I want to start off by writing that Stephen King is my all-time favorite author, but his recent work leaves a lot to be desired. Unfortunately, The Duma Key falls into the latter category of disappointing novels. The story starts with Edgar Freemantle, a successful contractor whose truck collides with a crane on a job site. He loses an arm and fractures his skull in the accident. He makes good progress on his rehab but suffers bouts of rage, which ends his marriage. On the advice of his psychiatrist, he moves to the Florida Keys. Freemantle starts to work on art, which has strange mystical power. This leads to a confrontation with the malevolent force that exists in Duma Key.
There is a lot that I don’t like about this novel, and little that I do like. For one thing, it is a very slow paced novel. Stephen King could easily have cut a third out of this book and not have lost anything. The characters were never ones I could identify with and weren’t very likeable. The plot isn’t very believable, even if you are willing to accept the supernatural elements. The ending was weak, and I was glad to finally be done reading this book. Even for the hard core Stephen King fan, this is one to skip.
Carl Alves – author of Blood Street