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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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This was my first King novel. I really enjoyed the story of what the town does to it self once under the dome.

  • Overall

Excellent book, superb Narrator

This book was so good it had me wishing that i WOULD get stuck in traffic so i could listen longer. Raul Esparza did such an unbelievably amazing job - the voices that he can do, the emotion he brings to the book, the way he tells the tale makes you feel like you are there, or for me - it;'s like I'm reading it myself (or even better) and for me that is the ultimate compliment. I hgad to download the book on IBooks so i could read it while unable to listen - since i was dying to know what would happen next - but i could never read it because it wasn't the same, by the time you first listen, Raul's narration becomes part of the book.

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  • Lynn
  • Seymour, WI, United States
  • 12-15-10

Painful Listen

I am an absolute Stephen King nut--I listen to the entire Dark Tower series every summer, but THIS.... It is absolutely painful to listen to. The novel itself has enough problems--it seems as though Mr. King's editor took the year off when this one came across his desk. Seriously, just because the author has produced some incredibly epic volumes does not mean that everything that pours from his pen is golden. The narration is horrendous. There have to be narrators out there who can do dialects, but Mr. Esparza isn't among them. I'm into the 2nd of 5 sections and don't know if I'll be able to keep listening. I can only dream of what Frank Muller would have done with this material.

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  • Jessica
  • middlebury, VT, United States
  • 12-08-10


As fantastic a premise as Mr. King has dreamed up here, and as much as I'm not always a big fan of the totally unbelievable, I found this book right up there with "The Stand" in terms of one that kept its hold after multiple re-readings. There were a lot of negative reviews of his book, but aside from some of the grisliest bits (which I do admit made my skin crawl) I really liked it, perhaps because I share his distaste for right-wing Christian fundamentalists (and keep in mind one of the "good guys" is also a minister). The number and variety of characters didn't detract from the story for me, in fact they added to the overall look at human nature literally under the microscope, which isn't always real pretty. My first listen to this was while painting several rooms, and it really made the time fly!

  • Overall

One of Kings best.

I'm not a Stephen King fan in any way. I read "The Stand" when I was a teenager and nothing else he ever did really struck me like that book did. I listened to "The Dome" a while ago and I will still go back to it from time to time. No one else could have made the characters come alive like Raul Esparza did. The story goes a little into the twilight zone at the end, but all Stephen King novels usually take a trip into wierd zone at some point. I don't think going into the wierd took anything away from this book. The characters were so vivid and alive, you don't come away from this book feeling like you didn't get the whole story.

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  • Matt
  • Marlborough, NH, United States
  • 11-20-10

A parable

I wasn't going to write a review until I read one of the one-star reviews. Clearly that reviewer and I read different books (though, to be fair, I'm only about 2/3 through it at the moment).

This has to be one of King's most ambitious novels yet - part yarn, part mystery, part character study, part supernatural, part horror (complete with burning pumpkins), part political commentary. In short, something for everyone, and, while you may feel it drags at times - after all, it's almost 35 hours - you won't be bored.

I've been particularly struck by the political commentary component, and I'd like to think that even the most conservative of readers will be taken aback by the very obvious political power grab that King has his Conservative (capital C) antagonist take when the town of Chester's Mill is cut off from the rest of the world by the dome. For those with something of an open mind, there are lessons to be learned (lessons others have learned, perhaps, in elementary school, but better late than never).

One reviewer has been critical of the narrator's accents. I think we can cut Raul Esparza a bit of a break. There are probably hundreds of "speaking roles," and keeping them all straight, and distinctive, has to be an incredible challenge. That said, he really does capture the New England accents well (one sign, for this New England resident at least, is that my blood curdles when I hear some of them). Some accents are a bit out of whack, including the primary protagonist, but, again, I'm happy to cut Mr. Esparza a break.

  • Overall
  • Theresa
  • New Orleans, LA, United States
  • 11-18-10

Wish I could rate the book and narrator separately

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.

  • Overall
  • Brenda
  • Charlestown, IN, United States
  • 11-17-10

the good, the bad and the ugly

of course it is good, it's Stephen King....however, as with most of his stuff it is good up to the end where he seems to run out of ideas, goes way out on a limb and the ending was just rushed and, except for the ending it was very good.

  • Overall

back to classic king

this was a very classic King in the vain of The Stand (which I don't understand why it isn't avalible on audible), the Shining and The Dead Zone. The narrator, Raul Esparaza, did a great job. I hated the villian so much I couldnt wait for him to be killed, I was a little disappointed he wasn't killed better then he was but a very good book all the way around

  • Overall

A great book.

This is one of King's best a great read from cover to cover. Could not stop listening.