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Duma Key: 03/01/10
I grabbed Duma Key by Stephen King when it showed up at a recent BookCrossing meeting. I enjoy his novels and had heard good things about this one.
Edgar Freemantle goes to the Duma Key in Florida to paint as a way to recover after a horrific construction accident that crushed his right side. He wasn't an artist before but something about living in Big Pink has inspired him to paint and draw surreal seascapes of the view from his bungalow. Of course all that creativity is unleashing an evil that needs to be stopped. Can Edgar undo what he's wrought?
At the bare bones pieces of the plot, I enjoyed Duma Key. For example: I liked see the evil revealed through Edgar's paintings. I liked the brief glimpses of the past (not through her flash back chapters, though) of life on the key when the old lady was a prodigy artist. I also loved the final show down.
Unfortunately this tight horror story is bloated with at least a hundred and fifty, perhaps two hundred pages of padding. It takes forever for Edgar to describe his accident and his failing marriage before he finally gets to Florida. Likewise there's a lot of time wasted on him setting up shop on the key and these "how to paint" sections that are supposed to be windows into the first time the evil came ashore but they just get in the way of plot.
If this were by any other author I'd be ranting right now on how except for the location change (warm ocean vs snowed in resort) the book was a rip off of The Shining. Of course the same author wrote both books so I suppose he's just returning to similar themes after doing other things for a while. As you can probably tell, I prefer The Shining to Duma Key.
Comment #1: Tuesday, March, 16, 2010 at 22:25:37
I don't know how I missed this review! I think I was the one that recommended it to you (wasn't I?). I'm sorry that you didn't like it as much as I did, but it looks like you kind of liked it. Am I wrong? Myself...I loved it which I think you already know. Great review!
Comment #2: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 21:46:10
You're one of about six friends who recommended the book. I have a friend who is a diehard Stephen King fan and she shares her books with me. I did like the book but I thought it would have been better if it had been shorter. I really wasn't that interested in the story of the main character's accident.