Duma Key Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Duma Key is the engaging, fascinating story of a man who discovers an incredible talent for painting after a freak accident in which he loses an arm.
He moves to a "new life" in Duma Key, off Florida's West Coast - a deserted strip, part beach, part weed-tangled reef, owned by a patroness of the arts whose twin sisters went missing in the 1920s. Duma Key is where out-of-season hurricanes tear lives apart and a powerful undertow lures lost and tormented souls.
Here, Freemantle is inspired to paint the amazing sunsets. But soon the paintings become predictive, even dangerous. Freemantle knows the only way forward is to discover what happened to the twin sisters and uncover the secret of the strange old lady who holds the key.
The story is about friendship, about the bond between a father and his daughter, and about memory, truth and art. It is also is a metaphor for the life and inspiration of a writer, and an exploration of the nature, power, and influence of fiction.
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|Listening Length||21 hours|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||22 July 2008|
|Publisher||Hodder Headline Limited|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 2,217 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
364 in Military Fantasy (Books)
384 in Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
1,421 in Teen & Young Adult (Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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But firstly, the story in brief: Edgar (a millionaire in construction) loses his right arm and memory in a terrible construction accident. He recovers with a kind of amnesia, soon becomes divorced and moves to DUMA KEY in Florida (as a geographical cure) a suggestion by his psychiatrist. While there he rediscovers his love of painting. But his paintings are more than just that. They hold something deeper and perhaps more sinister.
Not a bad premise, I thought.
The first 30 or so percent was typical Stephen King. Yes, it was compelling. Yes, it was nuanced. Yes, it was relatively complex. But... then there were so many long walks, meaningless chats, repetitive encounters and passages. So many in fact that at times I thought I was on the wrong page or had bumped my head.
And yet, I had the distinct feeling that I, the reader, was being set up for something very big. So, I read and read and read, attempting to imagine where the journey could or might end. And in the process the writing became forced and contrived just before the halfway mark. The middle being about 400 pages. That for me is a lot of time to invest in something that begins to sail slowly around and around destinations that are simply not that interesting.
Sometimes the boat (Mr King) pulling into a harbour where there is nothing of any appeal; the harbour being more of that character development, or another passage that I had already covered once, twice, three times, usually about the coral under the house.
It was also at around the halfway point that I realized, guessed, stumbled upon the twist or the secret within the work. So arriving at the finishing line was a little disappointing.
Having said that, Mr. King was still able to conjure the creepy moments that have made him the name he is. He described in great detail the pain of the protagonist, obviously based on his own experience. Many people believe that this novel reflects King’s state of mind when he himself was recovering from being struck by a car while he was out walking. He almost died in the accident.
King evokes unadulterated evil with ease even to this day. But the plot was dying a slow death because of this incessant character development, which he seemed to languish over for far too long ( a little like I am doing now). I just wished he would say what he meant and be done with it. The book became weaker and weaker as it languidly sailed along, seemingly without a breeze to help it reach land. It remained out in the middle of a still and uninteresting ocean. Actually, come to think of it, it was like being lost in a desert of words, with the odd mirage in the distance to wet my thirst for the vague gossamer plot.
On the plus side, the transient supporting cast fared much better. Some were really quite interesting even if only momentarily. However, there was one character that said the word "muchacho" (Spanish for, young man) about 10,000 times. I wanted to cut my wrists by the end. Why couldn't he die earlier in the novel? No wonder the word count for this novel is edging on a hefty 200,000 words. That's 3 regular novels in one behemoth package.
What is quite sad is that there were many interesting paragraphs, phrases that I could quote that would make people want to buy and read the book. Sadly the thousands of words in between them lets it down.
I even like the book's abstract title. DUMA KEY. I thought it was an actual key, but it's not. It's a place.
One thing that I will do is leave you with one passage that I enjoyed on the subject of: How to Draw a Picture (1).
"Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.
How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I've come to believe.
Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.
Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil... hesitating... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know."
Absolutely brilliant! At least I think so.
Alright, one more on Art and Talent:
"Stay hungry. It worked for Michelangelo, it worked for Picasso, and it works for a hundred thousand artists who do it not for love (although that might play a part) but in order to put food on the table. If you want to translate the world, you need to use your appetites. Does this surprise you? It shouldn't. There’s no creation without talent, I give you that, but talent is cheap. Talent goes begging. Hunger is the piston of art."
Now you understand what I mean. All you have to do is wade through the rest to find these beautiful gems. A crying shame really. Some dexterous editing from his (hopefully) smart publisher and this book would have been a diamond. Instead, this book was rather like watching carbon working its way to becoming a diamond. Or something to that effect.
Finally... I had the feeling that the novel was weirdly, like a twisted, back-to-front, inside-out, upside-down, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" but without the ageing and dozens more paintings. But that may just be me though.
Sergiu Pobereznic (author
Edgar progresses along two paths. As planned, he gets on with his recovery. Edgar becomes physically stronger, proving his growing stamina with lengthening walks on the beach each day. He comes to terms with his estranged wife, two adult daughters, and former life in Minnesota. And Edgar makes friends, both on his little island and off. These are solid friendships with interesting people. Some, like Jerome Wireman from down the beach, have their own stories to tell. Others, like his handyman Jack Cantori, reveal little of themselves, but bring stability to Edgar's new life on the Key.
Like others who find themselves in a Stephen King story, Edgar also goes down a darker path. He draws on his terrifying supernatural experiences, his friends' knowledge of the Key's troubled history, and his emerging understanding of his own otherworldly artistic talent. Edgar slowly figures out the evil power confronting him and the rules of the supernatural world Stephen King has drawn around him. Edgar's progress along both paths is braided into a story that binds our attention. Some find the pace slow between the book's scarier events, but this time is well used to show the steady progress of Edgar's physical recovery and deepening friendships.
It surprises no one when this author tells a superior horror tale. But I am repeatedly impressed at how sensitively he captures real-life experiences. The love-hate buffetings and children-in-the-middle conflicts of Edgar's split family ring true and provoke pangs of sympathy. Edgar's stages-of-grief coping process with his lost arm also feels right. The book's treatments of death--death of ordinary individuals far from the book's eerie events--toll true as well. People die abruptly, for no good reason, and leave raveled threads of incompleteness behind them. This is its own kind of horror, which Steven King also shows us in Bag of Bones and Lisey's Story .
Save this book for when you can enjoy long stretches of quiet reading, when you can time your breaks to the chapters, and when you want to be alone. For a real treat, take it to the beach for a few days. And read it at night.
Top reviews from other countries
I get really irritated when people describe the plot in reviews.
Stephen King just gets better.