The Dune

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Dana Jean

Apr 11, 2006
For some reason I just loved this short story! I love his clever sence of humour, especially when it meets horror. I've started tattooing my entire leg all of Stephen king books, I have pennywise and the Grady girls as well as 'redrum' and 'we all float down here ' , that's just a start but now I want to get a tiny one of a dune on my ankle for this short story. Pure brilliant it was.
Welcome, and photos. I want to see! I want to see!

hayley muench

Jun 29, 2016
Ah havnt read that one yet, dramcatcher.. I've read Shawshank, actually i read that one for a novel study in grade 11.


When it doubt, run!
Feb 11, 2015
whatsamatteru. usa
There is a mistake in the story, I think?

King presumably meant the lawyer's name was written in the sand, but on page 87, second paragraph (by that I mean second full paragraph on the page, I'm not considering the incomplete one at the top; is that the universal way of counting paragraphs on a page?), the Judge says that his lawyer, the one he is telling the tale to, can do the legal work for the Sarasota County Beach and Wildlife Preservation Society in regard to one of the requests in the Judge's will, the one pertaining to declaring the island with the dune forever wild (which I assume means it will then be protected and that people will be disallowed from stepping foot upon it?); he says he would like him to do it pro bono, but that it is his choice whether or not he will do it for free. How can he do that if he is dead? Presumably the man will die at any time before a month (I think it is) after his name is written in the sand, so yes, he still could have time to do it, but since the Judge wanted to get the will done quickly, and because of the way the ending was written, this would seem to contradict that paragraph.

Maybe I'm missing something, though, since no one else seems to have mentioned this in the thread (I may do a search to see if there is any commentary on this). Perhaps someone like Bev Vincent would like to offer an opinion, or Ms. Mod? I may very well be wrong and misunderstanding something, or am forgetting something in the narrative that reconciles what confuses me; after all, I believe this story was previously published, and any contradictions would have been caught by the time it was collected.

Still, I loved the story. At one point I thought this was how it was going to end (although the story would need to have been written slightly differently for this conclusion):

The word written in the dune would have been either Mankind, or Earth.

Another thing I thought is that it would have been fun if, somehow, the power of the dune was connected to the "Obits" story. Obviously both of those supernatural occurrences are different in nature -- one tells the future, one can make the future -- but it was something I nevertheless thought, as both of the stories' themes seemed to be similar. I should also say I don't necessarily want the two stories to be connected, as maybe it's best for both of these worlds to exist in their own respective collection of fictional letters.
Probably wrong since its been awhile since I read this. But I think that at the time of this conversation on page 87, the lawyer's name hadn't been written in the sand yet. That came later at the end. So at the time he expected to live a lot longer .

Zone D Dad

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2017
Chicago Suburbs
I just finished this one and I'm in agreement on the old-school feel. Totally felt like a Skeleton Crew era story. I love when SK creates characters and tells a story-within-a-story ala Mrs. Todd's Shortcut, The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet, etc.


Dec 8, 2017
Manchester, England.
Dune was my favourite story of the whole book. I know Obits won awards, but this was cleverer. I don’t think an inexperienced author could have written this. It has all the hallmarks of someone with talent showing off - in a good way. A top striker burrying the ball in the back of the net.

As everyone else says - top ending!

I also loved Blockade Billy & Morallity. I appreciated the preludes by SK - it’s great to get an insight in to how the stories get born. Two or three good ideas fusing together.

Mile 81 was a great insight in to how young kids think, and how they are capable of accepting responsibility.

Watching Strictly Come Dancing (UK) at the moment - Bolton lost again today - for a change. But hey-ho on to the next match.

You’ve got to keep the faith, and it will eventually it will happen. (hopefully!?!)



Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
The Netherlands
It was certainly okay, but I didn't find it so special as most on the board. There just wasn't a lot to it: the name of someone about to die appears in the sand each time, but there isn't a lot of plot besides. The ending is okay, but it wasn't all that shocking: you knew a new name appeared and it could be one of two most likely, as there weren't other important characters.
King says his ideas often come in two parts, sometimes with lots of time in between. Maybe he should have waited for a better second part for this story.

If the judge had tried to stop someone from dying or if an announced death had something to do with a case he worked on, it might have been more interesting. It could have explained a little more about the past of the island, if there perhaps was a reason these names would appear.

It was okay, but not something outstanding, in my opinion.


Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2017
I think the Judge was just being a grumpy old guy. He just wanted to see the look on the guy face when he told him fate. Watch him spend time worrying and squirming over it. It more like hay better you then me type of thing. or why even tell him at all.
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Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
The Netherlands
I think the Judge was just being a grumpy old guy. He just wanted to see the look on the guy face when he told him fate. Watch him spend time worrying and squirming over it. It more like hay better you then me type of thing. or why even tell him at all.
It didn't feel to me like the judge was really a mean guy, but, yeah, telling the lawyer is kind of a cruel thing. It might have been better not to tell someone they're about to die. But the judge had kept it secret for so long he had to tell someone, and the lawyer is sworn to secrecy by way of his profession. If it had been known the judge really believed what he told about the dune his will might have been not valid by reason of insanity.
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