Book Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King

Cover of

Cover of Under the Dome: A Novel

When I saw this tome on the shelf in the bookstore, I laughed. It was a nervous laugh because the premise was immediately interesting, but the size of the book was of the ilk to challenge Atlas Shrugged or War and Peace. I openly admit to not reading either of those weighty classics, so it was with trepidation and a small amount of upper body strength that I picked up Under the Dome at all. King rarely disappoints, so I was in, knowing it would take a while to finish this monster of a book.

A very important thing happens in the first hundred pages, and that is that you like specific characters and have a certain distrust of others. In most books, this would mean you are half way through. Not Dome, not even close, but King manages to keep the pace reasonably well and gives you stories within the story and well-formed characters to like or not, early on.

The story is less about how a dome got placed around a small town in Maine and more about what happens within the confines when such a thing does happen. And that’s really it – shut off from the rest of the world, what do the providers to the community do? What do the influential people do? What do ordinary folks do? That is where King tells the stories.

Under the Dome has been reviewed hundreds of times since it release in 2009, so my review can’t possibly tell you anything new, except that I adored this novel and the way such a vast cast of characters was handled by The Master, Stephen King.

The ending does explain the source of the dome and I was a little disappointed that it was derivative of a Twilight Zone episode, but King’s story wasn’t about how. It is about everything else, and he told it very, very well.

I feel the need to point out that the book violates my personal preference to “Never kill the dog.” It did it twice. Still, the story reveled in the fact that a likable dog who was given POV in the story does survive. I almost forgave SK for that. Almost.

Under the Dome by Stephen King is a complex, brilliantly told story with only a few points where it dragged. That said, at over a thousand pages, you need to make a commitment before you even start this book. It’s not for those with short attention spans, but those that settle in for the long haul are well rewarded.



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