Under the Dome

A Novel
Narrated by: Raul Esparza
Length: 34 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22,119 ratings)

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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

Featured Article: Stephen King’s 20 Best Audiobooks—The Definitive List


Stephen King is one of the most prolific American authors of all time. He has published 61 novels, more than 200 short stories, and six nonfiction books—and he shows no sign of stopping. His most recent novel, The Institute, was published in September of 2019, and we’ve already pre-ordered his novella anthology If It Bleeds, which is set to be released in 2020. With such a large portfolio, choosing one listen to start with can be daunting.

What listeners say about Under the Dome

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    12,526
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    6,281
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Story
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The end sucks!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

LOTS of time well spent. This is a VERY long book. The narrator is excellent.

Would you recommend Under the Dome to your friends? Why or why not?

No. The ending really doesn't make any sense and the good guys suffer FAR more than the bad guys.

Which character – as performed by Raul Esparza – was your favorite?

Hard to say as there were SO many of them. Raul did a wonderful job with all of them.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. They made a TV series out of it though which from the little I've seen is VERY different from the plot of the book.

Any additional comments?

The end sucks.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrid narration, thin characters, poor plot

What would have made Under the Dome better?

I have been a fan of Audible for years, listened to many books of various genre's and while not all are as good as I hoped some are fantastic. This one however a huge disappointment and believe is a testament of the power of marketing and how that trumps quality.

I am not usually so critical of another person's work, especially one which is this large, i can't imaging how long it took to narrate a book of this size, but this is possibly the worst narration I've ever encountered. Esparza's voice is fine, his enunciation is clear, but the direction of the characters, their voices and manner is amateurish. It might even warrant a do-over.

For example, the character, Big Jim, sounds like a slow, backwater country hick. The character is a New England used car salesman and local politician, and the character as it is read is non-believable. Many other characters are also cursed with voices that are very uncharacteristic and it's very hard to get past. The children's voices are whiny and nasally and all of them sound the same regardless of age or gender.

Ultimately, it may be best to watch the TV series, though I can't say if it would be any better. The story is pretty much a one plot act that goes on far too long and should have been a short story instead of a huge novel packed with uninteresting characters, most of who you could care less about or even differentiate from each other.

Sorry to be so critical, but this is like a long drawn out 10 course meal that isn't very good and takes too long to get the check and hit the road.

What could Stephen King have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I am a fan of Stephen King's stories, characters and adventures for many years, and i have to say I don't believe he wrote this book. There are none of his characteristic techniques, conversations and the tone of the book seems very superficial. The Tommyknockers is similarly dark, though it involves fewer characters, they come alive and you get to know them. In this book, I can't say you know any of them beyond 1 or two character traits or perhaps a previous employer or spouse/partner. There is a great deal of dialog in this story and that can be a challenge, but much of the dialog is flat and uninteresting and really doesn't lead anywhere.

All the while when I was listening, I kept saying to myself that this doesn't sound or feel like a book by Stephen King. Too many of the references to drugs, TV shows, rock and roll bands, t-shirts and sex just don't fit into his repertoire of established styles.

I just finished 11/22/63 and though it wasn't my favorite, the narration, the characters in the story were vivid and full of detail and it brought the story to life. Dome had none of those things. I hate to say it, but this felt like a Dean Koontz novel I read long ago; the only one I read too.

How could the performance have been better?

Very simply there could have been a director and producer who worked with the narrator to establish the voices of each character in advance of beginning the recording. This seemed like an amateurish attempt to record a long story as fast as you could.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really. During the last 8 hours of the recording I turned the narration speed to to x2 so i could get to the end. I really wish it was better

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Expected Better from Stephen King

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Raul Esparza?

Yes

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

Maybe

Any additional comments?

King is usually fantastic, but the ending of his tower (excluding the new book) and this one are not up to his usual standards. The story is slow, convoluted and the characters were polarized as exteremely good or exteremely bad. The Concept had alot of potential but the way it worked out was sad.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

under the dud

The ending was weak. Wouldn't waste my time.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Meh

The characters were shallow, underdeveloped, extreme stereotypes. It was OK at best. It just seemed to drag on forever.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

A Long Boring Slog

I slogged through this monstrosity of a sloppily written book until the disappointing ending. King writes for himself, not the reader. He ruined what could have been a good premise. Multiple events don't move the plot forward. He is definitely does not write a "tight" plot. King has not gotten into the internet age and the ease of communications and therefore the plot is just not plausible This is a long and boring book. The reader was just plain annoying. It is my first and last Stephen King book.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I am a huge King fan, but this is his worst

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Raul Esparza?

Yes of course. I love Stephen King

What could Stephen King have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

It was far too long, and some of the subplots didn't feel meaningful. The book lacked the compelling characters, surprising and thrilling plot, and overall enjoyment of his other books.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Raul Esparza?

Yes, the performance was perfectly fine.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It's still very interesting to read about all these people living under the dome, but the plot just didn't do it for me.

Any additional comments?

Skip this book and read one of King's better books.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Narrated by a 10 year old

What disappointed you about Under the Dome?

Mostly the way it was narrated.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

Not such a bad story, a normal SK story but misses on his ability to attach fantasy to a reader/listener. As usual, language is a good way to show culture; but SK misses here.

Would you be willing to try another one of Raul Esparza’s performances?

No, his ability to read SK's characters made me want to stop listening.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

Struggle to finish. The sound of Jim Remmy's voice made my ears bleed. Going to Return.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Slow story and rushed ending

I spent over 30 hours with this book that honestly could have been an 8-hour book. It was very lengthy and slow, especially the first half of the book. The hero's bad luck was almost annoying, you could pretty much guess that any stroke of luck would be immediately followed by a horrific failure. It was frustrating and predictable. I almost couldn't pinpoint the climax of the book because when the dome was finally "figured out" it was pretty casual. It made me think "okay, now what" and the end was so anti-climatic. This is my first Steven King book but not my last. Hopefully, my next pick will be a lot better than this one.

11 people found this helpful