & exponents of literary fiction might smirk when his name is mentioned, but there are few writers of the current generation who possess the skill to bring a story & its characters to life like King
...more
Bryce Wilson
And Stephen King's late period roll continues. Fan's know that after his accident, King's books where well not at their best Dreamcatcher, A Buick 8, and side projects like Kindom Hospital seemed muddled and confused, but I think finishing The Dark Tower series cleared out some cobwebs for him and since then he's been playing ball, I know I'm in the minority but I thought Cell was a great bit of old school, Salem's Lot style, bit of no holds bar horror, and Lisey's Story is quite possibly his be ...more
Trevor
Jul 28, 2008 Trevor rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Artists, Loyal King fans, and anyone who has time to become a loyal King fan.
Recommended to Trevor by: King's reputation
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
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“Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won't carry a quitter. ” 259 likes
“If I kept saying it; if I kept reaching out. My accident really taught me just one thing: the only way to go on is to go on. To say 'I can do this' even when you know you can't.” 224 likes
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