Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Devouring Stephen King: Duma Key

"Give me a choice and I'll take A Midsummer Night's Dream over Hamlet every time. any fool with steady hands and a working set of lungs can build up a house of cards and then blow it down, but it takes a genius to make people laugh."

Ohhhh dear. It has been such a significant amount of time since I read Duma Key that I can't remember anything about it which is worth talking about. Does this mean there wasn't anything worth talking about? Maybe so, but let's not jump to such conclusions just because we've all read The Tommyknockers. 

Ok, let's see. Duma Key was pretty weird, but a fairly decent read. I started it not long after I had my operation and still had a shit-ton of anaesthetic in my body, so clearly I needed something light and gentle to read, and to be honest this book kind of provided that. It's not a stressful King book to read with loads of shocks and little horrors, but more of a slow burner, that constantly hints at there being something vaguely wrong with the situation, and builds to a dramatic, and actually pretty traumatic conclusion. And ok, yeah, as I'm remembering it, I'm realising that I totally liked this book, I can hide it no longer!

Let's try and do some story, maybe. Let's see, the main character is... some guy, who is super rich but also troubled because he was just horribly injured at work and has lost an arm. This becomes vaguely important later, I think, so keep it in mind. He also has brain injuries which mean that sometimes he can't find the right words, and that he is filled with unbearable rage that leads his wife to leave him (nice lady), and after his near death experience he decides that the thing to do is go away to Florida to rest and recuperate. And, as it turns out, to paint.

The good stuff in this book really, I think, comes with the transformative power of art. It's true that in this book, there is a lot of supernatural stuff tied up with the paintings (paintings that make you murder! The whole island is cursed or haunted or something!) but there is also the part where art heals the main character who probably once had a name, both in a physical and mental sense. Even though his zoning out is part of a larger plan of, like, island spirits (or something), it's still the same kind of feeling that comes with all kinds of creation, and, for reals, art heals.

That's not really the resounding message to take away from this book (that one would be, 'art kills!') but it's apparently what I took from it anyway.

So. Yes. Duma Key was essentially not terrible, which is a really good thing for a Stephen King. It's not my absolute most favourite, nor is it my absolute most least favourite, but I enjoyed the ride and would not be mad if someone made me read it again. Onwards!


  1. Good to know it's not terrible as I've got it on my TBR, despite me knowing very little about it. I really like most of the Stephen King I've read, but then there are others that are solidly "Meh." And then there's Dreamcatcher. I'm glad you enjoyed it (or at least found it "not terrible") and hope I will too whenever I get around to reading it.

  2. I very much enjoyed this review. I feel like you're sitting there describing it to me over drinks or something instead of you writing/me reading.