I have listened to many audio books, and for me the book is made by the narration. Under the Dome is no exception. Raul Esparza is fabulous. Of course in this case you also have to love the way Steven King winds out a novel, and he does it in classic King style. If you liked The Stand you will like this book too.
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.
Stephen King was once my favorite novelist; I devoured his first novels, read The Stand in 3 days, enjoyed the Bachman books, and bought the Green Mile in six separate paperbacks as it was originally distributed. I'm not sure if my tastes grew or if King's writing didn't, but there came a time (right after The Dark Half?) that once I started a King novel I wasn't able to get very far before putting it down. Some 20 years later, and searching for a good audio book, I gave Under the Dome a chance...then a second chance...a third...While the premise is promising and could have been spun minimally into an adequate good vs. evil stand off, King instead chose to introduce upwards of 100 characters. I found it grueling, boring, and confusing trying to keep track of so many characters. Making matter worse, is that I King wasn't able to develop any of these characters and make me care what happened to them. The hero wasn't heroic enough; the villian wasn't evil enough. The drama wasn't dramatic. Enough with the sidestories. I don't claim to be an able novelist, but every book I've ever read on the novel writing process stated that if it doesn't advance the plot or develop a character throw it out. The story set itself up for what could have been a great vehicle for betrayal, power, or even horror, but limped along telling a 5 hour story over 30+ hours. No spoil alert here. You weave a tale so out-there as King does, it is hard to wrap it all up in a neat, little satisfying bow. Not surprising, he doesn't. The ending, much like the rest of the book, was unimaginative and unsatisfying.
First I'll say this was an excellent download and a great listen. I found myself constantly looking for excuses to put on the ipod and continue the book. It even inspired me to go on several loooong runs!
I loved the sprawling epic. Classic Stephen King a la the Stand. Good and huge cast of characters. Very enjoyable.
The narrator does a really good job for the most part. His Big Jim voice in particular was AWESOME. However, his voice for little kids makes them all sound kind of retarded which is annoying.
So why isn't this a great book? Well there has to be a reason for the dome, and the reason/payoff for it is less than satisfying in my opinion. King tries to come up with this really clever, ironic twist for why the dome exists, and its just a little too goofy in my opinion. I think a simple government experiment gone awry would have been preferrable.
Either way, I highly recommend this audiobook. It will keep you entertained for a good many hours and is still well worth your time. Now how about getting THE STAND in audio format??? I have it on cassette and know it exists!!!
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!
While having almost all the bad guys being rock-ribbed Republicans and fundamentalist Christians got tedious after 500 pages, King still provides gripping prose and engaging dialog, and I was hooked, until the end, which was anemic. Raul Esparza did a passable job at the narration, but it made me long for William Hurt and his nuanced, brilliant narration of Hearts in Atlantis. Still, if you don't mind a hefty does of King's leftwing politics and some strange vocal characterizations (especially for several of the women and most of the children), then this is well worth your time.
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.