My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Long winded at times, it is also lyrical and reminiscent of the ebbs and flows of the tide, of the seashells whispering their never ending story of the surf. King cuts to the heart, tying in poetry, Nietzche, murder, and hints of madness with an ethereal eloquence.
This summer I drove from Miami to Key West and back, stopping often to explore, and falling in love with the area. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with this book—with the friendship, the repetition, the sound of the sea. That, and, I listened to the audiobook version read by John Slattery (aka Roger Sterling from Mad Men). Holy guacamole, I could listen to him read the back of a shampoo bottle and enjoy the audio chocolate dripping in my earholes. (Probably going to have to listen to all the audiobooks he narrates.)
Time, it always comes back to time, doesn't it? Time and memory. Haunted beaches. This book.
“I thought there would be time, but we always think stuff like that, don't we? We fool ourselves so much we could do it for a living.”
“It's perfectly okay to paraphrase Nietzche: if you keep your focus, eventually your focus will keep you. Sometimes without parole.”
"Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.
How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe."
"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."
“You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think."
And a bonus snippet from one of my favorite poets, Frank O'Hara:
*it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners
the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water*
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