Duma Key

Duma Key - Stephen King In many circles, Stephen King's last novel LISEY'S STORY is considered his masterpiece. I couldn't get past the 50 page mark, the gauge by which I judge the readability of a book. This is not to say that it isn't a classic. We've all put down books with a snort of disgust only to try again sometime later and realize them for the great works that they are (or, in some cases, are not.)

Before LISEY'S STORY came CELL, and while I found it entertaining and worth reading, I didn't consider it a good example of King at the height of his power. A minor entry in his literary arsenal, I thought, while at the same time wistfully remembering those days when a new Stephen King book was cause for almost childish excitement. Sadly, I haven't felt that way about King's work for a long time.

After reading DUMA KEY, that excitement and anticipation has been reignited.

When King is on, he's on, and no other writer comes close to equalling his power as a writer.

In DUMA KEY, he most certainly is ON, and displays all the techniques of characterization, plot, and style upon which his reputation was built.

Oddly enough, while it is most definitely a horror novel, the first two thirds of DUMA KEY can hardly be classified as anything but a bittersweet, engaging, and dryly humorous drama. The characters--particularly "Wireman"--walk off the page and keep you completely immersed in the sunset world King has created. You feel for these characters and hope all turns out for the best.

Being a King novel, this of course does not turn out to be the case.

Rather than rehash the plot (which you can read for yourself by clicking on the book's cover above), I'll simply say that DUMA KEY is the story of a man changed by fate, who loses almost everything but then finds new life, but a life that comes with a high price.

Despite it's 600 pages, DUMA KEY was for me a swift read (3 days!), and has restored my faith in King as one of the best writers we have.

Highly recommended.