People who know me know that I am not a big fan of the paranormal/horror genre, so the question arises as to why would I buy a Stephen King book. Well, to be honest, I bought it because I found it dirt cheap. We had a book fair in the city last year and as I was checking the books in the cheap books section (mostly used books) I came across this, checked it up on Goodreads, taken.
Now I did know about the fame of Stephen King as a master story teller, I have watched The Shawshank Redemption which is numero uno in the Top 250 IMDb list, and then I have also watched The Green Mile. I also had prior knowledge of the scaring prowess of Mr. King, having heard it from brother Abdur Raheem Green in his How I Came to Islam lecture that he wasn’t able to sleep after finishing Carrie. And that’s how I picked it up and boy I made the right decision. I absolutely loved reading this book.
This is a paranormal thriller with a dash of mild horror so I will not divulge much as I dare not give any leads that will ruin someone’s book reading experience.
The lead character, Edgar Freemantle, is a major big shot in the building and contracting business, living a quality life with his wife and two daughters that don’t live with him. Then he met with an accident at his construction site, that accident destroys him and his smooth sailing life, and things go south drastically. To escape all this he takes the advice of going away to a different place to rebuild his broken self and his broken life.
Presented just before the opening section, you understand them deeply in the context of the book, but the poem really struck me from an Islamic perspective. Magnificent.
Of all the places a man with his kind of financial worth can go to lay down, he decides on going to Duma Key, or is it a illusion of making a decision. As Wireman would say, “We fool ourselves so much we could do it for a living”. You will hear about Wireman quite early even before you meet him. Wireman is an interesting character, one in whose name you can easily slip a ‘s’ in the place of ‘r’ and voila! Wiseman.
There is something strange on Duma Key and it effects the lives of the few people who inhabit it and the lives of the people who are part of the lives of the people who inhabit Duma Key.
The characters in this book are skilfully brushed out and one is able to easily build a connection with them.
Some people whom I told about the book were not able to understand what the ‘Key’ means in ‘Duma Key’. So for them, lmgtfy.
“Cay, also spelled key, a small, low-elevation, sandy island formed on the surface of a coral reef”.
I will leave the rest for you to discover, to unfold the mystery of Duma Key, to share some rare happy moments, to blank out after getting tired of the pain, to pick up a brush and start to paint, to see the distant horizon, to see the Sun setting, to see the Sun rising, to see a man’s failure, to see a father’s triumph, to see a girl’s bravery, for all that and more, I give you Duma Key.
“If I kept saying it; if I kept reaching out. My accident really taught me just one thing: the only way to go on is to go on. To say ‘I can do this’ even when you know you can’t.”
“Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won’t carry a quitter. ”
“I realized the shells were talking in a voice I recognized. I should have; it was my own. Had I always known that? I suppose I had. On some level, unless we’re mad, I think most of us know the various voices of our own imaginations.
And of our memories, of course. They have voices, too. Ask anyone who has ever lost a limb or a child or a long-cherished dream. Ask anyone who blames himself for a bad decision, usually made in a raw instant (an instant that is most commonly red). Our memories have voices, too. Often sad ones that clamor like raised arms in the dark.”
“Life is like Friday on a soap opera. It gives you the illusion that everything is going to wrap up, and then the same old shit starts up on Monday.”
“A person’s memory is everything, really. Memory is identity. It’s you.”
“In the end we always wear out our worries. That’s what Wireman says.”
“Clear communication between selves – the surface self and the deep self – is the enemy of self-doubt. It slays confusion.”
There is plenty more where this came from, Duma Key is indeed a masterpiece and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who found the above interesting.
Will I pick up some other paperback by Stephen King? Insha’Allah, yes, not any time soon though. Peace Out.