I am an entertainer...so I spend a lot of time on the road. I take my audio seriously. I appreciate great writing and outstanding narration.
I SO wanted to really LOVE this BIG book. But what happens when books drone on and on? The characters do silly things and the plot takes twists that make you go...huh?
A reasonable effort. Certainly listenable. Just make sure you have a number of "grains of salt" to help you get through it.
"Under the Dome" is being compared to King's earlier and greater work, "The Stand." "Dome" is entertaining, and I give it 3 points mostly for King-isms such as "Nothing runs like a Deere." (Of course the narrator deserves some credit for the delivery too.)
It's no "Stand," however. The big difference is that King devotes the entire work of the "Dome" to the subject covered in about 1/6 of "The Stand" - that is, the destruction of the world he's writing about. "The Stand" deals with that and then moves swiftly on to the part which I personally found more interesting; would it be possible to reconstruct society after the loss of so many people? That King had to use the hand-wavium of supernatural events to pull the protagonists together into one location shows that Stewart's "Earth Abides" describes the likelier outcome of such a catastrophe, but in "The Stand," King manages to pull off a fairly exciting work on the subject. In "Dome," however, King becomes one of those kids burning ants under a magnifying lens that he talks about in the book; he creates characters - some really evil bad guys and some weak and ineffectual good guys - then he spends the rest of the book watching them jump through hoops while everything goes crashing down around them.
If you thought the best part of "The Stand" was part 1, you'll enjoy "Under the Dome." If you're a hard core SF buff and would like a more character-driven and more scientifically interesting look at this notion of what would happen if you were cut off from the rest of the universe, I highly recommend Robert Charles Wilson's "Spin" instead.
Say something about yourself!
I was curious when other reviewers commented that the book was good, but had a bad ending. Never having read or listened to SK, I wanted to try it. Compared to other audio books, I have to say this was one of the worst, both the book and the narrator. I have never critiqued a reader before, but I can see why people do now. Book- I'm not offended by language, graphic images, political or religious messages so that does not slant my view, but if you are sensitive to those things, this book is not for you. SK is skilled at describing people, places, and things with immense detail to create a picture in your head, but, like all good things, it can be overdone. This book was slow and boring and as I mention in the title of the review, it's an age old plot. Big fish in a little pond who's an opportunist ego-driven scumbag wants more power and control and uses the isolation of the dome to further that cause. Throw in a little Rambo for protagonist "Barby" and the plot is completely old and boring. You really just want to find out what the deal with the dome is, and yes, that is a pretty weak explanation that may have been better created while SK was still on drugs. SK's repetition of people voiding themselves when dying was rather odd. I've read many books where characters died, and as a clinician, understand the loss of bodily control when a person dies, I've just never had to experience it so many times in a book. Once or twice for effect, after that, just redundant.
Narrator- I don't envy the job and couldn't do it myself, but have listened to many audio books with fantastic narration, this was not one. Southern drawls in a Maine based story did not work for me, teenagers sounded like stoned surfers, women sounded like children, many characters sounded like they had either speech impediments or were developmentally delayed...what a mess!
Bad book, bad narration. "His best work"? Hope not. Going to try the old stuff.
Fabulous! Intense! Mind Blowing! I am not a regular Stephen King reader, but I am going to start now. The book was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be. I DID NOT WANT IT TO END!
Great to read a Stephen King novel again that harkens back to some of his tried and true charactors and personalities. Many times I felt like I had meant these people before, just in a different place. Pace was good and the narration was spot on. A little on the long side, sometimes felt like the story was repeating itself, but really worth the listen.
I was beginning to think Stephen King had lost it. But this was great! Not too bizarre, but classic King. One of his better books in the past ten years. Maybe not as good as Green Mile, but still good enough to keep me listening for hours at a time. Great characters.
Wow - I am not generally a Stephen King fan, but I loved every bit of this one. I kept imagining a dome coming down as I was driving on the highway. Totally crazy to imagine - and King does it in full detail. This is a long one, but it holds your attention throughout. Narration is superb - distinctive voices for all of the huge cast.
Although King does go for full detail on some gore and depravity, this isn't a horror novel at all. I'd say it will appeal to anyone who likes a good small-town story, where the characters rule the roost. Human nature under a magnifying glass. With a little science fiction thrown in for good measure. Highly recommended!
I couldn't stop listening to this book. The story is wonderful and I thought the reader was exceptional. I had no trouble keeping this huge cast of characters straight. The main characters, both the evil and the good, were so vivid and so real. I loved the political angle of the story, too. I would recommend this to anyone, even people who think they wouldn't like anything by Stephen King.
This audio moves from the start and does not slow down. It kept me captivated because there was always something happening. I could not stop listening to it because there was never a slow minute. The Stand was always my favorite Stephen King book but this one has now replaced it. You will not be disappointed.