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  • Duma Key

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: John Slattery
  • Length: 21 hrs
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (188 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Duma Key combines the appeal of Cell and Lisey's Story - two of Stephen King's most successful novels of all time - to take the legendary author to a whole new level. Read by John Slattery.

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.

©2007 Stephen King (P)2007 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Written by the man who once memorably called himself 'the literary equivalent of a Big Mac with fries' - this is supreme, page-turning storytelling; the sort of popular fiction that comes along only rarely and only from a writer at the top of his game." (Daily Mail)

What listeners say about Duma Key

Average Customer Ratings
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Brilliant read

This is s wonderfully written book well worth the time and engrossing to the last word. Well done Mr King.

3 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyed

Great characters and good mix of intrigue and chills, as only the king can do.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

One of Stephen kings best, an absolute must read. Terrifying, inspiring, heart warming and wonderful

1 person found this helpful

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Duma Key Stephen King

this book is very much like real life so much tragedy for these people but I'm glad to got there
tasks done becouse thay wet bitch had to be put back where she came from .

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great performance average book

not the best but not the worst Stephen king book. John performance was great .

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boring and predictable

Surprisingly boring for a Stephen King book, also amazingly predictable. Not one of his best.

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Enjoyable

I found this book really enjoyable. King is in fine form and makes the reader really appreciate the characters.

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Absolutely worth the read/listen

I was enthralled by this audiobook- couldn't stop listening. I really enjoyed the storyline and characters, sufficiently spooky/weird

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Graham
  • 05-11-2008

King back to best!

I have been a Stephen King fan for I guess two decades. Duma Key is a fresh novel from King. This is the first audio book I have listened to by Stephen King and I was impressed. John Slattery does an excellent job of bringing the book to life, he makes you feel like you know the characters personaly.
If you like mystery/horror/drama/murder novels, then this is one you will be more than happy with.

The storyline starts out strong and never takes a backward step. At times if I closed my eyes, I could almost smell the salt air and see Wyerman and Muchacho sitting under the umbrella drinking iced green tea.
Loved it! Will listen to it again and will probably read the book as well.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin
  • 28-05-2010

Consummate King

What a pleasure it is when you come across a book like this. Characters you really care about, humanity and humour, tragedy and nightmare within a narrative which flows with huge confidence and power. In addition, it is superbly read. Although you might not want all of the things that happen to happen, you cannot deny the fact that this is a master at work.

1 person found this helpful

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  • tracy
  • 11-12-2020

Great

Really enjoyed this book the characters are brilliant you really interact with them. Really hope they make it into a movie as I think if done right would be great

Will probably listen to it again in a few months as it’s one of those books you can read it listen to again also the I really liked the person who read it he helped bring the characters to life x

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  • Tallulah
  • 26-04-2020

He almost nailed the landing this time

I can't fault the quality of Stephen King's atmospheric writing and the characters were great. Two things about this one particularly annoyed me. Firstly, he spoils every part. He literally says "this is the thing that's going to happen" and then spends a good few chapters showing exactly that, so when the event itself happens it's not as impactful. The pet phrase is "that was the last time I saw that person again". Secondly, a certain unnecessary aspect of the end irritated me so much (because it was unnecessary and emotionally manipulative) that it almost bumped the whole book down a star just with one sentence.

What saved that star was the lovely construction as things hinted at in the start come together and make sense near the end. It's one of my favourite types of construction to read (Raven Cycle and Ninth House share it).

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  • Dee-Jay
  • 04-03-2018

King does it again

this novel really pulls you in, found myself imaging big pink every time.The details of Florida makes me want to move there

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  • Claudia Zuccarini
  • 15-10-2016

I loved everything right down to the narrator

What made the experience of listening to Duma Key the most enjoyable?

Stephen King's unique insight into human relationships. Never ceases to wow me.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Duma Key?

I don't want to give the story away :) But I have a clear memorable moment. High emotional impact.

Which character – as performed by John Slattery – was your favorite?

Jerome Wireman, I found John Slattery's performance smooth and pleasant. And the characters were clearly identifiable .

Who was the most memorable character of Duma Key and why?

Jerome Wireman. By the end of the book I felt as though I knew Wireman. Another one of King's unique talents. Wireman felt like someone that I would like as a friend. Caring and warm, and slightly damaged just like the rest of us.

Any additional comments?

I think for people that want to start reading Stephen King books, this is a good one to start with. The characters are richly detailed, and it's just creepy and strange enough. When it comes to Mr King you should always be prepared for the unexpected. P.S. This is a long book, but don't let the length put you off, it's worth it!

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  • Fen
  • 17-03-2016

Awesome

I knew nothing about this book. I'm a King fan of old, but there have been too great a number of misses in my view (Dreamcatcher, Rose Madder; I'm looking at you among others), and I stopped reading to his stuff because of that. I recently revisited King in audiobook format, and found some more recent books are not only back on form, but are even better than the King I remember from the eighties. I bought this primarily as it's long - the synopsis sounded OK at best but it did have good reviews. Well, it blew me away. John Slattery is, without doubt, the best narrator in my 200+ book library, the story is beautifully crafted and it clips along at the perfect pace, drawing the listener in. The characters, particularly Edgar and Wireman are fantastically developed. It's up there with King's best.

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  • Sonja
  • 14-09-2013

Awesome book based on art and suspense

What made the experience of listening to Duma Key the most enjoyable?

within the first 2 chapters i was hooked. i became the main character in my mind.

What did you like best about this story?

the art and family secrets. listening to the mystery unfolding...

What does John Slattery bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

i wouldnt read the book if it wasnt audio. But the narrator did a good job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes but i couldnt... it certainly didnt put me to sleep, if anything it kept me up til late because i didnt want to stop listening.

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  • Todd
  • 16-08-2012

An errie descent into the surreal

If you could sum up Duma Key in three words, what would they be?

Surreal, Eerie, Friendship

What did you like best about this story?

For me, the single most enjoyable aspect of the story was the idea of the main character re-inventing himself and learning to live again in this beautiful relaxing paradise. The entire first half of the book pulled me into the world of Duma Key and I felt as if I was learning to see life in a new way as Edgar found his bliss in painting. The whole feeling of it was truly inspiring. I also enjoyed the mysterious and disturbing nature of Perse, patricularly her ship and all that it is hinted at representing. The fact that it is never quite fully explained who or what Perse is only added to the enjoyment factor. The scariest demons are the ones that are revealed only a little, while the majority of their background and history are shrouded in mystery.

Which character – as performed by John Slattery – was your favorite?

It's a tie between Edgar and Wyerman. The two of them together make a great team and have a great friendship. Slattery performs each of them in a different way and thoroughly convinces the reader they are two distinct people. I loved Slattery's narration on this. He WAS Edgar. His performance really immersed me in the story.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I can't think of anything catchy. It would sound too much like a cheesy horror flick, and to do that would be to take away from this great story.

Any additional comments?

Whenever I come back to a King novel after being away for a while, it's always like stepping into an old comfortable pair of shoes. It just feels so right and away you go. I LOVE King's first-person narratives. They are made to be audiobooks.

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  • Chris
  • 10-04-2012

King the Master of the Dark Side

Would you listen to Duma Key again? Why?

Yes I would, I like to revisit the unique dark worlds of Stephen King.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Duma Key?

I particularly enjoyed the build up to the final melee.

Have you listened to any of John Slattery’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first encounter with John Slattery, but will seek out other works read by him.
He did a fantastic job.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

An incident involving one of his daughters, without giving the plot away.

Any additional comments?

I have loved Stephen King for a long time now, and have not read a book of his that has disappointed me in anyway. Any one who thinks he is just a writer of horror fiction is mistaken, he weaves a rich tapestry of story telling that will grip you.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Seamus
  • 15-10-2008

Duma

Easily the best audiobook I have ever listened to. As I listen in the car, I was taking the long way home just so that I didn't have to turn it off.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dawn
  • 15-03-2012

Brilliant - Fantastic - Weird - Wonderful

Duma Key has replaced The Stand as my favorite KING novel. I just LOVE Edgar and Wireman. Listen to John Slattery beautifully narrate this tale of woe. This book is simply delightful and tragic in equal measure. Really don't want to give any spoilers - but read this and weep and smile and be delighted and terrified in equal measure. Well written and developed characters, you really feel that you get to know so many, so well. I love the way that Wireman has 'special phrases' and how he and Edgar develop a close understanding and relationship. I find this so easy to listen to and have used it almost as a relaxation tool.
11/10 from me.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Valerie
  • 14-12-2008

Absolutely Superb!

Being an avid Stephen King fan I have to say this did not disappoint. Like the other reviewers, this hooked me from the start and was very difficult to pull away from. I'm still haven't got over having finished it. A fantastic tale and brilliantly read.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Colin
  • 13-01-2010

Absolutely at his best

This really is my favourite King novel. It's a great story, but with some real depth to it as well. Oh, to be able to write as well as Stephen King in top form...Hugely recommended!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 27-07-2008

Another brilliant audiobook from a master

The weekend has disappeared under the spell of another terrific audiobook from Stepen King. Great novel, excellent narrator. But be warned - I was immediately drawn in so tightly that I couldn't concentrate on anything else until I finished. Guaranteed to cheer up a wet weekend - or maybe to put a shiver down the spine even if you are enjoying the sun by the pool.....

12 people found this helpful

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  • jon
  • 23-03-2016

Disappointing

I've never been a massive Steven King fan but I loved 11.22.63 and liked Under the Dome. I found this actively dull. Great chunks of words seemed to wash over me. In particular I found it difficult to figure out if certain parts were real or dream sequences, which may have been the intention to add an air of suspense and mystery but just irritated me. If I'd been reading I could have gone back and reread but not easy in this format. I'm now 3 hours from the end and uncertain whether to continue or stop. Listening to this has even made me wonder if I should take a break from audiobooks as I feel kind of jaded.

4 people found this helpful

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  • alex_holmes_367
  • 14-10-2013

Gripping tale!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Stephen King is a master in his trade and this book is a fabulous example of how he can transport you into the tale that he is weaving and grip you close to the last line.

Any additional comments?

King at his very best!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom
  • 30-11-2010

Superb audiobook

Stephen King is just such a good storyteller, and Duma Key is right up to his high standard. The friendship between the two main characters is so brilliantly drawn, and the way he blends fantasy and the real world is just amazing. This is a thrilling book and and emotional roller coaster at the same time.

Narration is just perfect.

What more can I say? five stars and strongly recommended.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Downing
  • 29-03-2017

An epic-scale short story

This is not King at his finest. Sure, he has knocked out some superb long-form novels with 11.22.63 and Under The Dome. Duma Key could have been pared back massively to fit into a short story collection like Full Dark, No Stars or Skeleton Crew.

The narration is fine without being noteworthy. I admit to having been spoiled by Steven Pacey's magnificent rendition of The First Law series however, so the bar for me may be unrealistically high.

I did finish the whole audiobook, but wonder if that was because I had sunk an Audible credit into it, which I did not want to waste.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 22-06-2013

A slow burner

I bought this audiobook on the strength of the other reviewers who said it was a good book for fans of King's THE STAND. This gave me certain expectations that weren't born out by the first 6-7 hours. It is not an ensemble cast book like THE STAND, but more of a one-man show in a similar vein to the dreadful LISEY'S STORY (which is the only King I've actively disliked and been bored by, even though I stuck with it to the bitter end).

A good editor would have offered some guidance on the turgid and introspective opening to the book - which goes on and on and on...and on. Yes, we get it. Edgar Freemantle's had an accident. He's a changed man. Now get on with the story. And so passes 6 hours. I nearly gave up several times - but I'm glad I didn't!

6-7 hours in, and it stops being a one-man show with the arrival of other characters for Edgar to interact with in an interesting way. Elizabeth and Wireman are fascinating, with complex personal histories. Both have had accidents similar to Edgar's...have they been affected in a strange and supernatural way too? The book really gets into its stride at this point and I began to feel spellbound and was soon utterly hooked.

There are unsettling moments, tension, drama, and a compelling atmosphere that keeps you listening at every available moment. One to come back to for a repeat listen, I think! (Although I'll probably skip the opening.)

2 people found this helpful

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