Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Duma Key: A Novel by Stephen King

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Publishers Weekly

King's latest novel is a fantastically eerie tale in line with his best psychological thrillers. John Slattery offers a triumphal performance-his firm, gripping tone perfectly suits this story of the darker side of human memory and creativity. The characters are each so different and complicated, creating a challenge for even the most seasoned narrator. But Slattery does the near-impossible and physically becomes Edgar Freemantle. In fact, the two become so inseparable the listener almost feels guilty listening to his heartfelt confessions. King's vision of Freemantle's fictional personal memoir demands a narrator so believable and solid in his delivery that it seems almost impossible. But Slattery creates a truly moving experience, commanding and truthful.

Oof. Very good. I've not read much Stephen King - only one or two really. This was also one of the (if not THE longest) longest audio TAPE books I've listened to - 18 (!) tapes. As noted in the review above, the reader (John Slattery) did a terrific job of creating the protagonist AND all the different supporting voices. It certainly passed my test, that of REMEMBERING the reader as a being full cast.

I think I might READ King next. I certainly enjoyed listening to this, and would again - but the problems with LISTENING to a "page turner" that pulls you in are: 1) it takes longer than reading, and 2) you can't always LISTEN - there are lots of times when you could be reading but can't plug in the earbuds.....

And the story was excellent - quite John MacDonald-ish in his appreciation of Florida (there are actually a few offhand references TO MacDonald.). I understand that this is a new setting King intends to explore. Interesting too, was the fact that the story began and ended in St. Paul, Minnesota - a place I know well.