On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens - town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing - even murder - to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.
©2009 Stephen King; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster
A complex storyline as well as a large cast of characters make for a very compelling and hard-to-put-down book. If you're looking for another "The Stand", which I think it tries to accomplish, you will find it falls short but it is still a good story nonetheless.
The book was a good read, and it kept my interest reasonably well, but it didn't leave a very good taste in my mouth. Several problems that I observed:
1. The most intelligent characters in the town are still pretty stupid. The story is full of stereotypes such as "all Christians are either hypocrites or psychopaths." Also, when people starting making sense they "started sounding less Republican." OK, King, I get it: Christian = Republican = stupid. I'm pretty tired of the stereotype.
2. The book is unnecessarily gory and vulgar to the point of seemingly taking joy in narrating the horrors that befall the people of the small town. *SPOILER ALERT* In the end, what is the point of killing off some of the children? It's like King wanted to see the dome in place just long enough to see a couple more kids die within hours of being rescued. WTF? The whole book seemed like a desperate attempt at shock value and ironically, it ended up only desensitizing. I found myself being pretty into it for the first 2/3, but as the horrors mounted including what seemed like totally superfluous accounts of minor characters' deaths, I pulled back and eventually by the end of the book, I just wanted it to be over.
3. The writing at times had literary merit, but overall it felt like a script for a made for TV miniseries.
4. The most interesting part of the whole book, the dome, was never really explored. Seemed like he missed out here. *SPOILER ALERT* I do understand that it was more about what happened under the dome, but what happened under the dome was pretty much everyone dies. Really interesting...
There's more I could say, but these were the things that stood out. It did keep me wanting to know what happened next, but in the end, not satisfying at all.
Another winner by the master of horror. Unlike most of Mr. Kings long novels, this one gets you from the beginning. Fast paced and lots of great characters. A must read!
An amazing and fast-paced story, made even more interesting by the development of the cast of players. Raul Esparza is a great storyteller, and did justice to the tale.
I don't know how SK manages to make the most "mundane" things seem so interesting. A scary clown, an entire book written in one room and now a town isolated from the world. I normally read King's stories and since he is a bit wordy sometimes I find myself skimming over half of the content. In this one, I listened instead and really, really enjoyed the book. I finished it in record time and wanted more. I wished he had delved into the ending a bit more, and written a lot more about that situation (don't want to spoil here) but it was a good ending and overall one of my best "listens" this year.
Glad I didn't get caught in there! It was good. I think all King is good. It gave me pause. It disturbed me. It wasn't exactly horror, but it made me admit horrible things to myself. I didn't want to go back and listen again right away. Maybe never. It will stick with me. Richard Bachman. Again, disturbing, but not horrifying. Good listen.
Avid reader but surprisingly I have never read Stephen King before. King and Under the Dome get great scores in all the areas I care about: No boring spots, interesting characters, realistic dialog. I am looking for another Stephen King book to read now.
top 10 of his works. A little drug out at times but almost had to be to get the whole picture and get truly involved with the characters and circumstances.
Clearly from reading the reviews, you either love this story or hate it. I just finished the book and have been glued to my Ipod for the past 4 days. I think he nailed the worst and best of humanity's qualities & emotions. Out of the 30 plus hours of the story I thought that somewhere in the middle a couple of hours were a little slow but not enough to stop me from giving this book anything but 5 stars. Raul did a great job of narrating as well.
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