Archive for Duma Key

King Once Again

Posted in Books with tags , , , on November 6, 2008 by Mj Rains


The reading of Stephen King’s Duma Key has done what the Continuum wanted it to do during the Halloween season:  Give us a good scare.  How the main character’s supernatural and powerfully chaotic art work cures his friend still astounds me–more by the fact that I believe that something similar to this is possible.  Spontaneous healing and the powers of intention are the goodies of the spiritual world…King’s world is more spooky, of course.

Favorite line:  “Be prepared to see it all. If you want to create-God help you if you do, God help you if you can-don’t you dare commit the immorality of stopping on the surface. Go deep and take your fair salvage. Do it no matter how much it hurts.”  As writers, we relate.

My Duma Key “fair salvage”:  Can’t forget that old psychotic lady in the wheelchair wearing Chuck Tailors and that vintage Mercedes that takes the characters on their final voyage to the creepy remains of a dilapidated mansion.  Unique death devices: silver harpoons, salt water, murderous paintings (which can heal too).  Red-hooded death spirited away in a china doll. Blood–“It was red!” (The red theme had me trying on a red coat at the mall-don’t ask me why?).  Persphone, the ship of the dead, anchored in the bay, waiting (all are welcome).  I was mystified by the upside-down flying birds (not too scary) and the 80 year old bones in the underground cistern.  The walking dead ghosts “wif teef” made me turn on lights in the kitchen before entering and that possessed doll that tells an old story, well, you know…(talking, moving dolls, next to clowns, are the scariest things on this earth.

In the end, we are drawn to a satisfying conclusion.  Losses are suffered but everything is tied up quite neatly.  No catches at the end (like in Pet Cemetery-wigged out at that one). 

What I can’t give back in my fair salvage is the shells.  The ocean tide sweeping in those shells under the big pink house the main character lives in on the key.  The shells clicking together as they roll in and out with the waves…whispering those haunting words…I can still hear them and probably always will.

That, my friends, is the power of words.  Really, really good ones.

The Continuum Tackles Stephen King Once Again

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on October 15, 2008 by Mj Rains

           October is always the time to crawl under the Continuum’s spiral staircase and read something scary and this year I am tackling the extemely sizable Duma Key by Stephen King.  At 600 plus pages I’m thinking Mr. King does no editing what-so-ever.  I’m about half-way through and I’m not quite creeped out in the “I’ve got goosebumps traveling up the back of my head” way that I usually get (example: reading Bag of Bones-always love a good ghost story) but I am completely intrigued just the same. 

           Warning:  Story content is given away in the rest of this blog so if you don’t care read on.

           The main character of Duma Key is the lovable yet damaged Edgar Freemantle (great name!) who has been squashed half to death by a crane that backed over his pick-up truck at a construction site.  His right arm is gone, part of his brain destroyed, and suffering with a serious hip injury (handicap license applies here).  We meet him while he is recovering and although the situation is bleak, Mr. King’s dry humor which I love kicks in to make me laugh by page five. (Edgar calls two of the older nurses who attend him “Dry Fuck One and Dry Fuck Two, as if they were characters in a dirty Dr. Seuss story.”)  Edgar’s somewhat recovery (he has memory problems and rage issues), divorce (he tries to kill his wife twice because he can’t remember a word), and move to Florida’s west coast for a year ensue.  Welcome to Duma Key, a fictional island, secluded (no Star Bucks or Walgreens) where Edgar rents a huge pink beach house on stilts.

          When Edgar takes up drawing, then painting, the supernatural artistry begins.  To ease the itching in his phantom limb, Edgar begins to undertake an old hobby that he liked to do.  His pictures seem to emerge by themselves, or from another plane of existence, and begin to tell the future of the one he is thinking of when painting, or of a present moment that is miles away.  I’m at the point right now in the story, Edgar’s Dali-like paintings become actual precipients to cause certain events to happen.  He has met a kindred spirit who lives down the beach, Wireman, care-taker to an old lady with alzheimers, a lady whose creepy link to the island is starting to emerge (she evidently was brain-damaged as a child and did unique art also).  Where I’m at now, Edgar is trying to fix Wireman, a man with a bullet lodged in his brain that is slowly killing him, by painting the x-ray of Wireman’s brain without the said bullet.  The idea of this is not so strange to me.  Intention, especially in a supernatural vein, can be extremely powerful, if the desire and the belief that it will happen is strong enough.  Could Edgar actually remove the bullet from its existence in his friend’s brain?  If he did, where would said bullet go?

             Prognosis forthcoming.  I must read on.  Will blog about Duma Key’s conclusion at a later date (Halloween week perhaps–I have mucho spooky stuff planned already).  If you are a fellow Constant Reader, reading Duma Key or have read it, let me know–sans the ending please.

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