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
First, let me compliment Raul Esparza for an excellent job in presenting this long and complicated novel. He handled the characters masterfully.
If you ever want to experience impotence in the presence of bullies, this book can certinly take you to the heart of it. It was infuriating to see and feel how the "bad guy" politician of the story was able to manipulate almost everyone around him to fabricate cover-up for his own evil deeds. As usualy with SK books, I knew that none of the characters was sacred, and it was good to be prepred for loss.
While I don't think this is SK's best novel, it does demonstrate his ability to wrench your insides in frustration and concern for the real people he creates, and it certainly gives "cause to pause" over our cavalier dismissial of the lives of animals and other life forms that we consider less important than we are.
I just finished "Under the Dome" a few minutes ago. What a great novel! Don't let the length of this audiobook dissuade you from buying it. Stephen King needs every minute to develop the characters and to weave his plot. I can't think of a single word he could remove without damaging the storyline. I agree with King's assertion in the book, the herd can be a heartless, cruel bunch. We agree to do things, sometimes bad things, all because we're part of a group.
I struggled with the beginning but the huge number of characters and simultaeous events creates a rich listening (reading) environment. I cannot put myself in the catagory of a Steven King fan but I am now ... also Raul Esparza is a brilliant reader and I thank him for bringing this book to life for me.
Loved it! Especially the "spanking" to Bush & Cheney, or should I say Cheney & Bush! Had to chuckle when Jack Reacher appeared. If you are a right-winged Christian, you might want to pass on this one.
This audio book was remarkable in every way. King outdid himself w/ the story - it was truly excellent - gripping from start to finish. The voice acting is excellent. I'd listened to a no. of audio books b4 beginning this one. Raul Esparza is one of the best voice actors I've come across. He really brought Stephen King's "Under the Dome" and all its diverse characters to life.
I'm not an across-the-board King fan. In fact, I hadn't read any of his work in many years. I'd "gone off" him long ago as I thought his writing had become too commercial. This work, however, is on a par w/ his work w/ "The Stand" and w/ his "Dark Towers" series.
An excellent listen (and read, I'm sure).
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.
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