Bryce Wilson's Reviews > Duma Key

Duma Key by Stephen King
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Feb 10, 08

bookshelves: horror

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 best and certainly his most tender and mature work, Duma Key stands up well with both of them.

Creepy as hell, dark, poignant, and perhaps the saddest book King has ever wrote it's as good as anything he's ever done. It's the first book in a long long time that actually deprived me of a good night's sleep when a passage made me very aware of just how close my bed was to my staircase. I'm sure most people will say this particular visitation is just a rehash of a very famous bit of The Shining (and to be fair King has never been one to use a good gag once when he can take it out for a drive three or four times) but it struck a cord, a big one.

There is one touch that I thought was interesting, one of King's tricks has always been to fill his books with malapropisms, miss placed words, and mangled spellings, so it's interesting and a bit stupefying that he didn't use it before, that he here his main character can't help but speak and think that way. It makes for a good device as well as a creepy barometer in some scenes when the language starts to go you know the rest of the sane world can't be far behind.

King is always going to have a special place in my heart, he was after all my first "favorite" author, the one who taught me to love and seek out an author's voice (and what a great voice it is funny, smart assed, and ferocious I've always thought it'd sound like James Cagney if it could talk). Ever since I snuck into the adult section of the library on a fourth grade field trip and grabbed The Dead Zone, I've been a loyal fan, and the fact that he can produce something like this so late in his career has made that fandom a very rewarding thing indeed. I can't wait to see what he does next.
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