"Edgar, does anything make you happy?"
"I used to sketch."
"Take it up again. You need hedges...hedges against the night."
Edgar leaves for Duma Key, an eerily undeveloped splinter of the Florida coast. The sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico calls out to him, and Edgar draws. Once he meets Elizabeth Eastlake, a sick old woman with roots tangled deep in Duma Key, Edgar begins to paint, sometimes feverishly; many of his paintings have a power that cannot be controlled. When Elizabeth's past unfolds and the ghosts of her childhood begin to appear, the damage of which they are capable is truly devastating.
The tenacity of love, the perils of creativity, the mysteries of memory, and the nature of the supernatural: Stephen King gives us a novel as fascinating as it is gripping and terrifying.
©2008 Stephen King; (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.
Based on the large number of 5-star reviews at Amazon and elsewhere, I was a little disappointed by this book. It struck me as an average Stephen King novel, with the same strengths (gripping, ingenious plot) and same weaknesses (wordy and folksy dialog, mostly 1-dimensional characters).
I was tempted to give the rating an extra star because a) I appreciate the fact that Stephen King probably revealed quite a bit about his recovery from his own accident in the story of Edgar Freemantle, and b) I'm pleased that he's back in the saddle after considering retirement. But this is not his best work, and I'd be lying if I put it in the same category as other 4-star novels that I've recently read.
The narration was so-so -- he's no George Guidall, but it certainly did nothing to detract from the tale.
As with just about all King novels, this one had good suspense and good dialogue. As is also true, no character is safe--something I like about his style. Since this is a review and not a discussion, I will only say that I saw little sense in the demise of the last character who died. But maybe that's just me. This novel had a good story. If you are a King fan, I recommend this novel. Even if you're not, you're likely to enjoy the ride. I enjoyed the narrator and thought he did an excellent job.
I usually enjoy Stephen King's books but for some reason I just couldn't get interested in this one, and believe me I really tried!
I was expecting this book to be very good, but it turned out to be a disappointment. It's full of negativity. I only got about a third of the way through before I had to give it up. I kept expecting it to take off, but it dragged on until I lost all interest.
I wanted to enjoy this heavily promoted book much more than I did. The entire story felt flat to my ears and uninspired. I finished the audio book out of sheer force of will and determination. In a word I hated it.
Sadly, my expectations based on past King works are sky high. I truly am a devoted King enthusiast. Mr. King will always be a favorite of mine and I will continue to read everything he writes. I am thankful he survived his accident and happy that there is potential for another great King novel. This one is not it.
P.S. Why reincarnate the Freemantle name for no apparent reason? This could have been a cool prequel to The Stand.
always looking for my next 'driveway' book
Fantasy/horror fans will probably eat this up like free ketchup at rotten Ronnies. All other fans of "meaty" authors like Ken Follet, Jeffrey Archer, Michael Connelly, and my fave Trevanian STAY AWAY!
I read a lot, but never Stephen King. Yet I found Duma Key to be a perfect long audio book. Dosen't have many characters and the story itself is single faceted, both factors needed for a long long book.
I've been a King fan almost since he was first published. I've read all of his books, but I have to say this is probably his best work yet. While listening to it, I actually had chills run up and down my spine! AWESOME.
This isn't our favorite genre, but Stephen King himself, as well his fictional Duma Key are seasonal neighbors of ours, so we couldn't wait to spot references to local spots and personalities. Our ears were offended by potty mouths of all characters, and the "F" word often used repeatedly in the same sentence, even in affectionate exchanges between father and college age daughter. She's engaged to a divinity student. Give me a break!
Also, the protagonist's lengthy descriptions of his pain, symptoms, treatment, and medications following a grievous accident could have been greatly condensed. Yes, his injuries are key. But too much belly-aching puts off the trademark King creepiness and horror way too long. Perhaps an abridged version would remedy this problem.
I guess true fans will love this one. But I think the movie will at least be more scenic, because this place really is paradise, even with Stepen King's house on the secluded north end of one of our islands.
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