Stephen King’s Duma Key

duma keyA random pick up in the library audio section, this one had me absolutely hooked for the first half of the book, somewhat less hooked for the next half and still fairly satisfied at the end. King is a genius, except when he tries to package his weirdness up too neatly. Sometimes he ends up explaining things away in slightly unsatisfying ways. This is sort of how it was with Duma Key, although there is a lot to like about this book.

In a freak accident, Edgar Freemantle loses his arm and finds part of his brain damaged relating to memory. This affects his speech primarily and causes horrible migraines. It transforms his personality so profoundly that his wife leaves him and he contemplates suicide. Instead, he is talked into a geographical shift and is drawn to Duma Key, a remote island off the coast of Florida, listed as one of the ten most beautiful places in the world.

There, encouraged over the distance by his beloved youngest daughter Ilsa, Edgar re-ignites his old passion for painting. Everyone who sees his paintings finds him amazingly talented. They all have an eerie power to them. This progresses, and Edgar begins to find that his paintings can MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Disturbing things.

But this is not unusual for Duma Key. Wireman, Edgar’s new friend, is a touch psychic too. And the old woman he works for also has startling abilities she has been hiding. All of these have been magnified by an evil lying in wait, that has been waiting for its chance to escape for decades.

I loved the art component of this novel – I love art, although am not good myself. The beginning develops well and if you can persevere through the darker second half until the end you will find it rewarding.

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