My biggest issue with the reading was one that I hadn't seen mentioned, so I wanted to toss it out there. There are quite a few characters who are children, and every one of them are read like they're morons with head colds.
Also, someone mentioned the political commentary... that person missed the irony, I think. Yes, there are several "types" portrayed in the book, and two of the characters are an aged, liberal, pot smoking professor and his much younger squeeze. They're pretty pompous, and yes, a comment is made about it not being Bush's police state any more...but they're portrayed as annoying, preaching, laughable characters. It's certainly not an endorsement.
If King inserted his own political views in the book, "Under the Dome" would indicate that he's a moderate, irritated by those at the far ends of the spectrum who are sure they know best for everyone else. Besides, the good guys aren't political, and the bad guys aren't driven by politics or ideology- they're only interested in power.
He's a great narrator, particularly effective in this story full of gypsies and mobsters.
As for those who have issues with King vs. Bachman, there's no doubt that he put his darker fodder out as under the pen name. King's novels always have something of "the coming of the white" about them, while under Bachman you just have to wait for the darkness you know isn't going to let up.
Another reviewer asked something along the lines of "how much can you say about weight loss?" and my reply is: Quite a lot, actually, especially since it's not really about the physical weight but about guilt, family ties, responsibility, and how far one is willing to go before they hit the wall.
As a child of the 80s It pains me to not like this book- Jesse's Girl was first song I heard coming out of my very first radio. It seemed like a sign, and I loved RS thereafter.
Which now seems rather ironic, given that he loves to talk about "signs" in his bio. And his many trysts, not to mention going on and on about how wonderful the wife he keeps cheating on is. And his depression, which he calls "Mr. D," and seems quite reminiscent of Dexter's Dark Passenger.
But none of it is in much depth- he's miserable enough to end up on lithium for a time, but doesn't really describe what either the depression or the relief feel like. He uses and tosses away many (many) girls but doesn't explain the inner mechanism that drives him to it. He and his wife have many issues to overcome, but there's no real explanation of how they do this- she's just "endlessly understanding" as they "work together."
Plus RS wants it both ways. In the book he literally chastises the reader for standing in judgement of him about all his behavior- some of which is quite creepy, including the only affair he goes into depth about, involving a clearly crazy kid with daddy issues. Yet without the sort of behavior that begets chastisement, what kind of book deal would he have gotten?
I have no doubt that he's suffered immensely in his life, both by circumstance and through his own actions. It would have been a much better book if the reader was able to find a larger sense of growth after his "late late night" finally ended.
Hamilton is always makes me vaguely sad- such a fantastic imagination with wonderful concepts but never, ever enough story and always too much pointless, repetitive sex. We get it, the heroine is strong and sexy, but those scenes lose their impact and become eye-rollingly annoying when we follow her into her boudoir over and over in every book.
Add to that an overly breathy, moany narrator and I threw in the towel halfway through. After wading through dozens of Hamilton books to pick out the meaty bits of story, this just might be the last time I indulge in my dirty little secret indulgence. (though I've said that before...)
Incidentally, although I recognize that there are only so many ways to describe certain acts, if I never hear anyone talk about 'spilling' (out of clothes, over passionate edges, etc etc) ever again it'll be too soon. :)
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