Book Reviews of Duma Key

Duma Key
Duma Key
Author: Stephen King
ISBN-13: 9781416552512
ISBN-10: 1416552510
Publication Date: 1/22/2008
Pages: 624
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 311

4.1 stars, based on 311 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

65 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Duma Key on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 26
I've always hated it when people said "such and such book is so and so's best work ever!" That being said, I'm going to admit that DUMA KEY is, indeed, one of Stephen King's best books ever. Probably the best he's had in the last few years.

The great thing about DUMA KEY is that it's not out-and-out horror that grabs you right away. It's an isidious type of evil that's at work in this story, and it's actually the very real character of Edgar Freemantle who makes it worth reading. The horror, which comes later, advances the plot very well, but watching Edward tumble, soar, and then crash through it all is what makes the book one that's hard to put down.

If you like King, if you like stories of horror mixed with the supernatural, and if you want a book you'll read within a matter of days, then DUMA KEY is for you. It's that good!
reviewed Duma Key on
Helpful Score: 9
After reading all the glowing reviews and remarks that this was the return of the "Old King", I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of Duma Key. By the time I was 1/4 of the way through, I found myself totally bored. This was the first King book that I put down numerous times and had to force myself to pick up again. I know the main character is recoving from brain damage (this is not a spoiler, but is how the story begins) but do we have to read pages and pages of the same phrases & dialogue? This happens over & over throughout the book. Ever since King became the success that he is (and after his accident), I think that editors gave him free reign and are hesitant to edit his work. This was one that needed editing badly - maybe 200-300 pages could have been removed. This is not how King wrote in the beginning of his career. Even in his long books (like the Stand), he easily managed to grab your attention and keep it till the book's end. Every word was a precious morsal to devour & relevant to the plot.

I did enjoy the final chapters of the book. But, the payoff was not worth the hours of tedious reading. I am beginning to realize that King can no longer can recapture the brilliance of his first works. I'm sure this one will end up as a movie - and I'll probably watch it, but this is nowhere near the caliber of early King.
reviewed Duma Key on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I'm sure that with so many books under his belt King has a few clunkers, but so far I've not come across any. Duma Key is an ominous, atmospheric ghost story, reeking of Southern Gothic. The location, a semi-deserted Florida key, is as strong a character as any of the human players, and that's saying something.

Duma Key is the story of Edgar Freemantle's second life. In his first life he was a happily married Minnesota contractor. A devastating accident leaves his brain damaged, one arm amputated and his previous persona in tatters. He moves to Duma Key, begins painting with an unsuspected talent and fervor, and meets his neighbors, the key's elderly owner Miss Eastlake and her mysterious caretaker Wireman.

Duma Key and its inhabitants have their own secret hidden lives, and the ghosts surrounding them echo the newly awakened demons in Edgar's own mind. As in any good horror story, the demons and ghosts on Duma Key won't be content to stay quiet.

King delivers a creepy, character-driven ghost story that's as much about the ghosts of our former selves as about a real sea-spook. The characters are well drawn, enigmatic without being unlikable, and worth the time it takes to get to know them. Once you know them, its impossible not to follow their macabre and inescapable fate.
reviewed Duma Key on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I've always hated it when people said "such and such book is so and so's best work ever!" That being said, I'm going to admit that DUMA KEY is, indeed, one of Stephen King's best books ever. Probably the best he's had in the last few years.

The great thing about DUMA KEY is that it's not out-and-out horror that grabs you right away. It's an isidious type of evil that's at work in this story, and it's actually the very real character of Edgar Freemantle who makes it worth reading. The horror, which comes later, advances the plot very well, but watching Edward tumble, soar, and then crash through it all is what makes the book one that's hard to put down.

If you like King, if you like stories of horror mixed with the supernatural, and if you want a book you'll read within a matter of days, then DUMA KEY is for you. It's that good!
reviewed Duma Key on
Helpful Score: 6
Good fantasy/horror story.

King has really evolved as a writer, and the stories that he has been writing lately are more in the fantasy genre than horror. This story was scary in places, but overall, I think it was more of a scary, fantasy story than the kind of horror one expects from Stephen King.

The writing itself was very good. I hate to say it is his best work, but I found myself rereading passages, because the prose was so well done. I don't believe I have ever done that with anything he has written.

I was really impressed with the writing and the character development, and I would recommend this story to readers who don't think of themselves as fans of King's work, and to those who don't usually read horror stories. I think you may be surprised by this one.
reviewed Duma Key on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I really enjoyed this one. I have read many of King's books and have enjoyed them all. I really liked this one, although it was sad in at times and made me cry. Other times it made me laugh. I am glad it had a closing end...unlike his book Cell. I live in FL and liked it being set in FL! You really fall in love with the people in this book, and it kept me interested all the way through. Thanks for another great book!
reviewed Duma Key on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Duma Key was pretty good. I was hooked all the way through but thought the 'reveal' and ending left a bit to be desired. Kudos to King for creating great story and plot, he just missed on the bad guy, which is usually his forte.
reviewed Duma Key on
Helpful Score: 3
One of his better books in awhile. As usual, the plot is upstaged by the character development and attention to detail. I was engrossed by his descriptions of the art scene and of the way he pinned despair of being in pain. The character Wireman was so memorable I made it my screen name here at papersawp...you won't be disappointed.
reviewed Duma Key on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really enjoyed this- Stephen King's books have changed over time but, IMO, for the better. Sure I enjoyed getting the cr*p scared out of me in Carrie, 'salem's Lot etc but there seems to be so much more depth in his more recent writings (they kind of remind me of really long Twilight Zone episodes- the madness, for lack of a better word, doesn't smack you over the head so much as creep up on you in the wee hours) and this book is a good example. Edgar is hurt, physically and mentally, and King explores that drawing you in to view Edgar's relationships and his healing process (and maybe even a bit of Mr. King's own healing process as well). And, oh by the way, Edgar got a little something 'extra' when he hit his head.

Libbit's story is related parallel to Edgar's which gives the reader an insight he doesn't have- it's sort of like watching a horror movie and you just *know* that girl is going to fall in the woods as she's running away and you want to scream at her to watch out. You see what's coming before Edgar, or even Wireman, does (to a point) and you want to tell him 'Noooo!' but can't.
reviewed Duma Key on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Boy, I really like the characters in this novel. I wish I had enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed Edgar and Wireman! I'd like to say I couldn't put it down, but near the end I was mostly just trying to get to the end to see how their stories turned out.
reviewed Duma Key on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a MUST. One of the best I have listened to yet. You will look for excuses to go some place.
reviewed Duma Key on
Helpful Score: 2
This was my first read of a Stephen King book and it was amazing. It held my grip and I did not want to put it down. I have recommended it to everyone I know!
reviewed Duma Key on
Helpful Score: 2
Edgar Freemantle is a man with anger problems due to an accident that almost killed him. As a result, his marriage has split up and he is now living on Duma Key for a year by himself. He takes up painting as a hobby and finds that he is brilliant at it. So good, in fact, that he is possessed by an unearthly desire to continue painting. That is until his paintings begin to possess others driving them to suicide and murder. I enjoyed this book very much and give it an A+! Although I thought it was a tad long in parts. I would definitely recommend this book to others.
reviewed Duma Key on
Helpful Score: 2
I was a huge fan of Stephen King when he was in his prime. His novels were fuel to my imagination, and I collected them with plans to read again. I kind of lost touch with his work as the years went by, but Duma Key somehow made it into my queue.

I read recently a review of another book (Edgar Sawtelle) that echoed my thoughts when I hate a book: I couldn't care less what happens, had to force myself to read, and spending time I'd never get back.

Well, that does NOT apply here. I found myself totally engaged with the main characters, and happily drawn into the story. You've read one of those books that you just hope keep going and going, because you love it, right? For me, Duma Key was that kind of book.

I have to say, once I got sucked in, I almost had to put the book down and not finish it. I know King's work well enough that something awful is going to happen, and I liked the characters so much I almost couldn't bear to stick around for it.

I resigned myself to their inevitable fate, and plunged ahead. I am happy to say I lived through whatever awaited the players, and came away feeling my reading was time well spent. I'll be watching for more from Mr. King.
reviewed Duma Key on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved the charater development in Stephen King's latest work. I found it hard to put down for the first 3 quarters of the book. The ending was a little too loose at times for me. Being a constant reader it's hard for me to comprehend the fact that he loses me at the end of some of his books with the somewhat unexplained dark forces at work. I like the endings a little more tightly explained.
reviewed Duma Key on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book sucked the breath out of me.

It's that good.
reviewed Duma Key on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Although I enjoyed King's newest story, I didn't find it as promising as I was led to believe. The story felt like it was ready to be transformed into a movie script--and King even suggests a director via the dialogue between the characters. At 600 pages, I felt that some of the repetition could have been deleted and made the story flow easier and been a much better read. How many times do we need to be reminded that Edgar only has one arm?

Besides all of that--the writing was edgy--especially in the beginning--reminding me of contemporary writers such as Christopher Moore and Chuck Palahniuk. That freshness dissipates after the first 1/3 of the book, though.

Rather than a horror novel I'd consider this story more a supernatural tale of suspense.
reviewed Duma Key on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book really is a return to the old Stephen King. Fantastic. It was the first book to give me nightmares in a loooong time. The first few chapters drag a bit, but it will be worth it if you stick with it.
reviewed Duma Key on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not my favorite of all his books but he is such a great story teller - it is still really enjoyable. The personal interactions are excellent and only when he gets to the end (the bad guy part) was it less than totally great for me.
reviewed Duma Key on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Stephen King never ceases to amaze me. This book included was like most other books by him, twisted and at sometimes hard to follow but definitely worth the read. It is a page turner to say the least and keeps you wondering what will happen next the whole way through. I would suggest this read to anyone that enjoys the variety and twist and turns in Stephen King's writing style.
reviewed Duma Key on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An outstanding piece of work! One of the better ones he's had in a while - not like the recent ones he's churned out. This book reminded me of the early Stephen King writing - the writing that got me hooked on his writing.
I couldn't put the book down!
reviewed Duma Key on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book kept me on the edge of my seat...from the sounds of the "talking shells", to the new pictures that were being painted, to the mighty ship out in the ocean, to the supernatural prowess that Stephen King's books are known for so well...there was never a dull moment for me in this book. Wonderful work, King's outdone himself in my eyes...this has become one of my top 5 King books.
reviewed Duma Key on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wierd,but it's Stephen King. You could feel his injuries from his accident and recuperaction stint he did down here in Sarasota area. A good read for the island relaxing this summer.
reviewed Duma Key on + 130 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i wasn't really thrilled with this book. while it was some what a mystery, it just didn't ring as a 'stephen king' for me. there are plenty of details to give you the whole picture. not too much action. you can pretty much predict what is going to happen.
reviewed Duma Key on
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book more than I have other recently written King books. I had given up on King for a while but I am glad I picked up this one. Parts of the story are really creepy. The whole book kept me interested and wanting to read further.
reviewed Duma Key on + 3 more book reviews
A typical Stephen King tale of horror. A well written novel that will keep you entertained in a fashion that wills you to get to the next chapter. The good, innocent characters get sacrificed while the evil get shelved for another day. Probably not one of his best works but somewhere in the middle of the pack. Definitely worth the time to read.
reviewed Duma Key on + 3 more book reviews
Held my interest - well written. Mr. King knows how to spin a yarn :)
reviewed Duma Key on + 146 more book reviews
Just like Stephen King of the "Good Old Days" I really liked this book. It started out slow but worked itself into a frenzy. Get ready for some good old excitment, along the Flordia Coast. What a wonderful summer read.
reviewed Duma Key on + 279 more book reviews
I call this book classic King. He doesn't resort to the gross out horror that he had been using previously. This is a book that follows one guy that you come to care about. I didn't find the arm thing repitious at all. I thought it was a well crafted tale of what it would be like to wake up and find a very vital piece of yourself missing.

Also I found the scare in this book very well done. I like King best when his horror is subtle. I like it when you get scared of a well lighted area. Some place that you would never normally consider something horrifying to sneak up on you. He's in the Florida Keys. I'm a notherner and when I think of the area I think of white sand, umbrella drinks, and Jimmy Buffett. Not the kinds of horrors related in this book.

As one of Kings so-called 'Constant Reader's I say get it and read it. Really great stuff.
reviewed Duma Key on + 7 more book reviews
Pretty good story and characters.... compares to IT are evident...
reviewed Duma Key on + 4 more book reviews
This is Stephen King's best work. Maybe not his scariest, but definitely his most heartwrenching. The story is seamlessly woven; you find yourself caring about the characters almost without realizing it is happening. Which makes it all the more stomach dropping when the horrors begin...
Paul is a millionaire in the construction business until an accident leaves him handicapped physically and mentally. He goes to Duma Key to find a reason to live, or find a way to die...instead, he finds that he has a true talent-a gift for painting that surpasses his wildest expectations...until he beings to realize that someone...or something...else is controlling the paintbrush.
Staphen King is a master at drawing the reader into his mind and showing us all the dark corners. I can't wait to see what he comes out with next..
reviewed Duma Key on + 2 more book reviews
Not my favorite from Stephen King but it did keep my interest long enough to finish it's 600+ pages. I did like the art aspect of it, the other-worldy thing sparking creative thought. What is it that compels artists need to create? Hmmm . . . M3
reviewed Duma Key on + 14 more book reviews
this book was very well written with , humor , emotions, and ghost. i'd recommend it.
reviewed Duma Key on
another great stephen king!
reviewed Duma Key on + 217 more book reviews
worst attempt was to read The Stand, which I found to be too realistic... So I sat him aside for a while. I'm really glad I got back into him, and Duma Key was a great book to start with.

I think this book was brilliant. King writes from Edgar Freemantle's point of view. We get to go through his rehabilitation with him. In the begining I had a hard time understanding what Edgar was trying to say, but as the book goes on and Edgar learns to speak again, and I got used to how he talked I didn't notice the speech problems.

The story took me a VERY LONG time to read. I think I bought this one back in March and I just finished it, so just shy of 6 months. Part of this was because I was reading other books and part of it was because the beginning was kind of slow. But once I got about halfway through and was really connected to the story it only took me a few days to finish it.

As the story got going, and I started to figure out what was going on, I couldn't stop reading it. I had a few sleepless nights with this one.

As usual King's writing takes you on a trip along with the characters. I could see what was going on clear as day. There was very little that I couldn't picture. Even the weird stuff was described so well I could see exactly what King was describing.

This was a great book, and I'm glad I stuck it out. 700 pages seemed pretty daunting, but there was so much that made the story that had it been cut to make the book shorter I know I wouldn't have liked this one. If you like Stephen King and haven't read this one go get it, it's well worth it. If you've never read King and think 700 pages is too much just take my word, you won't be disappointed. Just promise you'll read through at least halfway before you decide if you want to finish it or not.
reviewed Duma Key on + 87 more book reviews
This is the first Stephen King book I've read. I didn't think I'd like his books but a friend gave it to me so I though why not. Once I started I couldn't put it down definitely a little twisted but I really did enjoy and plan to read more of his books.
reviewed Duma Key on + 44 more book reviews
fdgreat book and moved right along with boring parts.I would suggest this book for a stephen king fan. Havent quite read it all but Im almost there!
reviewed Duma Key on + 207 more book reviews
Loved it! One of the best Stephen King has written in a long time. Creepy, with elements from a few of his past stories thrown in there to create a whole new scary tale.
reviewed Duma Key on + 513 more book reviews
One of King's best! Great story, characters you can connect with, fascinating (and creepy!)family history. Wonderful!
reviewed Duma Key on + 4 more book reviews
Incredibly awesome book! The best Stephen King I have read in a long long time. Kept me captivated!
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One of Stephen King's best. It will keep you guessing up until the end.
reviewed Duma Key on + 20 more book reviews
On Duma Key, a man who should be dead finds healing in the solitude of painting....but Edgar Freemantle is far from alone.

After a terrible construction site accident severed his right arm, scrambled his mind, and imploded his marriage, the wealthy Minnesota builder faces the ordeal of rehabilitation alone and enraged. Renting a house on a stunningly beautiful and eerily underdeveloped splinter off the Florida coast, he slowly emerges from his prison of pain to bond with the sick woman whose roots are tangled deep in Duma Key. As he heals, he paints compulsively, his talent both a wonder and a weapon....for his creations are not just paintings, but portals for the ghosts of the past and their power cannot be controlled...... a very excellent book.
reviewed Duma Key on + 10 more book reviews
great imagery.. and really scary.. I could see the places in the story very clearly.. LOVED it..
reviewed Duma Key on + 36 more book reviews
"On Duma Key, a man who should be dead finds healing in the solitude of painting...but Edgar Freemantle is far from alone. After a terrible construction site accident severed his right arm, scrambled his mind and imploded his marriage, the wealthy Minnesota builder faces the ordeal of rehabilitation alone and enraged. Renting a house on a stunningly beautiful and eerily underveloped splinter off the Florida coast, Edgar slowly emerges from his prison of pain to bond with Elizabeth Eastlake,a sick old woman whose roots are tangled deep in Duma Key. Abnd as he heals, he paints - feverishly, compulsively, his exploding talent both as a writer and a weapon. For Edgar's creations are not just paintings but portals for the ghosts of Elizabeth's past...and their power cannot be controlled."
reviewed Duma Key on
I little long winded, but a great read.
reviewed Duma Key on
I loved the first half but found the last half a little ridiculous, even for King.
reviewed Duma Key on
I will join the bandwagon.... one of King's best works to date!
reviewed Duma Key on + 29 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. A lot of Stephan King books lagged for me after the first few came out but this one has renewed my interest in the author.
reviewed Duma Key on + 2 more book reviews
After 'The Stand', Duma Key is a great read. I am presently a bout 60% through "Under the Dome'. Its a good lesson for all communities.
reviewed Duma Key on + 14 more book reviews
I really loved this book, as I do all Stephen King books, but this is one of his best I think.
reviewed Duma Key on + 3 more book reviews
Not one of Stephen King's best, but still worth reading if you are a fan (as I am).
reviewed Duma Key on + 27 more book reviews
A gripping tale of suspense, the story started a little slowly but as it unfolded I was captured by the growing drama. The gradual revelation of dark, mystical forces at work in the protagonist and on the island drew me in until I could scarcely put the book down.
reviewed Duma Key on
great read! I am a great fan of Stephen King,esp.his early books.I don't know if at 62 my reading wants/needs have changed,but I wasn't too crazy about some of King's latest books. This one,however was great.I even listened to it at a later time on audio and looked f'ward to my nightly installments. I also read CELL,a quick and enjoyable read. Under the Dome has sat on my reading table for months.I am almost halfway through it,and cannot seem to(want)to finish it.
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very good one of his best
reviewed Duma Key on + 18 more book reviews
Like it! As always gets a little strange in the end, but a fun read.
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I loved the characters of this VERY scary book (I can picture a Grudge type movie resulting from this) but the story/plot does fall short, very short. There was so much detail in first 3/4 of the book, I often wondered where it was all going and much of the time, it went nowhere. A long drawn out book with one of those seemingly rushed endings that leaves you wondering what the heck happened (any why). Sorry Mr. King..love ya, but this book was a disappointment.
reviewed Duma Key on + 99 more book reviews
King is BACK! For you Constant Reader, this is a must read. Classic King. For anyone just starting out w/King, you may get a big overwhelmed w/this one, but keep w/it, you won't be disappointed!
reviewed Duma Key on + 85 more book reviews
One of my favorite Stephen King books. Loved it!
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I have read almost every Stephen King book, and this ranks easily in my top 5. It takes place NOT in Maine (which I think gets redundant after a while). I actually started painting after I read this book because I was soooooo inspired. I also quit about 15 minutes later b/c I am terrible. Overall, fun story, crazy ending, classic Stephen King.
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Long......almost to much back ground. With that said, I did finish the book and enjoyed it. The ending is worth the wait....
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While the book itself was very good-I got distracted by all the spelling errors he had througout the book. I mean, I know he is Stephen King and all but surely he knows how to spell by now? If you like Stephen King though you'll like this book.
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Excellent audio book! Never gets boring!
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Complex plot with just the right amount of supernatural intrigue.
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Stephen King always delivers.
reviewed Duma Key on + 51 more book reviews
Coulden't put this one down!