Duma Key Journal 4

I finished Duma Key the other day, via audio book.  I enjoyed the book quite a bit. 

A few final notes:

1. The writing is consistently strong throughout.  The book is definitely horror.  It is not a novel that contains elements of horror, it is horror.  The book builds in ever mounting dread.  King brilliantly foreshadows the coming events, highlighting what is to come without giving the story away.

2. Art.  There's a lot of talk about art here.  It is in art that Edgar finds freedom and real brilliance.  Unfortunately, his most inspired paintings are also haunted -- and dangerous..As King discusses art, you often get the feeling he's really talking about writing.

There is so much attention given to paintings that I wish the book was illustrated!  I would like to see these brilliant paintings.  Obviously, the book cover gives us an idea of the central panting, but even that was just one in a series. 

3. Length.  Duma Key is a long novel.  Is it too long?  I don't know.  I enjoyed it all.  I find it interesting when people complain about a books length.  Are we in a hurry to finish?  Why not take your time, enjoy the ride!  I only object to a books length when it drags.  Duma Key does slow down, but I don't think it drags.

A lot of background information is giving to secondary characters.  Not just to the history of Duma Key, which is necessary to the story and unveiled very late in the novel, but to Edgar's friends and family.  I like this extra layer of texture that King gives novels.  Again, if you want a short hit and run story, either read King's novella's or read someone else.  He seems to relish in taking his time, and some of us love it!  In other words, bring on them mega books, Mr. King!

4. Money.  Once again, our lead character doesn't need to worry about money, he's filthy rich.  So rich, he can throw money at every problem that comes his way -- almost.  Though it works for this book, the rich lead character is getting thin for me. 

I enjoyed the more middle class (or dead broke) characters who inhabited Christine, Cujo, The Stand and Carrie.  The money is a sign that these characters are super successful, moving them a degree beyond the normal constant reader.  However, King identifies more deeply now with the very rich, very successful Edgar Freemantal's.  Again, this works in Duma Key.  It would have been difficult to get Carrie White on a secluded private island.

Duma Key's strength: Characters.
Duma Key's weakness: I can't think of any.

1 comment:

  1. I read Duma Key earlier this year and enjoyed it but I'm going to have to disagree with you point 3: Length. I found the book way to long for the story that it told. It could easily have been 100-200 pages shorter and had all the back story and characterization intact. It did drag on in places. The excessive length of King's novels is something that I have resigned myself to as the price to pay for his great stories (and believe me I'm a fan).