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Under the Dome

A Novel
Narrated by: Raul Esparza
Length: 34 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (20,038 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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11,016
  • 4 Stars
    5,877
  • 3 Stars
    2,051
  • 2 Stars
    645
  • 1 Stars
    449

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    9,275
  • 4 Stars
    3,242
  • 3 Stars
    1,130
  • 2 Stars
    311
  • 1 Stars
    214

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    8,289
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    3,786
  • 3 Stars
    1,459
  • 2 Stars
    405
  • 1 Stars
    256
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

can't finish this one

struggling to finish. narrator bored me. not his best story. too many charachter mentioned in passing, then comes back to them for a bigger role leaving me trying to figure out who they are. first king book I've not finished.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Ugh!

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

The reader did an excellent job, his character portrayals were convincing and to be perfectly honest he was the only reason I bothered to finish listening at all.

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

The book is predictable and frankly disappointing. It needed to have an editor go at it and whittle it down by at least 15 hours. Stephen King can usually be counted for an enjoyable listen or read but wow, this book just tried to cover too many bases and pulled out too many cliches. By the end I felt like getting out the textbook for how to write a mystery novel and checking off the order of plot "twists" and the stereotypical characters.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • kimberling city, MO, United States
  • 01-20-14

one to miss

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

no one

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

it lacked imagination and seemed to be based on stories from the early 60's outer limits t.v. series

What does Raul Esparza bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

good performance great while you drive

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

no, really none at all.

Any additional comments?

Many of Stephen Kings books seem more like re-tells of more original work

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lit Biz
  • Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 07-20-13

Not King's best work... not by a long shot.

In this easily forgettable story, loaded with very few likable characters, I fear this may be the first signs that King is at the end of his lifelong creative flow. In this story we find a re-hashing of King's idea, language and themes, pasted onto a flimsy storyline.

In his afterword, he mentioned that this original story idea laid dormant since the 1970's. I wish he could have let it continue sleeping... Or, to toss the idea as a fragment into another memoir.

The concept had great promise. Though, the way it played through and the ultimate payoff were completely unsatisfying.

Why this was turned into a mini-series is beyond me.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • FORT COLLINS, CO, United States
  • 03-23-13

This story should stay under the dome...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A more believable ending and reason for the dome. I was disappointed in the alien theme.

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

There could have been much less cursing; much less senseless, useless sexual situations; and a more believable ending.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked the comradery of the Barbara supporters

What character would you cut from Under the Dome?

unsure - maybe the Appleton kids.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • St Louis, MO, United States
  • 02-14-11

SUCKS!

And I would list the reasons why but others namely Jennifer (Los Angeles, CA, USA) who efficiently listed all bullet points by number right down to the twirling mustache of the villain (get out of my head girl!) this is so hard for me because I've never really called a Stephen King book outright bad. I've always found his writing style beautiful even when it was outright crude there was some magnificence of technique that could not be denied.

But this feels like it was ghost written by a hack perpetrating the style there was none of the...Stephen Kingness really here. If this is what we can expect from future installments then he really has run out of ideas or the creative spark is dead or he really isn't writing these. Maybe it's time to really consider that retirement you've been flirting with for the past 20 years. Yet still, even after cycling through several user reviews the overall review is fairly high, I believe that has to do with the always diehard Stephen King fans who would highly rate his shopping list...Diehard fans which I am one of, but to highly rate this overall bore and badly written book is to do a disservice to his name.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon
  • Dacono, CO, United States
  • 08-07-10

Great storyline but ruined by politics

This book had a great storyline but Stephen King should really keep his politics out of his books if he wants to keep readers. I also didn't appreciate his trashing people of faith. I will NEVER buy one of his books again.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Tedious!

I like the story plot line, but as usual, this author goes way too much into character backgrounds making this a tedious and needlessly time-consuming book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lorri
  • New Albany, IN, United States
  • 08-29-13

I only finished about 1/3 of the book..

What would have made Under the Dome better?

There wasn't a likeable character to be found. No sooner were we introduced to people, they were killed off.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

Hopeless. Yes, most of King's books don't have a "good" ending, but it would be nice to see some positivity now and then. There was no way I could listen to several hours of hopelessness.

What aspect of Raul Esparza’s performance would you have changed?

Nothing. He was fine.

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

All of the above.

Any additional comments?

I like his books, generally speaking. Not much beats the "old days" of fantastic short stories. I am listening to Bag of Bones again. Fantastic book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful