To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Stand meets Needful Things meets Tommyknockers meets Survivor
Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2018
Let me start by saying that I've been a King fan from the beginning. But, I strayed to Dean Koontz (a hellava storyteller!) when King got weird toward the end of the 90's. Duma Key made me hopeful, although it wasn't King at his best. It was almost like he had ran out of ideas and was stringing us along with the short stories and the novellas. I had given up until 11/22/63. And, let's face it folks... the "KING" had never ran out of ideas, he was just holding back! I was back in the saddle with 11/22/63 and everything else he has written since then and it's my opinion that his work has gotten so much better with age. I never fail to be amazed that his work can seize me with fear and hope and disgust and rapture ALL AT THE SAME TIME! So, how did I manage to miss Under the Dome until now? This book popped up in my recommendations. I must have been on the outs with the Big Kahuna or under a rock when it was released. Got it in the mail on Monday. Started it during my lunch hour on Tuesday. Finished it on Saturday. It's 1074 pages. That's 1074 pages of Stephen King, folks. I had to put my life into limbo to get to the end of this novel. Hear me when I say it spun my world into a state of suspension! My family had to eat cereal, the laundry piled up, and the bed barely got slept in. I basically only showered, droned through work and rushed home to get back to this book. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! It's The Stand meets Needful Things meets Tommyknockers meets Survivor. The basic concept is that an invisible force field claps down over a small New England town and seals them off from the rest of the world. But, throw in a megalomaniac and retired war-hero who begin trying to save the town in their own special way and what you get is King's magic. The characters you love become the characters you hate. What seems impossible becomes reality in the pages of the book and then the story begins to parallel with things that are happening in our real world. Then it's 3am and you're not sure who you hate in the book anymore because you see a little of yourself in the vilest villain King creates. But, you know one thing for sure... you can't put that book down because you're going to see where the next twist takes you!
3.0 out of 5 starsBook or TV series? Which did you prefer?
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2018
I'm glad I saw the TV series before I read the book. I enjoyed the first two seasons; I could have done without the third. Still, although the TV series did convey the claustrophobic atmosphere of the Dome, the characters on the whole were much more likeable, and even "Big Jim" Rennie wasn't quite as villainous, although he was certainly no hero, either.
King himself, in the Author's Note, admits there is quite a large cast of characters in the novel. It seemed to me he was trying to balance the bad characters with the good. Perhaps I am overly optimistic, but I believe that most people are basically good, and especially in a town the size of Chester's Mill, with a thousand or so people, it would be hard to come up with a police force of a couple dozen people who were willing to ignore their conscience and follow Rennie's orders. And I don't think Rennie could have fooled so many people into trusting him. At one point, Colonel Cox mentioned that Rennie had done things like charging interest rates up to 40%, having people pay for their car two or three times over, and the like. There had to be enough people in Chester's Mill who knew Rennie for what he was - a greedy, heartless moneygrubber - to prevent him from acquiring so much power.
Another difference between the book and the TV series is Dale Barbara ("Barbie") spends almost three-fourths of the book in jail, whereas in the TV series he is one of the main characters and in almost every scene. Except for the few times Barbie is visited in jail, he is only active in the book in the very beginning and in the end, after his friends bust him out of jail.
Just because I liked the TV series better, that doesn't mean I didn't like the book. I did, it's just that there were times when I got really tired of reading about mean, nasty people, or people who were drug addicts or alcoholics or otherwise had serious problems. Like, for instance, Junior's brain tumor which caused him to act on impulses which must have already been there but he managed to control them until the tumor started eating away at his brain.
Speaking of which, even though the book for the most part didn't have the graphic violence of the TV series (I closed my eyes during the opening credits every time the Dome split the cow in half), there were plenty of descriptions of some pretty nasty stuff. Typical King, but somewhat restrained, for which I say a resounding "Thank you!"
I was glad that King offered an explanation for the origin of the Dome in the book (no spoilers), something the TV series never really dealt with. It reminded me of several Twilight Zone episodes, however. So many books are written these days, it's hard to come up with truly original ideas. The Dome as something that is done to people, as opposed to something that is done for people (which I've read in other science fiction books) is original. And the book doesn't have the easy answers for problems caused by the Dome that the series did.
Is the book worth reading? Definitely. But this is another case where I would advise watching the TV series first, before reading the book, simply because the series is more enjoyable - in my opinion.
It appears most people categorize this as horror/supernatural fiction, because Stephen King is a horror writer. There are a few instances where there are occurrences which could be labeled supernatural: a dog hearing (and understanding) the voice of a dead person, for example. But considering the origin of the Dome and the detailed description of the effects of the explosion on the Dome, I would call this speculative fiction at the very least, if not science fiction.
2.0 out of 5 starsChock full of story wrecking political hackery
Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2019
The story is entertaining though much of this book and the voice performance is really great (baaaarbie), but Stephen Kings loony left wing bias just pops it's ugly head up way too often. It's distracting and takes a lot away from the story. Really? Every white male christian is an evil crack addicted psychopath Nazi rapist and every journalist is like a cherub from heaven!? Come on dude. I know this is fiction, but these old cliches are not only unbelievable, they are tre booooooring. If I knew it would have been like this I would not have purchased this audio book.
The influence for The Dome may well have come from the works of John Wyndham, but that's where any similarities end. Wyndham wrote lean, intelligent stories, The Dome is neither lean or intelligent. It's not just the sheer, exhausting, length of The Dome that is problematic. The quality of the writing and characterisation is notably poorer than in King's earlier books, and you simply don't care what happens as Chester's Mill tries to make sense of being covered by a huge, invisible dome and quickly disintegrates as a community. Indeed, the first few pages of The Dome read like something that even James Herbert would have rejected, it's that poor. King has explored small town America way better than this, so in lots of ways this feels like a mighty long and totally unnecessary addition to his list of titles. Even as a skim read, it is very hard going. Avoid.
I first read Under the Dome in 2010, just after it was first released. A long time fan of Stephen King, I was looking forward to getting stuck into another King epic. For me, Stephen King has the ability to make even a 1074 page book into a fast, addictive, page-turner, and Under the Dome was no exception (I read it for the first time over a weekend - yep, in two days).
Since I've read about 300 books in between readings, my memory was pretty hazy as to the details, but I knew the major plot line - a small town in Maine is suddenly cut off from the outside world by a invisible, impenetrable dome. What follows is the story of what happens to the townspeople inside as s*** starts to get real.
I was a huge fan of the opening of Under the Dome the first time, and the second time was no exception. It's a real attention grabber - the dome falls within the first few pages, and the amount of detail in which King describes the event is so imaginative that once I started reading, I found it difficult to stop.
As with many King novels, the cast of characters is huge, but there are only a few key characters - some of them average guys just trying to do the right thing and others are just plain crazy evil bastards. I love me a good baddie, and the baddies in Under the Dome are pretty despicable. Despite all the characters, I really liked how it gave me more perspectives - although I'm definitely a reader that will disregard less-than-stellar characterisation for a good plot line, so readers who need that strong character connection may not be able to forgive as readily as myself.
Under the Dome sounds like it couldn't possibly stretch to over 1000 pages - it's a bunch of people stuck in a small area and it sounds like the problems they face could become pretty repetitive, but King finds ways to make each persons' story unique. A pretty big deal considering the multitude of characters, but as always the amount of imagination and planning that goes into Under the Dome is pretty typical of King, and one of the reasons I enjoy reading his books so much.
Perhaps my only disappointment in the book as a whole is the actual reason behind the dome and the ending. It's kinda cool, and unique, but it also felt in the scheme of the plot it was over and done with pretty quickly - just not as balanced as I would have liked it to be, and perhaps even no real explanation would have worked better for me.
On the second reading, I've rated it slightly lower than my first reading, but before blogging my ratings were pretty much on gut feeling and the speed of which I read a book rather than weighing up the pros and cons, but I still really enjoyed Under the Dome, and it's definitely one of the most memorable Stephen King books I've read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 9, 2015
This is a novel about Chester's Mill, a town in Maine where a mysterious dome appears one autumn day cutting off the inhabitants from the outside world. It is essentially the story of the consequences of that event for the inhabitants, their relationships, their town politics and their environment, with plenty of violence and shocking events thrown in. I was prompted to read this having watched the first two seasons of the TV adaptation on Amazon Prime, the first of which was quite good and reasonably close to the book, the second series much less so. The book is good, though far too long (as was the last King novel I read, 11.22.63), at 880 pages. There is a range of characters of all types, and the author is very good at creating even minor three dimensional characters. One of the most notable and chilling features of the narrative is how relatively insignificant and (sometimes) inoffensive individuals can become tinpot dictators and violent thugs when they are allowed a whiff of power in a restricted environment, when unrestrained by the checks and balances in wider society; the speed with which the society in Chester's Mill unravels is well told, though perhaps the disintegration is implausibly fast (the events of the whole novel take place in a single week). The final resolution of why the Dome happened is not one that many readers would have anticipated, and I am undecided whether I think it was a lame resolution or rather a wonderful one. Worth a read.
4.0 out of 5 starsThe King has reclaimed his Throne
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2015
Another excellent novel from the King of Horror - 'Under the Dome' delivers on all fronts: it has an engaging plot full of mystery; a well rounded cast of intriguing characters; some tense and even horrific moments - but not horrific in terms of killer clowns or vampires - horror on a much more human level. The horror of corrupt politicians creating their own authoritarian regimes, of the Police being formed into gangs of thugs and the terror of half a town becoming a hysterical mob.
Characterisation is Kings bread and butter and this book is no exception: you will find yourself cheering when the protagonists occasionally triumph and mourning them when they fail. King has also created some entertaining villains who will have you clenching your hands in fists of rage at certain points The point I am getting at is that King makes you care. And does so effortlessly.
My main gripe is with the revelation near the end - although it isn't terrible, I found much of the suspense lost once we knew who/what was behind the Dome. Some of the child characters also slightly irritated me. As other reviewers have mentioned, some of their dialogue is cringe worthy and can leave you shaking your head with embarrassment.
This is still a fantastic book and some would argue a return to form for King (I personally have yet to read a bad book from him). By the standards of some of his earlier works, this is a solid 4 Star book. By the standards of the rest of the world, there's no question: easily a 5. Highly recommended.
I watch the TV show and love it, so I thought I would give the book a try since I always like to bring a book on my summer vacations. Although the book is very different to the TV show, it is still very interesting and I really got drawn into it. I hardly put the book down. I am not finished yet but I am more than half way through. This is a book with adult-related topics (rape, brutal murder, gore etc.) so just a warning if your not into that.
The condition of the book was amazing. I payed £1.94 for this book, which is insane!For the little price I payed, I was outstanded at the condition. It looks brand new. There are absolutely no faults with the condition of the book! The book was also way thicker than I expected it to be, so you will be entertained for a very long time. I would have thought a book like this would cost at least £7! The book contains a character list and a map, so if your like me and you forget who a person is, or you want to find it easier to set the scene, this feature is great! I would 100% recommend this book.