My personal challenge for myself is to read 36 books this year. I plan to read a variety of books — novels, business, spiritual, etc. I will document each book here on this blog.

First up is Duma Key by Stephen King. I should mention that by “reading” I also include “listening”. I have a 30 minute commute each day of the week and use this time to listen books. I “read” my first Stephen King book, The Stand, during my commute last year. I downloaded it from some torrent site on the interwebs as I could not find it an audiobook anywhere. It was recorded from 46 (46!!) tape sides and took me about 6 weeks to finish.

Since then, I have a problem with Stephen King. Not a problem like I want to fight him or that I disapprove of the potty words he puts in his characters’ mouths. My problem is that I can’t stop reading his books. After finishing The Stand, I “read” Desperation, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The Green Mile — each of which I enjoyed more than The Stand. I also read (note that I actually read) “On Writing” in the hospital during the three days after my daughter Keira was born.

For me, Duma Key succeeded by exceeding my lowered expectations. I had not heard anything about the book and the synopsis did not endear me. But I persevered because I wanted to engage some of Mr. King’s more recent work so I could possibly stand out among his constant readers should I ever run in to him at the airport. I enjoyed but did not love the book.

Actually, I don’t know what to type here. I don’t feel like doing a plot summary as it does not interest me and seems an unwise use of my time. I am not a book critic, so… Here are a couple of random thoughts:

  1. This is a buddy book about the fascinating and convincing friendship between Edgar Freemantle and Jerome Wireman. I never appreciated the term muchacho until reading this book.
  2. It’s also about the supernatural and creepy — done in the very natural and earthy Stephen King style which I so enjoy.
  3. My favorite word picture of the book was at the beginning when Edgar and Wireman first met. Edgar was recovering from a crippling accident. While at Duma Key, he would walk along the beach each day to regain his strength. However, because he lived by himself, he could only walk so far or he would not be able to get back home. As he walked a little farther each day, he got closer and closer to Wireman. This is how they got to know one another. The way this partcular scene played out, Edgar walking back and forth from his house and getting ever closer to Wireman was like the description of waves coming father up the beach as the tide rolled in.

Good book, but in my opinion, The Green Mile it ain’t.

Next Up (probably): East of Eden by John Steinbeck