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Duma Key

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  73,349 Ratings  ·  4,177 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, 611 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Scribner Book Company
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Judi Loved this book. So often, 'horror' books have a really stupid ending. This one did not. I am pretty discerning about what I read and if the book…moreLoved this book. So often, 'horror' books have a really stupid ending. This one did not. I am pretty discerning about what I read and if the book starts to bore me I won't keep reading in hopes that it will get better. This kept my interest throughout and was a thoroughly interesting read.(less)
Rob Sharp There are after crossovers between King books, sometimes entire characters, sometimes just their names. For example The Regulators and Desperation…moreThere are after crossovers between King books, sometimes entire characters, sometimes just their names. For example The Regulators and Desperation used lots of the same character names but for entirely different people.(less)
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
24th out of 122 books — 2,768 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 1,532 books — 6,861 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 it was amazing
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
Books Ring Mah Bell
Mar 25, 2010 Books Ring Mah Bell rated it really liked it
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
Paul O'Neill
Aug 05, 2016 Paul O'Neill rated it it was amazing
It was red....

This must be King's most underrated book, and I've no idea why. Maybe because it was released in 2008 and maybe horror wasn't as cool then and it kind of slipped through the cracks. Feels weird calling a book with 70k ratings underrated, but there you go. I've never heard anyone say that Duma Key was up there with the best of King's works. After finishing this I certainly will be!

If this was released earlier in King's career, would it be mentioned as one of his greatest? Maybe...
Edward Lorn
Nov 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Wrap Pet Sematary in a Bag of Bones and you'll have Duma Key. Revenants, creepy dolls, paintings that fix the broken, and enough tragedy to fill a swimming pool with tears is what you'll find within these pages. The scene at the end with [name deleted because spoilers] is one of the creepiest heart-rending scenes I've read. The descriptions are so well written. It truly is masterful. The sand coming off her fingers... Well, I guess you had to have been there. Those of you who have read Duma Key ...more
Apr 14, 2008 Howard rated it it was ok
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
Jan 01, 2015 Will Byrnes rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, stephen-king
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
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'
Franco  Santos
Jul 08, 2015 Franco Santos rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephen-king
Negro es la ausencia de luz, pero blanco es la ausencia de memoria, el color de no poder recordar.


Duma Key es un libro increíble. Es uno de mis favoritos de Stephen King (sí, ya sé, tengo muchos de él, pero todos lo valen).

Me encantó el modo de narrar los hechos, te absorbe fuertemente en la trama.

En cuanto a los protagonistas puedo decir que son de los mayores atractivos. Jerome Wireman es uno de mis favoritos de todos los libros que leí. Elizabeth no se queda atrás; qué personaje tan etéreo
Mar 03, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Just about anyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2016 Vladimir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-read, e-book, 2016
Dosta dobar roman.

Ni jedno poglavlje nije imalo prazan hod i ni na sekundu se nisam dosađivao. Ima u njemu elemenata iz „Deperation“, „Shining“, „Bag of bones“ ali su svi povezani u jednu lepu celinu tako da nisam imao problem sa onim „da sam to već negde pročitao“.

Karakterizacija je više nego odlična i svaki lik ima svoju dubinu. Stanja kroz koja su prolazili Edgar i Elizabeth su fantastično opisana. Slike uopšte nisam imao potrebe da zamišljam koliko je sve bio precizno.

Kako se jeza polako
Jul 21, 2014 Gary rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, classic-lit
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
Wayne Barrett

I'll have to mirror fellow reviewer and friend, Edward Lorn on this one because, as he pointed out, this novel did strike me as a mix between Pet Cemetery and Bag of Bones.

King did a great job with the character development and plot line. Unlike Bag of Bones, which felt a little weak for me, Duma Key was laid down with great depth and power. If I had a complaint, and what keeps me from giving it 5 stars, is that after following this deep drama for so long, the climax seemed a little silly in con
Jun 25, 2010 Kasia rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 11, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it
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
Adam Light
Aug 02, 2016 Adam Light rated it it was amazing
I haven't been writing reviews of my King rereads so much lately, not for any particular reason other than perhaps sheer laziness, but this one demands that I write something.
This is a mammoth tome, but it reads like sands slipping through slightly spread fingers. Is it King's magnum opus? I can't be sure, but it is such a heartbreaking, eerie, and humorous read, combining all of the man's best qualities and mixing them into a cyclone of white-knuckle suspense. If you need a place to begin readi
Apr 29, 2008 Imogen rated it liked it
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
Holly the Infinite Book Dragon
“.. a person's memory is everything, really. Memory is identity. It's you.”

Dear King,

I will forever be your Constant Reader.

This was a brilliant novel! It continued to build & build until the ultimate climax. King often struggles with an ending, but not this one. This one was perfect!

I am finding it hard to write a review, to find the words I want to say. This is not only because it is 1am (in fact, I am far more creative in this wee hours) but because I just truly loved this book so much!
John Wiswell
Aug 22, 2008 John Wiswell rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Vaiibhav Nigam
Sep 29, 2016 Vaiibhav Nigam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, horror
Some authors just write, for the sake of it. Some authors add colors and some, they add life to it. Stephen King, Ladies and Gentlemen. It is hard to believe that after publishing over fifty books in the past thirty-four years Stephen King could still have the power to produce a masterwork, but that is exactly what DUMA KEY is.
This masterpiece revolves around Edgar Freemantle who is wealthy, 57 year old contractor who loses his right arm in an accident at a job site. Edgar begins to battle a bou
Jan 19, 2009 Alan rated it liked it
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
Kealan Burke
Feb 19, 2008 Kealan Burke rated it really liked it
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
Thomas Strömquist
Jul 03, 2016 Thomas Strömquist rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-collection
#40 in my Stephen King reading project, this is one of the 'modern' ones that has received mostly praise and it's actually well deserved. Once again, I found myself entranced with the pure flow of the storytelling and the narrative and not in the least, the fantastic characters. Sometimes when King writes, the story becomes almost secondary, which is kind of funny, because the telling of a story is what he stresses most himself. Anyway, there is of course a story in this one too and if you read ...more
Oct 30, 2015 Oscar rated it really liked it
¡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
Apr 22, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephen-king, top-20
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
Jan 25, 2008 Pam rated it it was amazing
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,
Oct 10, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
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
Aug 01, 2008 Jamie rated it liked it
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
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.


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
Robert Beveridge
Mar 19, 2008 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
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
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  • Mystery Walk
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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. ” 330 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.” 266 likes
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