Thursday, January 17, 2013

BOOK: Duma Key by Stephen King

Duma Key by Stephen King, 769 pages

Well, that was long. Any book that takes me three weeks is never going to be rated that terrific, although to be fair, I had a pretty busy couple of weeks with little time for reading. ( Ringette and basketball tournaments last weekend saw us take in 7 ringette games and 6 basketball games, plus assorted parental volunteering jobs for both tournaments!)

Duma Key: a contractor from Minnesota, Edgar survives an accident but loses his arm. After his marriage falls apart, Edgar moves to Florida, on an island in the keys, and begins his recovery. He meets some eccentrics on the island, and begins painting. But the painting is dangerous, as he seems to be taken over by a nasty spirit, awoken after many years, and bent on some revenge.

Good things: The friendship between Edgar and Wireman, another man who moved to Florida after a tragedy in his life, was really nice. It seemed believable and they were two kindred spirits. The setting and history of Duma Key was very well done. I liked the history of the family on Duma Key. The plot wasn't too elaborate - it was actually paced well, and built up with enough varied layered characters. The final showdown was tense and suspenseful.

Problems: 769 pages for an unelaborate plot seemed a little bloated. I'm a King fan, and I've read some of his ridiculously long books and count The Stand as one of the best books I've read, but even a couple hundred pages less would have been better. The supernatural element didn't scare me but the idea was cool.

Verdict: Still a good story, with great characters, although a little long. I wouldn't start with this King book for a novice, but I'm glad I got it read. It ranks higher than Black House and Gerald's Game, books I know I've read but can't remember anything about them.