This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Book Review: Duma Key by Stephen King

Whew. This book was a doozy. 611 pages. And it looks as big as the bible. But finally, last night, I finished it.

Ninety percent of the book was awesome. The characters were well-defined and after so many pages, I knew them well. Edgar Freemantle is the star of this one, alongside his best buddy Wireman. The friendship they form is solid and a pleasure to read about. Two broken men, in a seemingly paradise of a Key, as in the Florida Keys.

But, this is Stephen King and something "odd" has to be in place with his novels. The oddity is not well-defined until later, and naturally, one has to read more and more of the chapters to get the gist of what the oddity is. But King does it well, as usual, and I learn more and more about the oddity of Duma Key.

Edgar moves to Duma Key for a year's stay, to recover mentally and physically from a near-death accident that leaves him with only one arm. He can still feel "the itch" on the phantom arm and usually, it accompanies a great great that he almost kills his wife from this rage.

At Duma Key, he lives in "Big Pink", a great big home in which he decides to pick up an old hobby: painting. And painting he does. He becomes the toast of the area with his amazing paintings. But the paintings tell stories and those stories reveal the secrets of Duma Key.

Along with Edgar's re-discovery of himself -- his "other" life, as he describes it -- he meets Wireman. Wireman is a caregiver for the owner of most of Duma Key, Elizabeth. And friendship ensues between Wireman and Edgar, as Edgar works his way to walking towards the house in which Elizabeth and Wireman live, "Il Palacio".

And naturally, there are secrets that Elizabeth has about the island, and Edgar's paintings.

All in all, this makes for a great story. King is just amazing with his story-telling and I was engrossed in Duma Key. But, sadly for me, it all crumbles in the end. I can go with anything paranormal...I LOVE paranormal...but when it becomes para-paranormal, it just becomes, um, how do I put it, SILLY?

For the most part, one can get away with anything on paper. It's bringing it to the theater that makes it silly. For instance, Pet Semetary was an awesome book. On film? It sucked. And so does the end of Duma Key. I wouldn't say it sucked, but it was extremely disappointing when 90% of the book was just a great, great story.

Next up for me is one bigger than the bible: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. It is nearly 1000 pages long! I thought Jane Eyre was long, at over 500 pages. Then Duma Key and now this! There goes my two books a month goal...

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