Sunday, February 9, 2020

Review: Duma Key by Stephen King

Duma KeyDuma Key by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I do not hate Stephen King, I am also not a big fan either. I have read some of his early work; Carrie, Salem's Lot, Christine, etc. However, he does not as a rule excite me as a writer. Duma Key definitely falls under the category of books I would never have read if left to my own devices, which was one of the reasons I put out a call on FaceBook for my friends to suggest books to me.

My expectation for this book were somewhat low, for reasons mentioned above. I was however pleasantly surprised. The book starts out as a journey back from darkness for Edgar Freemantle after a near fatal accident. It takes until almost the middle of the book for it to start solidifying as a psychic drama and does not become a horror novel until the very end. The progression of the story is smooth and well written. King's descriptions of Edgar's injuries and depression are interesting and will be hauntingly familar to anyone who has suffered from depression. I especially enjoyed the slow discovery of the menace, mixed with the history of Duma Key and the Eastlake family who have owned the key since before World War I.

My only contention with King's writing here was, he seemed to setup Edgar for a fall by building up his life to almost literally having the best day of his life, before King starts to kill off those that Edgar loves. I really feel the buildup felt artificial and took a bit too long to setup. While I liked the characters of Edgar, Wireman and Jack, as an unlikely trio, I kind of feel like King could have taken a bit more time at the end to show how these characters were affected by their experience. As it was, it felt like they were all in the same place emotionally as they were shortly before the menace presented itself.

Overall, a decent book, if you like Stephen King, I suspect you will enjoy this book, while not one of his all time greats, it is none the less a good story. If you are not a King fan or have not read much of his stuff, I am inclined to send you to his more well known works before reading this one. I am glad I read it though, it is certainly outside of my normal reading pattern.

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