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Gevangen

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Van het ene op het andere moment wordt de gemeente Chester's Mill volledig van de buitenwereld afgesneden door een mysterieuze energiekoepel. Iedereen die op dat moment binnen was zit gevangen, iedereen die buiten was kan er niet meer in. Wie of wat in de weg zat, stond of lag wordt met chirurgische precisie doormidden gesneden. Zodra de machtigste en meest corrupte man in Van het ene op het andere moment wordt de gemeente Chester's Mill volledig van de buitenwereld afgesneden door een mysterieuze energiekoepel. Iedereen die op dat moment binnen was zit gevangen, iedereen die buiten was kan er niet meer in. Wie of wat in de weg zat, stond of lag wordt met chirurgische precisie doormidden gesneden. Zodra de machtigste en meest corrupte man in de stad beseft dat niemand hem nog kan tegenhouden, vormt hij een microtirannie waarbij Gestapopraktijken verbleken. Degenen die daartegen in verzet komen, proberen uit alle macht de koepel open te krijgen, en de strijd wordt des te prangender als duidelijk wordt dat de lucht in de koepel langzaam maar zeker op raakt.

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Van het ene op het andere moment wordt de gemeente Chester's Mill volledig van de buitenwereld afgesneden door een mysterieuze energiekoepel. Iedereen die op dat moment binnen was zit gevangen, iedereen die buiten was kan er niet meer in. Wie of wat in de weg zat, stond of lag wordt met chirurgische precisie doormidden gesneden. Zodra de machtigste en meest corrupte man in Van het ene op het andere moment wordt de gemeente Chester's Mill volledig van de buitenwereld afgesneden door een mysterieuze energiekoepel. Iedereen die op dat moment binnen was zit gevangen, iedereen die buiten was kan er niet meer in. Wie of wat in de weg zat, stond of lag wordt met chirurgische precisie doormidden gesneden. Zodra de machtigste en meest corrupte man in de stad beseft dat niemand hem nog kan tegenhouden, vormt hij een microtirannie waarbij Gestapopraktijken verbleken. Degenen die daartegen in verzet komen, proberen uit alle macht de koepel open te krijgen, en de strijd wordt des te prangender als duidelijk wordt dat de lucht in de koepel langzaam maar zeker op raakt.

30 review for Gevangen

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Completely out of the blue a clear dome appears over the town of Chester’s Mill, in Maine, of course. A plane crashes into it. A groundhog is sliced in half. A woman gardening in her yard has a hand sheared off. How did this thing get there? Who or what is responsible? How can it be removed? This is not the Stephen King I am used to. I have been a fan since the beginning and have read the vast majority, although not all, of King’s books. For me Under the Dome kicks it up a notch. Sure there is Completely out of the blue a clear dome appears over the town of Chester’s Mill, in Maine, of course. A plane crashes into it. A groundhog is sliced in half. A woman gardening in her yard has a hand sheared off. How did this thing get there? Who or what is responsible? How can it be removed? This is not the Stephen King I am used to. I have been a fan since the beginning and have read the vast majority, although not all, of King’s books. For me Under the Dome kicks it up a notch. Sure there is supernatural creepiness, and an explanation that is, well, disappointing. But this is Stephen King. Duh-uh. If you read the guy for his wonderful denouement explanations you probably shouldn't bother. What makes King so successful is that he writes great characters, draws you in and keeps you there once he has you, while scaring the bejesus out of you often enough to matter. He kept me under his dome for all 1072 pages. The addition to his usual toolkit this time is his expansion to the political. “If I'm going to spend a year writing a single draft of a book, it should be about something.” - from a Barnes & Noble interview - (http://media.barnesandnoble.com/index...)Which of course begs a question about the value of spending, say half a year. What is the duration of labor at which one must cross over from pure entertainment to something? I've always been a political novelist, and those things have always interested me. Firestarter is a political novel. The Dead Zone is a political novel. There's that scene in The Dead Zone where Johnny Smith sees Greg Stillson in the future starting a nuclear war. Around my house we kinda laugh when Sarah Palin comes on TV, and we say, "That's Greg Stillson as a woman." (http://www.salon.com/books/int/2008/1...)More scary than funny to me. Well, maybe Dome is not so out of the way for King. But while political commentary has definitely found its way into King’s books, there are few who consider him to be a political author. His other concerns usually take precedence. In Under the Dome he continues a lifelong fascination with small town life. Most of his people have significant secrets. And we get to see their character from how they cope with the stress they experience. The book took a long time to reach its final form. “I started it in 1976, got about 75 pages into it — and then I saw what the scope of the thing was going to be, how many technological issues it raised, and I buckled. I’m not a sci-fi writer; I don’t know a lot about technology, so I thought I’d try again, set it in an apartment building, and then I wouldn’t have to deal with what the weather would be like under a dome. But I didn’t like any of the characters, so I put it away.” (http://www.popmatters.com/pm/article/...)He revisited the story in the 1980s. Renamed “The Cannibals” it still had to do with people isolated in an apartment building. And still avoided having to cope with the technical demands of having the story set under a dome. The inspiration for the reduction in venue was a stay in a less than appealing area of suburban Pittsburgh during the filming of Creepshow. He wrote almost five hundred pages this time, but was still unable to figure out all that he needed to figure out. It was not until the new millennium that the manuscript turned up again. This time he was able to garner the expertise needed to get past his technical roadblocks. He returned to the dome notion and wrote up a storm. What would people do if stuck together, whether under a dome or in an apartment building? Perhaps a less tropical version of William Golding’s classic, with adults gone wild instead of kids and without the beach. Let’s just say that things do not go well, and dark forces, human ones, come to the fore. His boogey man this time is personified by that most iconic totem of dishonesty, a used-car salesman, named Big Jim Rennie. Big Jim may be the Second Selectman in the town of Chester’s Mill, but he is the real power in town. First Selectman Andy Sanders is pretty much a smiling, charming non-entity, content to do whatever Big Jim wants. And the third Selectman is a drug-addicted woman who is reliant on Big Jim and Andy for her supplies. If you might think Big Jim is a stand-in for a certain vice president, you would be right. All the way to his questionable ticker. It might be a stretch to see in Rennie’s son, Junior, a stand-in for Cheney’s activist progeny, but maybe not. If you think Andy might be a stand-in for Dubya, right again, complete with an addiction issue. King sees Bush and Andy not so much as evil as weak, and the portrayal here reflects that. Rennie seemed pretty evil to me, complete with his insanely hypocritical refusal to use or tolerate profanity while behaving as profanely as possible, stealing critical supplies from the hospital, among other places, to support his meth lab, one of the largest in the country. He tells himself he is doing God’s will. “I enjoyed taking the Bush-Cheney dynamic and shrinking it to the small-town level,” he said. “The last administration interested me because of the aura of fundamentalist religion that surrounded it and the rather amazing incompetency of those top two guys. I thought there was something blackly humorous in it. So in a sense, ‘Under the Dome’ is an apocalyptic version of ‘The Peter Principle.’ ” (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/boo...) Expanding on his Cheney/Bush analogy, he goes through a list of items one can associate not only with that dynamic duo but with others throughout history who have used crisis as a way to consolidate power, fomenting discord by sponsoring provocative and secretive actions (think Reichstag fire) as a way to cast blame on enemies, raising a private army (whether in 1930s Germany or contemporary Blackwater, sorry, Xe), planning to massacre one’s opponents (back to the funny moustache guy again), spying on one’s own citizens (see Patriot Act), controlling or at least monitoring communications (ditto), attempting to destroy opposing media, and so on. No one actually says “Kill the Pig” but if asked to, some would. It is certainly no coincidence that the evildoers here go after a truth-telling newspaper named The Democrat. There is also a countervailing force, the Jack of this scenario, although he has a name that sounds incongruous here. Dale Barbara, known as Barbie, is an ex-military wanderer, last employed at the local diner, someone who does all he can to avoid conflict, but like a certain Corleone, keeps getting dragged back. It is interesting that the hero here is a reluctant military guy and the baddies are both civilians and cops. Note also that the honest reporter is a Republican. Keeping a hand in with supernatural elements, some town residents, particularly children, have premonitions, visions of unpleasant events to come. Gee, do ya think they might? King keeps the action moving, and all the while gives us characters we can care about, warts and all. That is his greatest talent. Don’t worry about the explanation for the dome. It is the reactions of the people contained within it that matter. The Dome itself could have come out of a mystical cracker jack box. While it might have been no fun for the residents of Chester’s Mill to be stuck with each other for so long, it is no chore to keep an eye on them for all 1,072 pages, through a dome, darkly. My favorite review nugget comes from Charles Taylor, in a review for BarnesandNobleReview.com. He calls the book “A Twilight Zone version of It Can't Happen Here" ==============================EXTRA STUFF Here is SK’s site and FB page June 23, 2013 - A New York Times article Life, Hermetically Sealed by Neil Genzliger about the impending show Some promotional videos for the show on CBS A few other King Family items I have reviewed by Stephen King The Shining Doctor Sleep Under the Dome Mr. Merecdes Lisey's Story Revival by Joe Hill Strange Weather The Fireman NOS4A2 20th Century Ghosts Heart-Shaped Box

  2. 5 out of 5

    brian

    in the 2008 film max payne, there's a point in which the gloomy hero is, of course, offered casual sex by this ridiculously beautiful woman: aware that payne is mourning the murder of his wife she says something to the effect that he can call out his wife's name as he fucks her. ok. this is kinda interesting. if i was directing i'd smash cut to payne pounding away and, yes, squealing his dead wife's name. play it straight. sad and tragic but also kinda funny and very human. offer up a complexity in the 2008 film max payne, there's a point in which the gloomy hero is, of course, offered casual sex by this ridiculously beautiful woman: aware that payne is mourning the murder of his wife she says something to the effect that he can call out his wife's name as he fucks her. ok. this is kinda interesting. if i was directing i'd smash cut to payne pounding away and, yes, squealing his dead wife's name. play it straight. sad and tragic but also kinda funny and very human. offer up a complexity and darkness mainstream movies tend to shy away from. of course, payne tosses this preposterously impossibly wildly beautiful woman out, offended at the very idea: in movies like this you can't have your hero banging away strange woman or engaging in any kinda deviancy. too much complexity there, folks. well, there's a whole lot of that shit going on in under the dome, in which the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad (i mean reeeeaaaaal bad. like gang-rape bad, kill-your-own-son bad, mass-murderer bad). and it's a shame b/c there's much to love about this novel. but it's not just the 'max payne' moments, it's the whole picture. check it: the book's populated with tons of characters and just about all of 'em are all-american folksy types. all have backstories and personal tics and behavioral distinctions, but ultimately... king's view of human beings and human behavior is kinda narrow and uninteresting. strange from a guy with such a fertile imagination for the fantastic. but here's what's most frustrating: if you're dealing with common folk, it's fun to throw 'em in extreme situations and watch 'em crack. we've seen it all over Apocalit*: lord of the flies, blindness, the road, etc… and this is the part i don't get: the characters that crack when the dome comes down ARE ALREADY ASSHOLES! it's bizarre. what's fun about this shit is watching the slow burn of a decent or sane character as they descend into evil or lunacy. it's kinda obvious what's gonna happen when dick cheney is tossed into No Exit, ain't it? king's bad guys were bad before the dome and once the shit comes down they kill and gang-rape with no fore or afterthought. how the shit is this interesting? has king been too long in the horror genre that he's come to see murder and rape as something akin to jogging around the block or swatting a fly? what's great about murder in serious works of art (and make no mistake: this novel means to be a serious work of art) is not the murder itself but all which surrounds it. i happen to believe that human existence is kaleidoscopically demented and deranged and far weirder than it appears on the surface. the most 'normal' of us are revealed to be sucking cock in airport bathrooms, talking to snakes or burning bushes or interplanetary beneficiaries, etc… in short, i appreciate people like david lynch not in that he offers an alternative to the humdrum of daily existence but that he throws to the forefront what is actually happening behind closed doors. i reject king's view of the world in that it lacks moral complexity, it lacks the true stink of human existence. blue velvet is heightened for sure, but it reveals what small town americana feels like. it is edward hopper to stephen king's norman rockwell. and really. what's with all the banter? king has nearly every single character speak as if they were a precocious 13 year old. people say shit like "i'd tell you but then i'd have to kill you' or 'that's why they pay me the big bucks' as if this was the height of cleverness. and when a man and woman dialogue? king's lucky he's a megarich megafamous megastoryteller b/c my man has NO GAME. i mean… check the narrator's description of when our hero finally gets laid. "Want to?" he asked. "Yes. Do you?" He took her hand and put it on his jeans, where how much he wanted to was immediately evident. A minute later he was poised above her, resting on his elbows. She took him in hand to guide him in. "Take it easy on me, Colonel Barbara. I've kind of forgotten how this thing goes." "It's like riding a bicycle," Barbie said. Turned out he was right. anyway... the good? gobs of it. what king might lack in his basic presentation of human behavior he almost makes up for in his evocation of a kind of horrible and ineffable beauty. amidst this mash-up of sci-fi & political allegory there are scenes of true beauty and a kind of gritty poetry as the town descends into a Hobbesian nightmare. one that sticks out: as pollutants and dust and pollen collect on the roof of the invisible dome, the townspeoples' view of the sky is skewed, the sky itself appears... different. sunsets seem as when a volcano explodes, a deep rich burning red. and the night sky? a meteor shower appears as streams of pink and red slashing the sky to bits. and minus the 'leatherhead' parts, the final 'fireball and survivor' sequence haunted the hell outta me. some seriously horrifying stuff. so, yeah. my first foray into stephen king. badass bestseller horror iconic motherfucker and inspiration behind this terrific terrific terrific song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3J0i... i read 1072 pages in just under a week and that's no small feat. i'd like to share a beer, mr. king, get to know you. do i wanna tear through your oeuvre? we'll see... *that my own 'apocalyptic literature' portmanteau, thank you very much

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    More like 3 1/2 stars. This is my first full-fledged Stephen King novel, so I'm not sure how it measures up against other King classics like The Stand, It, Salem's Lot, or Carrie. Sure, I've read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, but only because it was described as a young adult novel (King-lite, if you will). I have spent most of my life actively avoiding Stephen King and here's my story as to why Mr. King and I parted ways before I even read anything by him. When I was but a wee little girl, ful More like 3 1/2 stars. This is my first full-fledged Stephen King novel, so I'm not sure how it measures up against other King classics like The Stand, It, Salem's Lot, or Carrie. Sure, I've read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, but only because it was described as a young adult novel (King-lite, if you will). I have spent most of my life actively avoiding Stephen King and here's my story as to why Mr. King and I parted ways before I even read anything by him. When I was but a wee little girl, full of innocence and a precocious love of reading, my mom was also a voracious reader. As I was consuming Little House on the Prairie books (my earliest encounter with book rape--thanks, grandma) and Nancy Drew, I began noticing that mom was always reading these big ass books with KING running down the spine. When she wasn't reading these books, they were always placed on top of the refrigerator which was well out of my grasp. Eager for us to share this love of reading (Mom curiously had no interest in the plight of the Ingalls family), I begged and pleaded to be allowed to read the King books. "Gee, wouldn't it be fun if Mom and I read the same books? Then we could talk about them!" I thought. Days, weeks, months went by and, eventually, my constant wheedling became too much. She relented, but the deal was that she would pick the scene I was allowed to read. She chose a particularly horrific and descriptive scene from The Stand. I read with increasing horror--Nancy Drew never encountered messed up shit like this! When I finished that scene, I handed the book over and never asked to read King again. And I stepped lightly around Mom from that day forward. I suddenly understood that, if that woman snapped, it would be ugly--and she would know what to do with the bodies. Therefore, unlike most teenagers, I skipped over the desire to consume everything King between junior high and high school. And this brings us to present day and my first King novel. At 1,072 pages, this is definitely a doorstop of a book. However, it reads fairly quickly. My main complaint is that many of the characters are one dimensional stereotypes. There are no shades of gray in the small town of Chester's Mill. At first, this bothered me; however, I think maybe individual characters had to be sacrificed in order to portray the real character--small town America and how it reacts to cataclysmic events. If King shorthands individual characterizations, he nails the panic and herd-like mentality that takes over when uncertainty is the order of the day. The premise of the novel, as blatantly presented by the title, is that Chester's Mill one day finds itself cutoff from the outside world by a mysterious dome that perfectly conforms itself to the borders of Chester's Mill. In the days ahead, the people wait and worry as the United States government desperately tries to free them. As hope begins to dwindle, reason is in short supply as people trade in their humanity for mass hysteria and panic. The dome is not, however, the ultimate villain in this tale. The real villain is Big Jim Rennie, the town selectman who has been waiting for just such a "clustermug" so that he can claim control of the town. Big Jim is the most vile type of Christian, one who believes that being able to quote scripture and abstain from saying cuss words is all it takes to be amongst God's chosen. Big Jim does everything in the belief that God is on his side and damn anyone who tries to get in his way, for not only are they his enemies, but enemies of Christianity itself. It is possible to have religion without true faith, and Big Jim is proof of that. He has customized his religion to serve his needs; indeed, his belief in God is little more than a manifestation of his own belief in himself as superior, as "chosen," to be above all others. It appears that my review may be destined to be as long as the book, so I'll cut it short. Weaknesses: there are a few clunker sentences that pulled me out of the story, there is an abundance of detail that I could have lived without, and I was disappointed in the reason for the dome because it seemed so obvious. Strengths: King deftly keeps his cast of characters straight and realistically interacting with one another, he captures the terror and bovine-like stupidity that takes over when day-to-day life is disrupted and threatened, there are some colorful cuss words that I hope to employ in the near future, and there's a catastrophic scene toward the end that is one of the most terrifying and well-written that I've ever read. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Man, I really hope no one ever tries to make me choose my favorite King-book, because I would never be able to make a decision. Every time I read one of his books, I'm absolutely blown away by the amazing writing style and by how fast the (sometimes massive amount of) pages fly by. Even though this story was (once again) told in great detail, I never felt like scenes were unnecessarily drawn out. I thought the plot progressed at an appropriate speed with a fitting development. I would say that th Man, I really hope no one ever tries to make me choose my favorite King-book, because I would never be able to make a decision. Every time I read one of his books, I'm absolutely blown away by the amazing writing style and by how fast the (sometimes massive amount of) pages fly by. Even though this story was (once again) told in great detail, I never felt like scenes were unnecessarily drawn out. I thought the plot progressed at an appropriate speed with a fitting development. I would say that the story in general had many realistic aspects. The concept of a dome suddenly appearing over a town might sound outlandish and far-fetched, but the execution was done in a very believable way. The characters behaved in completely normal and humane ways (both good and bad, calm and agitated). At first I was quite intimidated by the big number of different characters. I got to know them pretty well rather fast though, as they were all described in good and memorable ways. They all had several facades to them, which made them very authentic and (some more than others) lovable. I'm sure that you would find all these types of people in a real town. Stephen King just knows how many different character traits there are in the world and he never fails to include many of them. This helps immensely to paint a picture of a town and all the different people that live in it. He also knows how to write out of the perspective of all those different kind of people. It doesn't matter if we see the viewpoint of a man or a woman, a child or a senior, an established wealthy person or a messy alcoholic, or even (in some instances) a dog. He manages to hit the nail on the head with every single perspective. Sometimes, the story was suddenly told by an outside-narrator and a different tense. I often find these sudden changes in the middle of a story confusing and rather annoying, but (of course) King knows how to do it in the right way and use it to his advantage. He only uses this "tactic" sparsely, which is what makes the story feel even more intense once past tense changes into present tense. It really helps to deliver the point the story is trying to make. Lastly, I also would like to show my appreciation for the little ordinary things included throughout the book. Despite all the drama and all the things that happen, there is still time found for a mum wanting her son to clean his room, kids playing games and so on. This adds another layer of realism, which makes me love this book even more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    Here’s a nightmare scenario. A mysterious disaster occurs. The area is completely cut off from any outside help. Resources are limited. People are confused and scared. And Dick Cheney is in charge…. That terrifying idea is what makes Under the Dome one of the best books King has done. Chester’s Mill, Maine, is a typical Stephen King small town, filled with people both good and criminally insane. One fall day, a force-field crashes down around the area, causing a fair amount of carnage and disaster Here’s a nightmare scenario. A mysterious disaster occurs. The area is completely cut off from any outside help. Resources are limited. People are confused and scared. And Dick Cheney is in charge…. That terrifying idea is what makes Under the Dome one of the best books King has done. Chester’s Mill, Maine, is a typical Stephen King small town, filled with people both good and criminally insane. One fall day, a force-field crashes down around the area, causing a fair amount of carnage and disaster. The Dome is quickly found to be impenetrable, and while the townspeople can communicate with the outside world via cell phones or wireless internet, they’re essentially on their own. If the situation wasn’t bad enough, the town is now in the hands of Big Jim Rennie. Forget about Randall Flagg or Annie Wilkes or the Crimson King or Pennywise the Clown. Big Jim, a used car salesman and town selectman, is King’s scariest villain ever. Why? Because America lived through a Big Jim-like reign after 9/11, and it’s all too easy to picture how much worse it could have gotten while reading this book. King isn’t very subtle in the allegory here. Chester’s Mill is the stand-in for America, and Big Jim is obviously based on Cheney, a corrupt political weasel hiding behind the dim-witted first selectman of the town as a front to cover up his shenanigans. He doesn’t drink or smoke and talks about his love for Jesus, but Big Jim is utterly ruthless about destroying his enemies. And to Big Jim, just disagreeing with him makes you an enemy. Big Jim has spent years refusing to spend money on needed town improvements while involved in all kinds of criminal enterprises. While he demands total power and authority, he’s actually completely incompetent at leadership except for placing blame and manipulating people. When the Dome comes down, his first concern is covering up his criminal activity, but he quickly realizes that with the outside world at bay, he can create his own little dictatorship inside the bubble. And of course, he’s doing it for the good of the town. A small group of people realize what Rennie is doing and try to stop him, but they vastly overestimate what the threat of eventual punishment from the outside will do. They just can’t believe that anyone would actually go as far as Big Jim is prepared to do, and while the federal government tries in vain to assert its authority, Big Jim is all too happy to thumb his nose at them and continue to consolidate power even as the air inside the Dome is getting awfully stale. King’s always been terrific at depicting the strengths and weaknesses of a small town in books like ‘Salem’s Lot or Needful Things, but this is something different. He claims that he’s had the idea for this book since the mid-70s, but never completed it because the science of what would happen within the Dome was beyond him. Delay may have been a blessing, I don’t think this would have been the same book if it wasn’t for the Bush/Cheney administration after 9/11. It’s being routinely pointed out in various reviews that the plot here is eerily similar to The Simpson’s Movie where the government puts a giant dome over polluted Springfield. I’ve read an interview where King claims that he had no idea about this until the book was written and someone told him. I’m going to cry bullshit on that. He writes a column about pop culture for Entertainment Weekly and has played himself on the show. I find it really hard to believe that he somehow missed The Simpson’s Movie having a giant dome in it. It’s very weird that none of the people within the Dome ever mention the movie since King has never been shy about incorporating pop culture references before. But that’s nitpicking and doesn’t change the fact that this story and Big Jim scared the crap out of me. (I grew up in a small town, and I could easily think of some of the locals who would have tried to take over after a crisis if left unchecked, and some of them probably would have been worse than Big Jim and his crowd of hand-picked bullies.) Although this is a huge book and King has been bad about over-writing in the past, this one flies by and I actually found myself wanting a little more detail about some of the people since many of them don’t get much of a wrap up. I was a shade disappointed in the eventual explanation to the cause of the Dome, and how it is resolved, but overall, this is going to end up being one of my favorite Stephen King books.

  6. 5 out of 5

    karen

    in brief, because i am nearly starting my first day of readers advisory class (yay!) and i have to prepare mentally for the schoolplace after the long break, plus i'm not really in the mood to write this review what with salinger and all casting a pall over my day, but book report compulsion gets the best of me, so. this book ... whole lotta length, not much depth. and as any lady will tell you...etc etc... i don't have a problem with stephen king. i stopped reading him when i was a teenager not in brief, because i am nearly starting my first day of readers advisory class (yay!) and i have to prepare mentally for the schoolplace after the long break, plus i'm not really in the mood to write this review what with salinger and all casting a pall over my day, but book report compulsion gets the best of me, so. this book ... whole lotta length, not much depth. and as any lady will tell you...etc etc... i don't have a problem with stephen king. i stopped reading him when i was a teenager not because i felt "better" than him or was too snobby for mass market fiction, but because gerald's game was so so so laughably bad that i could not carry on. oh, god even thinking about it now makes me chuckle a little bit. go, read it - it is dreadful. but the stand i think is a bunch of fun, and i have read that one a number of times. king is also the only author to terrify me to this day with a story i read when i was about 7 or 8 on my way to the fair (yeah, i know, but what better to read trapped in a car on the way to some fair?) and even thinking about it now (the boogeyman) gives me delicious shivers. this one started off pretty good - engaging plot, fast-paced, numerous characters to keep straight in the head. but then...it just goes nowhere while going everywhere, you know? much of it seems tacked-on, in a way. he attempts to give the characters more dimensions than they deserve and he somehow fails to follow through with this promise. by trying to complicate them, he makes their shallowness stand out even more. bad guys melt in the face of abandoned children, good guys have secret shady pasts... but i'm not buying it. all the action takes place in about a week, even though this thing is the size of the bible (which is much more willing to sacrifice some details in the interest of economy; learn from god, s.k; we like a little mystery....) i am a huge fan of the "aftermath" novel, but i think i prefer a little more time to have passed before the story begins... when we had the blackout here in nyc, and we allll had to walk home to our respective boroughs, vendors were handing out bottled water along the way and the atmosphere was actually kind of fun. if this had lasted longer than it did, those vendors would probably be huddled in their bodegas, guarding their chips and gum like gold... and that's when it gets interesting. it's true there is some bad behavior in this book. some hugely antisocial behavior. but no one seems panic-stricken, until provoked. come on, maine, act like survivors!! stop making pancakes for everyone and hoard some shit. there are cool moments - how the dome affects pacemakers is pretty awesome, there is some nice description in places of sunsets, meteors, nightgowns - also a shout-out to librarians (smart stephen king, smart...) and i like it when authors name-drop themselves in their books. if stephen king were on goodreads.com he would be a total votewhore, say these two facts. the resolution is just awful. truly. i was hoping for something really cool, or at least plausible/comprehensible. it was like the happening in my epic disappointment, only this took longer than 2 hours to get through. ON MY VACATION! i am scattered right now - i will probably tidy up my thinking on this book later, but i wanted to get a start while it was mostly fresh in my head. it was overlong, and i hated the ending, but fun enough for me to not hate it overall. but i have no desire to reread it ever, the way i did with the stand, several times over. schooltime now! okay - school is over - i had one other thing to say I AM NOT FLOATING!! but here is the good librarian comment: "who better to recruit than a librarian when you're dealing with a fledgling dictatorship?" yes sir! but so this is about language, and i might be nitpicking a huge book's tiny problem, but while i love (and will in the future use) king's word "joyshit", it troubles me that he uses "debark" instead of "disembark", which is just more elegant and honestly, i have never heard the word "debark", and i thought he made it up. he hadn't. and also, he should know the difference between "unbelievingly" and "disbelievingly". just things that stuck out in my jerky mind that i felt would be exciting to share. was it? come to my blog!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    Pink Stars Are Falling!👍🐯 Flat Earthers would go crazy for this story!!!🐯👍 Get to the centre and jump in!!!🐯👍 To leave the Matrix!!🐯👍 At least that is what they did in the TV show to escape the dome and appear outside. Is Stephen King basing this book on the Flat Earth Model? The inner realm? Agartha? Shamballa? New Jerusalem? Eden? 🐯👍. 😕

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    UPDATE ON THE TV SERIES 8/14/2013: I gave up. I've been watching on Amazon Prime because I hate commercials. But not even Mike Vogel/Barbie's pretty face can make me overlook more of the filmmaking infelicities of the show. I didn't expect the book on screen. I did expect the show to follow the rules of TV storytelling and not just dump plotlines they set up. Not for me. UPDATE ON THE TV SERIES 6/24/2013 in 5sec: cute boys, dirty pols, meanass bitches = weeks of fun! Junior is perfect, sociopathi UPDATE ON THE TV SERIES 8/14/2013: I gave up. I've been watching on Amazon Prime because I hate commercials. But not even Mike Vogel/Barbie's pretty face can make me overlook more of the filmmaking infelicities of the show. I didn't expect the book on screen. I did expect the show to follow the rules of TV storytelling and not just dump plotlines they set up. Not for me. UPDATE ON THE TV SERIES 6/24/2013 in 5sec: cute boys, dirty pols, meanass bitches = weeks of fun! Junior is perfect, sociopathic little shit; Barbie is too young and too pretty, thank GOODNESS, to be true to the book; and the amount of writing talent is adequate to the task, but no more than that. YET MORE INFO: The trade paper edition of this doorstopper is out. It's $19.99! Remember when that was a hardcover book's top price? My review is also at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud. Rating: 4.25* of five The Book Report: Chester's Mills, Maine, is having itself an ordinary morning, and its citizens are gettin' up to all the usual things: Spending too much of their husband's money, killing girls, beating up people they don't like and driving them out of town, making evil brews, only thing missing really is a bonfire and a faggot. Business as usual for the human race, in other words. *WHAM* Down comes the Dome. No way in, no way out, no one can understand the nature, the origin, or the purpose of the Dome inside or outside of it. National security issues crop up. The town misfit, an Iraqi war vet, is called back into national service to solve the mystery. And then things get **really** ugly: The local used car salesman takes control. Think Nixon with a mean streak and a Big Fat Secret to protect. "From Bad to Worse" could be the subtitle of every Stephen King novel, but this time it's so so so so bad and then it gets so so so much worse that the reader is calling out to Divine Providence for the mercy of Death...and then comes The Twist. The Dome is revealed to be...but no, you have to read it. My Review: Stephen King = what Chuckles the Dick would've been if he'd had talent. Just sayin'. I hated liking this book. I resented the demands on my gouty wrists and fingers, supporting its mammoth weight, flipping the pages faster and faster and faster as I got more and more sucked in to the story. I snorted snobbily at myself, caught up in this not-terribly-sophisticated narrative. None of which stopped me finishing the book and sighing with mitigated contentment at its sudsy, gloriously cinematically trajectory. I can see the miniseries...I want to see the miniseries! soon please!...unfold in my mind. It's what Stephen King does brilliantly: Tells you a story of human nature, irrefutably making points that need making about Mankind and its flaws, while wringing your withers with fear, excitement, and sadness. The Dome was a really cool narrative device. I liked its unknowability, I was completely on board with mystery forces causing it who-knows-why...and then we find out why. I wasn't especially interested in that part, and felt it was a tidge unimaginitive coming from Mr. Shock-and-Awe himself. Eh...so what...I had over 1000pp of reading pleasure. It's like potato-chip sex. The kind you have because you can. It still feels good, and no way are you gonna stop just because it's meaningless. (I suppose this last isn't comprehensible to my girly readers of either gender.) Relax. Enjoy. Don't think too much. You'll end up in a much better mood than you started out in. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Rey

    I DID IT. I DID IT!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    I’m not sure how to feel about Under the Dome. In one sense, the concept of an entire town being suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world and the social, political, and even meteorological struggles that ensue is highly fascinating. But at the same time, King has really let me down with this cast of dull, one-dimensional, and highly stereotypical characters. It seems in this novel you are either a hateful, fear-mongering, murderous megalomaniac or you are a gentle, respectful, selfless ind I’m not sure how to feel about Under the Dome. In one sense, the concept of an entire town being suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world and the social, political, and even meteorological struggles that ensue is highly fascinating. But at the same time, King has really let me down with this cast of dull, one-dimensional, and highly stereotypical characters. It seems in this novel you are either a hateful, fear-mongering, murderous megalomaniac or you are a gentle, respectful, selfless individual with a limitless background of useful talents. There is little in between. In one case, a character is a blatant clone of the Trash Can Man from The Stand, complete with being the cause of a widespread disaster. Not very original. The interactions of these characters often seems forced and unnatural, and the dialogue, at times, horrendous. But still, the premise of the novel kept me going and the idea that one can be so completely isolated from functional society and the disasters which could result from this isolation became a truly terrifying prospect, especially as the story progressed. In the end, I would have to say that what I like about this novel outweighs the negative, especially with some touching scenes at the novel’s conclusion where it becomes crushingly apparent how different a situation could be from one location to another, even if those locations are just inches apart.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Janz

    I finished Under the Dome a few days ago. I haven't seen the mini-series, nor do I want to for a good while. That has nothing to do with the negative comments I've heard about the aforementioned adaptation and everything to do with one simple fact: I don't need to see a filmed version. Because the mental version of the book is still unspooling in my mind. Sometimes you hear a lot of hype about a book, but the reading experience falls short. Sometimes, a book is about what you expected. There are o I finished Under the Dome a few days ago. I haven't seen the mini-series, nor do I want to for a good while. That has nothing to do with the negative comments I've heard about the aforementioned adaptation and everything to do with one simple fact: I don't need to see a filmed version. Because the mental version of the book is still unspooling in my mind. Sometimes you hear a lot of hype about a book, but the reading experience falls short. Sometimes, a book is about what you expected. There are occasionally those glorious occasions when the book exceeds the hype. For an example of this, check out Norman Partridge's sublime Dark Harvest, which I'd heard about for several years but never read until a couple months ago. That book knocked me on my tookus. And then there's Under the Dome. This novel catapulted my entire body into the air, propelled it through the window in a maelstrom of shattered glass, and sent it tumbling and broken into the lawn. Then, when I staggered to my feet, the darn book rose up from my bedroom floor, blasted through the window, and flattened me again. I've read more than fifty Stephen King books. Under the Dome is one of the top five. I've read plenty of criticisms about it. Too many points-of-view, unsubtle characterization, an anti-climactic ending. Personally, I loved it. Because I adore lists, here are just a few reasons why I consider Under the Dome a modern classic: 1. Big Jim Rennie: I love it when a villain takes over a story. The nastier the villain is, the greater the danger to the heroes and the more powerful potential catharsis there exists in defeating him. The Shark in Jaws. The warden in The Shawshank Redemption. Dolores Umbridge in the fifth Harry Potter book (seriously!). Big Jim Rennie is as vicious and calculating and eerily real as any villain in modern fiction. I absolutely despised him. But whenever he was on stage, I couldn't look away. 2. Baaaarbie: Dale Barbara was an unlikely protagonist, or at least he sure seemed that way. At first, I thought of him as a military Larry Underwood (if you're wondering about my favorite King book, it's still The Stand), but as the novel wore on, I realized how much I'd underestimated him---both his capacity for good and the depth of his sins. Plus, he had those three crucial traits: grit, wit, and It. 3. The Twists and the Straightaways: When I thought I knew who would live and who would die, I was often wrong. I never would've guessed what Andy Sanders would become. I had no idea I'd end up liking (or at least caring about) characters like the town drunk and the resident meth-maker. Sure, there were plot twists I saw coming; King never sacrifices plausibility for sheer shock value. But the things I did see coming fit beautifully into the framework of the tale, and King still found a way---via his technique, his timing, or even his word choice---to render those foreseen developments fresh. The intertextuality with his own works or the works of others---particularly William Golding's Lord of the Flies---was so deftly handled that the novel would have been diminished without it. I could write about this book for days, but I think an imperfect analogy might work best here. When Michael Jordan---the best player in basketball history---returned from retirement for the second time, it was with the Washington Wizards. Jordan had lost a step or three, and he no longer aired like he once did. But there was still magic in his shoes, and though his last team never did much, he certainly flashed moments of the old brilliance. But in one amazing game Jordan again surpassed the fifty-point mark, including an astonishing thirty-four-point first half. Watching Jordan out there performing his wizardry (sorry), it was obvious that all his accumulated knowledge and experience had been distilled into something transcendent. He pulled up for mid-range jumpers, he knocked down threes. He even threw down a thunderous dunk. Watching Jordan that night was like watching him in his prime, only it was somehow greater. He had defeated time. Or at least spun back the hands of the clock for one marvelous night. Reading Stephen King's Under the Dome was like watching Jordan work his magic that night. Only King's brilliance lasted for over a thousand pages (1348 pages on my Nook), and King never let up. Here was King scaring the hell out of me. Next was King breaking my heart by describing the death of a character I loved. King created a villain, and then another one even more monstrous, and then he threw me a bone by killing off a minor villain. Then he walloped me with some poetic setting descriptions before making me belly laugh at a shockingly crude joke. In other words, it was all there. The whole amazing repertoire. But that doesn't begin to describe this book. I said the Jordan comparison was imperfect, and it is. Woefully so. Because King never really retired the way Jordan did. King never had a game like the one Jordan had prior to the explosion alluded to above (Jordan only scored six in the game before the one I described; the worst games King ever played, Rose Madder and Insomnia, were still twenty-point/six-rebound/four-assist performances and far better than most writers could ever dream of mustering). And unlike Jordan was that night, King is not---in my opinion---immersed in the twilight of his career. No, I don't believe King's almost done. In fact, I believe, like the great Elmore Leonard, Stephen King is going to be producing amazing books for at least a couple more decades. I base this on the fact that he's a relentless self-improver, and if you don't believe that, compare his early stuff to Under the Dome. Sure, I love his early stuff. 'Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Dead Zone, and of course, The Stand are all among my favorite books by any writer. But putting Under the Dome next to the aforementioned titles shows that King has retained the pure storytelling magic that enthralled audiences back in the seventies, yet he hasn't ceased to grow. Looking at his recent writing, it's clear that his mastery of point-of-view, his eye for detail, his ability to orchestrate such a mindblowingly complex plot are even more impressive than they've ever been. These traits are the hallmarks of an individual who has never stopped learning, who has never gotten lazy. So yes, I loved Under the Dome. And I love Stephen King's work. I wrote a letter to him a few weeks ago, a letter I'll probably never send because I'm afraid he won't get it, and if he does, I'm afraid he'll think I'm either trying to ingratiate myself with him or worse, that I'm an obsessed fan. But friends, let me just say this. From the moment the dome came down until the very last word of that book....I was under that dread barrier too. I shuddered at the atrocities some of the characters committed. I fretted for the safety of my fellow townspeople. I came to fear Halloween and whatever else the premonitions foretold. But most of all, I hoped there would be a few good-hearted souls who would stand up for what was right. I stood with them under the dome. And if you haven't yet, I'd strongly encourage you to stand with them too.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Braden Canfield

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The only thing more preposterous than the premise of this book is how the characters responded to it. What a bunch of pathetic caricatures! A dome mysteriously descends upon a small town in Maine and within hours the sociopath selectman and his amazingly evil son begin wreaking havoc to be joined later by other weak-minded psychos and an army of idiot under-aged thugs who are picked to be interim policemen during the crisis. The other townies seem to see nothing wrong with this and start wearing The only thing more preposterous than the premise of this book is how the characters responded to it. What a bunch of pathetic caricatures! A dome mysteriously descends upon a small town in Maine and within hours the sociopath selectman and his amazingly evil son begin wreaking havoc to be joined later by other weak-minded psychos and an army of idiot under-aged thugs who are picked to be interim policemen during the crisis. The other townies seem to see nothing wrong with this and start wearing blue armbands in solidarity to their new officer friendlys. Meanwhile, a small collection of like-minded good guys start to strangely gather one to another and begin bonding around their outlandish good nature and intuitive good sense, an intuition shared only by this select few who gather together occasionally to collect all their facts and come to stunningly accurate conclusions through dialogues that read like the minutes of a high school student government meeting. My good man, Stephen King needs an editor who can snap him into shape. I don't mean to necessarily make a book like this shorter, I mean to make it better. King can handle a large ensemble of characters and a complex plot. He can even write well enough to keep me reading a huge book that I find stupid. I just ask that he be required to not simplify his characters just to drive a ridiculous plot to a rip-roaring ending.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "When the dawn was still long hours away, bad thoughts took on flesh and began to walk. In the middle of the night thoughts became zombies." An impenetrable and transparent barrier inexplicably falls down over the small town of Chester's Mill, cutting it off from the rest of the world as its inhabitants are left to fight for survival. Under the Dome was always one of those King books that I dreaded. Reviews were not always so favourable on Instagram with a lot of people claiming it had one of King "When the dawn was still long hours away, bad thoughts took on flesh and began to walk. In the middle of the night thoughts became zombies." An impenetrable and transparent barrier inexplicably falls down over the small town of Chester's Mill, cutting it off from the rest of the world as its inhabitants are left to fight for survival. Under the Dome was always one of those King books that I dreaded. Reviews were not always so favourable on Instagram with a lot of people claiming it had one of King's worst endings… so I really was expecting the worst. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. Now admittedly that may be due to having the ending semi-spoilered for me prior to reading, but even if that wasn't the case, I'm pretty sure I would still have liked it. I'm a huge fan of when King takes a small town and really fleshes it out - I love when he expands upon the different families and relationships, and even the doggos. Under the Dome has a massive cast, which is always a problem for me initially trying to keep track of everyone, I felt like I was constantly flicking back to the character list at the beginning of the book. But as I progressed further into the story I found myself checking less and less often. We have our "good guys" who we are cheering on - Barbie, Julia, Linda and Rusty Everett etc - and then we have quite possibility THE most fucking terrible villain that King has ever created in Big Jim Rennie. I hated Big Jim with the passion of a thousand suns, and I absolutely loathed his weak-minded little minions too. Speaking of Jim and his cronies, this book has a few triggers like rape and abuse, so people might want to take note of this. There's quite a lot of violence as well. This was one of my minor issues with the book - there's just so much of it that it becomes exhausting. I accept that King wanted us to really hate these guys, but I was calling for their blood about 100 pages in… I didn't need to keep having this hammered home. A particular highlight for me in terms of the characters was the story of Ollie Dinsmore - I was heavily emotionally involved in his story, there were even tears towards the end! I found Under the Dome to be a really fascinating exploration of what happens when a small community is just cut off from the rest of society and put under a microscope. What happens when the usual law and rules no longer seem to apply? Also when you add in a egocentric psychopath like Big Jim Rennie who already holds a little bit of power. It's basically a huge human experiment!! And I was here for it! Under the Dome wouldn't really be categorised as horror, but I found the concept itself horrifying, especially when King describes the smells and gases accumulating under the dome, as well as the slow decline of resources - that just makes me feel SO claustrophobic. Imagine being trapped in such a small space with Jim and his cronies where everything can be twisted to suit their agenda - no thank you!! The entire point of this book is not what caused the dome, but what was happening underneath it. The dome is merely being used as a device to cut off Chester's Mill from the rest of the world. As for the ending itself *no spoilers here*, I really don't understand what else could have caused the dome? There were tonnes of hints and foreshadowing indicating this outcome, so I guess I don't get why people were disappointed. But that's just me! I liked the ending, and I really couldn't care less if that's an unpopular opinion. Overall, I really enjoyed Under the Dome. It's not one of my favourites, but it's a pretty damn good read. Another prime example of King's ability to create characters that you will love AND HATE. 4 stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    3.5 Stars A quiet town-Chester's Mill, Maine is trapped under an invisible dome. It catches the town off guard and causes planes to crash straight into it and will ultimately terrorize the community in more ways than one. This was my first book by King and enjoyed it, although it was over 1000 pages long with many characters to keep up with. Of course there is murder, plenty of creepiness and quite the cast of quirky characters. I was so intrigued by the invisible dome and all the images it provid 3.5 Stars A quiet town-Chester's Mill, Maine is trapped under an invisible dome. It catches the town off guard and causes planes to crash straight into it and will ultimately terrorize the community in more ways than one. This was my first book by King and enjoyed it, although it was over 1000 pages long with many characters to keep up with. Of course there is murder, plenty of creepiness and quite the cast of quirky characters. I was so intrigued by the invisible dome and all the images it provided. I read this with some reading buddies and we had so much fun trying to guess where the story was going and how it would end. Plenty of suspense sustains most of the story, although some of the side stories did feel unnecessary and slowed the momentum down. The ending was a bit disappointing to me (which I can't disclose because of spoilers) Now I can't wait to watch the television show and see how the characters are portrayed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bill Khaemba

    Trigger warning for Rape, Abuse, Violence and Pure Gore • MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES - Check • Original Scary Concept - Check • F#$% Psychos - Check • Stephen King’s writing - Check “If you can't laugh when things go bad--laugh and put on a little carnival--then you're either dead or wishing you were.” I DID IT!!! I FREAKING READ THE MOST INTIMIDATING BOOK ON MY TBR!!! And boy did it take a lot of effort *mentally and physically* to pick up this book from my shelf and start it, being a HUGE *pu Trigger warning for Rape, Abuse, Violence and Pure Gore • MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES - Check • Original Scary Concept - Check • F#$% Psychos - Check • Stephen King’s writing - Check “If you can't laugh when things go bad--laugh and put on a little carnival--then you're either dead or wishing you were.” I DID IT!!! I FREAKING READ THE MOST INTIMIDATING BOOK ON MY TBR!!! And boy did it take a lot of effort *mentally and physically* to pick up this book from my shelf and start it, being a HUGE *pun intended* fan of King I felt obligated to try this GROUND-BREAKING book. It was everything I wanted in a book and more. You have to agree when Stephen King writes a big book it’s usually mind-blowingly amazing and with Under the Dome I got nothing less but pure perfection in story-telling. If you have read The Stand you will absolutely devour this one. The Story essentially follows the lives of people in Chester’s Mill, from out of nowhere a transparent and impenetrable Dome appears, with that we see how being literally caught in a rock and a hard place might change some people and the story kicks off from there… First of all the HUGE cast of people was my favorite part, different personalities and a vast a ray of faces made the story appear so real, that you question whether this disaster is actually happening. King managed to immerse me into the dome and feel for these characters and also how he managed to capture voices of dogs, woodchucks, birds and other animals as the phenomena was happening was genius. He single handedly managed to balance out plot-development and characterization, which made the book personal and fast for the reader. The Writing-style was fun and easy to get into, with a sense of dark humor and really short chapter which made the pacing of the book move really quickly. If you are those people who are affected by death of characters and pets, 50 people die in the first 50 pages YES! King went there. I was like... I rooted for the awesome good guys and I HATED like 50 people, my wanting for revenge and retribution made flip the pages. I personally HATED Big Jim (if you’ve read the book you understand) I wanted to jump in the pages and shoot his ass. It touched upon topics of Power, Rape and Abuse, Morality, Religion, Death, Politics and so much more. I was surprised by how fast I went through it and people are intimidated by the size but sparing some time and immersing yourself in the story, you will not regret, especially if you are familiar with kings writing. I loved loved loved this book and it might on of the best book I have ever read. UPDATE: I Just saw the series adaptation... AND IT WAS SHIT!!! The book is 10000% better MY BLOG https://kenyanlibrary.wordpress.com/2... https://youtu.be/F5FBQ-1kEyM

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    Finished after almost a week of reading. I liked this for the most part, but by about the 85% mark, I was screaming STFU Mr. King! in my head. Watch an inside look at the upcoming t.v. show here. Great storytelling and characterization is present, and it gives enough weight to cancel out some of the over-excessive descriptions and random add-ins. But only to a certain extent. Obviously, my opinion matters little, since Stephen King is popular enough that he can write everything as long-winded as Finished after almost a week of reading. I liked this for the most part, but by about the 85% mark, I was screaming STFU Mr. King! in my head. Watch an inside look at the upcoming t.v. show here. Great storytelling and characterization is present, and it gives enough weight to cancel out some of the over-excessive descriptions and random add-ins. But only to a certain extent. Obviously, my opinion matters little, since Stephen King is popular enough that he can write everything as long-winded as he'd like and tell us all to move along if we aren't happy with it. This was a disturbing, gory, graphic and engrossing read. The cast of characters varied from sane to insane, which made for a lot of booing and cheering when it came to following everyone's individual stories. Quick Story Synopsis : One small town is minding their own small-town business when from out of nowhere, a dome closes over their town, shutting them off from the rest of the world. They can see the world, but can't get to it. What caused this dome to appear? Nobody knows and answers aren't so quick to be found. Can you imagine what people would do in such a situation? What if supplies ran out? What if law and order suddenly ceased to exist? If you can think of all the horrific things which could happen, chances are many of those exact things are happening in this book. Ever heard of the term "shit hits the fan?" Yep. You guessed it. I can't really review this book further without giving away big plot reveals. In a nutshell, I'll go back to what I said above : there was a story worth reading, but I don't know if I'll ever fully embrace King's style of over-descriptive writing. If there's a hair growing out of a mole on a person's face, chances are, we'll hear about it. Also, I always feel like there's some soap-box opinions being brought to us through the writing. I prefer not to have to read about politics and religion in books when it becomes sort of nit-picky. That's just my personal preference. Do I think this is going to make for an interesting t.v. show? Probably. At least I think there's room for a lot of crazy potential, although some scenes might have to be downgraded in content to meet mainstream t.v. requirements. I'll be watching it even if it's horrible though because of Mike Vogel, who is playing my favorite character Barbie from the book. Shallow? Probably. Sue me. :p

  17. 4 out of 5

    Felina

    Of all the King books I've read so far this one was my favorite. Because of my working situation I was only ever able to read this book in 10 to 20 minute intervals and it took me about 3 months. Even with the constant breaks and interruptions I still found this book very engrossing. This book isn't conventionally scary. There are no monsters or creepers (well not really) but I think the villians in this story are much more terrifying because of the recent outbreak of fear-mongering in America. W Of all the King books I've read so far this one was my favorite. Because of my working situation I was only ever able to read this book in 10 to 20 minute intervals and it took me about 3 months. Even with the constant breaks and interruptions I still found this book very engrossing. This book isn't conventionally scary. There are no monsters or creepers (well not really) but I think the villians in this story are much more terrifying because of the recent outbreak of fear-mongering in America. Whats the only thing more terrifying that monsters...Republicans. Just kidding...well not really...but sorta. Its funny that I tend to lean more conservative. I believe in the right to bare arms, capital punishment and small government but if I had to be trapped under a dome with a group of people I hope and pray its liberals. King has crafted himself a gang of the most terrifying villians yet and its because they are actual people. No special powers just regular murderous money grubbing people. I bet I know people who would reduce themselves to the acts of Big Jim if pushed to far. Maybe I'm one of those people. And as usual I am impressed with Kings character development. While not nearly as good as Duma Key or Misery (whose cast of characters were much smaller) I thought King put a lot of thought and care into these characters because in the end there were people that I absolutely hated and people that I absolutely loved. To me character development is the most important component to any story. Bravo King! But really what struck me the most is how fast a civilized group of people can turn into a lynching mob under the right leadership. In the story these people were lied to and very few of them stopped to use common sense or ask questions. How very similiar to recent events. 'Well he's the guy in charge so he must be right'. I'm not sure if King ment for this story to make a political statement but thats how I saw it and it really spoke to me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not my favorite book, by far. I found it to be an easy read and rather compelling, but toward the end I just wanted to get to the end to find out how it ended, not because I engrossed in the book or the characters, I just needed to know why the dome was in place. Oh, the characters. This book had every stereotypical small town character you can imagine. I mean every single one from the corrupt politician, his spoiled and violent son, only one really good cop, the lazy doctor (who misdiagnoses EVE Not my favorite book, by far. I found it to be an easy read and rather compelling, but toward the end I just wanted to get to the end to find out how it ended, not because I engrossed in the book or the characters, I just needed to know why the dome was in place. Oh, the characters. This book had every stereotypical small town character you can imagine. I mean every single one from the corrupt politician, his spoiled and violent son, only one really good cop, the lazy doctor (who misdiagnoses EVERYTHING), corrupt drug selling minister, the visiting hippy professor, the Iraq war vet that can save the day (that is until he becomes the scapegoat), and the only one in town with a brain is the one real reporter. All the locals are either apathetic or complete morons (because anyone with any intelligence wouldn't live in a small town unless deep down they're evil). The plot was basically "what happens when a big fish in a small town has the opportunity to take complete power." I thought this would be a great psychological thriller. People trapped under a mysterious dome has so many possibilities. Instead it became mired down in a power grab. A lot disappointed me with this book, but I think the biggest disappointment was the fact that the big bad guy just dies. I really wanted him face justice in the real world. I wanted to see his face as the federal government took him away. I feel robbed that I didn't get that. The ending was another disappointment. It just ended. No big finale. Just make the monster that put the dome in place understand that it is hurting real beings. Then there was a sloppy moral where the characters learned to appreciate life. Ahhh, happy ending. Not satisfying but happy for them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I really enjoyed this. I don’t watch TV so never saw the series- in fact I didn’t know there was one until I started checking out reviews of the book on Goodreads. What I enjoyed most was the rapid breakdown of society in this small town. It was so believable and horrifying. Rennie was totally evil and I loved the whole cast of characters. While this was a long book, I think King managed to stay away from too much waffle this time although I’m sure many would disagree!

  20. 5 out of 5

    myra

    This book was way better than I expected it to be.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror

    Of course we are in another fictional Maine town, except this time-the town is under a dome. It has endless possibilities and considering Stephen King is a master storyteller, I was so excited! Not to mention this is a BIG ass book. So of course, in classic King fashion there is a slow build here. The townies are first rattled and shocked and then slowly, they start formulating a plan--well some do, some just take advantage of the fact that their community is sealed off from the rest of the world Of course we are in another fictional Maine town, except this time-the town is under a dome. It has endless possibilities and considering Stephen King is a master storyteller, I was so excited! Not to mention this is a BIG ass book. So of course, in classic King fashion there is a slow build here. The townies are first rattled and shocked and then slowly, they start formulating a plan--well some do, some just take advantage of the fact that their community is sealed off from the rest of the world and they get up to some bad behavior. Like really bad, disgusting behavior. Where this all went wrong, I think, was in the character development story lines that were super long winded and overly wrought. I think King tried to make us care about these people and their fate but I just didn't. I didn't care about anyone which was surprising and disappointing because in The Dark Tower Series, I obsessed over the characters, Jake, Eddie, Roland and Susannah. How could King write characters like those but then completely miss the mark in Dome? I was constantly screaming in my mind, "This is not good!” while reading. In comparison to his other doomsday style writing like The Stand, this book falls short even more. So maybe if you read this book having never read any of King's earlier work, maybe you'd like it more but if you're a fangirl, like myself--it fell horribly short of what he's truly capable of.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    King hit the mark with this brick of a novel! I'm a huge Stephen King fan, but even I will admit a great many of his books miss the mark. This one, though extremely long, was a fantastic read. King was really in his groove here. He's written a number of long-ass novels, but this was my favourite of the long ones. (The Stand was, for me, too verbose at times; then again, I chose to read the extended version, perhaps my own fault...) The progression of the novel was done brilliantly, aided with sho King hit the mark with this brick of a novel! I'm a huge Stephen King fan, but even I will admit a great many of his books miss the mark. This one, though extremely long, was a fantastic read. King was really in his groove here. He's written a number of long-ass novels, but this was my favourite of the long ones. (The Stand was, for me, too verbose at times; then again, I chose to read the extended version, perhaps my own fault...) The progression of the novel was done brilliantly, aided with shortish chapters. You move seamlessly from one story-line to the next and don't become confused. I had expected to become exhausted, but King managed to find something interesting in every little section of the novel to keep you on your toes. Unlike some of his other novels, I found the situation realistic, even though it may seem that a gigantic dome over a town may seem unrealistic. I think it's because you sort of forget about the dome for most of the story. Before reading the novel I thought the dome would play a greater, if not central role in the story, but it takes a backseat to the characters' stories, which was a pleasant surprise. King doesn't bog down the story with an explanation as to what has created the dome - he mostly leaves that up to interpretation, and simply gets on with the story. King has himself said that the dome is a metaphor for what is happening in real life on earth on a much larger scale. He simply narrowed it down and focused on one small American community. This book is more than a great piece of fiction because there is a whole other level to it once you taker a step back and analyze it. He's taken a community, put it under a microscope, and left the people to run rampant to see what happens. It's like a great human experiment. The irony of it is that we don't need to conduct an experiment like this, it's already taking place every single day. The characters are what captures this story, for me. It would be easy to lose track of these characters with any other author, but King has made each of them unique and memorable, so you never lose track of them. And there are a lot of them! I also enjoyed how he even reined in the most cruel character, Big Jim. It would have been easy to allow the character to become too unhinged, but he skillfully pulled it back, and at some points you even found yourself a tad bit relating to the damn guy. It's a tribute to King himself to be able to create a villain both cruel and human; as a reader you both love and hate the guy (but mostly hate). If I have one criticism of this novel, it's the ending. I actually think King would have been better off to leave the ending unresolved. I know, that would likely create pandemonium - imagine reading 1000-plus pages and finding out you have no idea what comes of all these characters. But, in some ways, that would have been the perfect way to end this supposed comment on reality. The resolution seemed a bit too far fetched (although certainly of the more believable of the far fetched ideas of King's) and easy, after all that everyone had been through. I'd have enjoyed a cliffhanger. King has been known to use dues ex machina as a device to get out of some sticky situations (think The Stand, again) and it has appeared here again. Oh well. Regardless, a good novel. Exciting at every turn and, at times, very emotional. King at his best. If you enjoy King and find yourself bogged down by some of his mediocre work, I'd pick this up and give it a go. With the shorter chapters it is even easy to read another book at the same time and not lose track of the story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Ever wonder what it'd be like to turn your small town into a snowglobe? I saw this Superman cartoon where Braniac turned Metropolis into a miniature, too, but this book ain't that. :) Indeed, the SF elements are strong in Under the Dome, but they don't mean much to the basic story other than the setup. It wasn't a Tommyknockers thing, either, although I was very curious to see if SK would go there. Indeed, what we've got here is a bit of a Slaughterhouse Five thing. Insects in a dome, but natural Ever wonder what it'd be like to turn your small town into a snowglobe? I saw this Superman cartoon where Braniac turned Metropolis into a miniature, too, but this book ain't that. :) Indeed, the SF elements are strong in Under the Dome, but they don't mean much to the basic story other than the setup. It wasn't a Tommyknockers thing, either, although I was very curious to see if SK would go there. Indeed, what we've got here is a bit of a Slaughterhouse Five thing. Insects in a dome, but naturalist style. Let's see all the insects eat each other! Poor Maine. SK has done so much to hurt those poor people. Or maybe it's just the meth makers and dealers. And here's the great part, I haven't seen such a kingpin since Breaking Bad, and that was AFTER this novel! :) Big Jim is one hell of an evil dude. SK really lets his hatred of humanity out in these pages. True horror is in us, after all, and not in his monsters. Honestly, I probably would have latched-on to this one of SK's novels much more had I been more of a lightweight in the whole growing dystopia thing. It only lasts a week for a whole town to go to hell, which I don't really have an issue with. We're all about as civilized as bellies are full, after all. The only thing I have a problem with is the bloat. Bloat? Yeah, sadly, there was a lot of multidimensional characters that may not have needed much rounding out. Indeed, a lot of them are nothing more for the fodder for the hell that's heading their way. :) I don't need much in the way of shadowy pasts or rounding out for any but the biggest characters. We might have saved on a good 500 pages in the novel, too. ;p Not my favorite King novel, but it had its moments. Not too bad. Could have been a lot tighter, but it did have SK's trademark wander and a bible's worth of characters. Hillbilly bible thumpers go nuts, yo. As an experiment, however, I think I'm on the side of the aliens in Slaughterhouse Five. :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    What a depressing book. Then he went on, looking for what he no longer thought he would find. So. Stephen King... and this is the kind of thing he does best - all the ingredients of a traditional SK story are here: small town, big cast of characters, paranormal event et al. Personally, I prefer his older stories, because of the nostalgia factor, but Under The Dome is a nice return to form. There was a lot of traffic, mostly headed south. A few of these folks might have legitimate errands, but [he] What a depressing book. Then he went on, looking for what he no longer thought he would find. So. Stephen King... and this is the kind of thing he does best - all the ingredients of a traditional SK story are here: small town, big cast of characters, paranormal event et al. Personally, I prefer his older stories, because of the nostalgia factor, but Under The Dome is a nice return to form. There was a lot of traffic, mostly headed south. A few of these folks might have legitimate errands, but [he] thought most were human flies being drawn to the smell of blood. Much like Brian Keene’s Darkness on the Edge of Town, this is a novel of what could conceivably happen to a tight-knit community (read: where people know too much of each other’s business) when they are cut off from the outside world. To say that things get ugly is an understatement. Murder, rape, exploitation, madness… well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. However, this novel does not deal with events in the same first person intimacy as Keene’s book. Rather, events play out on a bigger scale. ”It’s Halloween. It’s the Great Pumpkin’s fault! You have to stop the Great Pumpkin!” The paranormal angle, even though being central to the story, is somewhat downplayed for the most part. The focus is on individual stories of misery. And, yes, this often is an uneasy read. When he reached the foot of the driveway, heart skittering in his chest and blood thumping in his temples, the house remained dark and silent. …but reading Horror isn’t supposed to be a breeze, is it? That would be cause for concern. On the down side, there is a futile predictability to the way the story unfolds: when characters are presented with a bad choice and a worse one… guess which one they always take? There was something wrong in here, too. [She] was sure of it. The place felt more than creepy to her; it felt outright dangerous. Whether you like King or not, there’s no denying he’s a master at this game. However, if you’re new to his writing go get 'Salem's Lot or The Shining first. Somewhere voices were calling: lost and terrified.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Phobos

    I've read a lot of Stephen King. I was a big fan when I was in my teenage years. The Stand and The Long Walk are among his best. Under The Dome is sadly one of his worst. It was a book which started as an idea for a project called "The Cannibals" in 1976. He never finished it. I was kind of disappointed, there are no cannibals in Under The Dome. The book is colossal at more than 1000 pages. This isn't anything new for King fans as many of his books are more than 700 pages. It was over 1000 pages I've read a lot of Stephen King. I was a big fan when I was in my teenage years. The Stand and The Long Walk are among his best. Under The Dome is sadly one of his worst. It was a book which started as an idea for a project called "The Cannibals" in 1976. He never finished it. I was kind of disappointed, there are no cannibals in Under The Dome. The book is colossal at more than 1000 pages. This isn't anything new for King fans as many of his books are more than 700 pages. It was over 1000 pages and was one of King's better books (although the ending was disappointing). Under The Dome should not have been 1000 pages. It should have been maybe 300 pages tops. The story meanders and meanders and nothing really happens of interest. The characters are completely dull, lifeless, one dimensional. They're created with a stroke of the pen and quickly start dying off. I never cared for them so it really wasn't a big deal when they died. The plot is another King rehash. A combination of much of his weaker work with a dash of The Stand here and there. It's part Tommyknockers (his worst book IMO), partly Dreamcatcher (also awful) and partly Needful Things (mediocre at best). The book is also an anti-bush polemic. I'm not a Bush fan but this is a little late as far as anti-Bush messages go and very thinly veiled. The main bad guys in the book are two town politicians based on George W Bush (dumb, incompetent) and Dick Cheney (power hungry, ruthless, corrupt). It's so obvious and cloying that I didn't hate these characters or feel sympathy for them. Instead of creating real characters King has just taken Bush and Cheney and inserted them in his story. Perhaps if King had any tact for writing political allegories this would have been a better novel. Under the Dome is partly based on Lord of the Flies which King frequently mentions in his work. 'Flies' was a much better novel than this, suspenseful and gripping and no more than 200 pages. Under The Dome is 5 times as long and 5 times as bad. I felt like I've seen this situations and characters before. King has just changed a few minor details. The dome itself is just a setup for another town which drives itself crazy. It's Needful Things, Cell, The Stand, Dreamcatcher and The Tommyknockers all over again. A few elements have been changed but the plot is basically the same. King can be a good writer at times but he can also be a god awful writer. In this case he's god awful. This wasn't particularly original. The idea is largely ripped off from an old Twilight Zone clone. The resolution is also utterly cheesy and practically an afterthought. It's Deus Ex Machina at its worst. Of course this is a tactic frequently employed by King when he doesn't know how to write a conclusion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dorsi

    Whew! I finally finished it! It took me almost 2 weeks. That is the longest it has ever taken for me to read a book. This book was quite the undertaking but well worth it. I have never been much of a Stephen King fan, but I enjoyed this one. I take my hat off to King for the ability to write such a complex novel with so many characters & story lines merging into one. What a fantastic smooth read. The characters came to life! While reading it, I almost felt as if I was part of the story, livi Whew! I finally finished it! It took me almost 2 weeks. That is the longest it has ever taken for me to read a book. This book was quite the undertaking but well worth it. I have never been much of a Stephen King fan, but I enjoyed this one. I take my hat off to King for the ability to write such a complex novel with so many characters & story lines merging into one. What a fantastic smooth read. The characters came to life! While reading it, I almost felt as if I was part of the story, living it. Oddly, I am sorry it's over. I have read several books by King and this is the first one I have truly liked.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Georgina ☽ 2greekgirlsreading

    Every book by Stephen King is like magic. Pure perfectness! I think every book-lover should at least read one book by Stephen King in their life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Wow. In the author's note at the end of this book, King wrote "I tried to write a book that would keep the pedal consistently to the metal." I think he succeeded. If there is one thing that this book is not, it's a leisurely walk through the park. And this is what makes King my favorite author (well, the main thing, anyway), when he writes a fast-paced novel, I don't dare look away. Not only is it fast-paced, but King brings the characters and their community to life so convincingly that I'm afr Wow. In the author's note at the end of this book, King wrote "I tried to write a book that would keep the pedal consistently to the metal." I think he succeeded. If there is one thing that this book is not, it's a leisurely walk through the park. And this is what makes King my favorite author (well, the main thing, anyway), when he writes a fast-paced novel, I don't dare look away. Not only is it fast-paced, but King brings the characters and their community to life so convincingly that I'm afraid of what could be happening with my back turned, and I don't want to miss anything. It's more like watching than reading, and every time I closed the book, even for just a second, I would wonder what was happening that I wasn't there to observe. If this is what it means to give a book life, then King is like Dr. Frankenstein, only he knows exactly what he is doing and is more than willing to shape and guide and love these newly formed creations of his. Under The Dome is like a return to an older, more ruthless version of King. I would not have been one bit surprised if this book had been published as "the last (and we really, really mean it this time guys... maybe) posthumous Richard Bachman novel". It reminds me of some of his older books, with little hints of The Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, IT, The Stand, and The Dead Zone, and then had minute references to the Dark Tower series and The Talisman. There is so damn much packed into this book that I know I can't talk about it all without writing a review that's almost as long as the book itself. Big Jim Rennie, your typical used-car salesman turned power-hungry politician, reminded me of Greg Stillson, only more Caligula-esque. He's narcissistic, and thinks that the world, or maybe at least the town, revolves around him and should kiss his feet in an offering of thanks for managing their pitiful little lives for them. He's selfish and cruel and greedy and manipulative. Let's just say that he takes full advantage of the Dome to achieve his personal agenda. He pulls the strings behind the scenes that set in motion a series of events that aren't exactly pretty. He increases the size of the police force exponentially, making sure that the new recruits are all young, hot-blooded and authority-wielding men, creates a state of fear and panic, and effectively turns the town into a police-state. There are a lot of references to Hitler, but I likened it quite a lot to the Patriot Act Mentality of the most recent Bush administration: You're either with US, or with THEM. It shows, at least on the reactionary side, what can happen when we lose ourselves to fear and want someone else to take care of us and make everything all better. There is also a strong environmental warning here. Be careful what you manufacture, because you may just be forced to live with it and pay the price for it now, and not in some indefinite and indefinable future generation. The characters in this book were of course brilliant, as I think all of King's characters are. They are fully realized and alive, and at any moment feel like they could walk off the page and into existence. I loved Barbie (Dale Barbara), Rusty, Twitch, Julia, Joe, Norrie, Benny, Linda and the kids... I loved the way that they acted the way that REAL people act, and not the way that over-the-top book characters act. I loved that they were who they were to the end, and rolled with the times, but didn't let the times change them. I could say a lot more, but I think I'll leave it at that. I loved this book, as I fully expected to. It was definitely a roller-coaster, and even though I was afraid of what the next brutal, cringe-inducing page would bring, I couldn't have stopped reading if you'd paid me. This is why King is my favorite author.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I think Under the Dome is my second Stephen King book, but don't quote me on that. Now I've seen a couple of episodes about the show, Under the Dome and I was hoping that this book would be better than that. Under the Dome had an interesting concept but I was kind of getting bored with the book. It might have had to deal with how long the actual book was but I can't say that it was the only flaw. Now in this book you met a ton of characters. However, I feel like the overall pace of the book was k I think Under the Dome is my second Stephen King book, but don't quote me on that. Now I've seen a couple of episodes about the show, Under the Dome and I was hoping that this book would be better than that. Under the Dome had an interesting concept but I was kind of getting bored with the book. It might have had to deal with how long the actual book was but I can't say that it was the only flaw. Now in this book you met a ton of characters. However, I feel like the overall pace of the book was kind of slow. I believe the tv show had a lot faster pace of everything happening.. but I honestly don't remember much about the show. With the ton of characters throughout the book it was quite easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of who is who. Trust me, I had some confusing moments and had to back track a lot. Overall, the story was long but it was interesting and entertaining enough to keep me chugging along. I developed a ton of questions while reading and I'm pretty sure I got them all answered?? But if I'm being honest I didn't keep track of everything. At one point I just kind of went along with everything and wanted to see how it all played out. I never finished the show so I didn't see the ending coming the way that it did. I will definitely try to read another Stephen King book.. but maybe a shorter one?!?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jason Pettus

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.) Like millions of others, some of the very first grown-up books I ever read when a teenager were Stephen King ones, which kept me an avid fan of his throughout high school and college; but then also like millions of others, in my twenties I grew to have more and more problems with King's writing, especiall (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.) Like millions of others, some of the very first grown-up books I ever read when a teenager were Stephen King ones, which kept me an avid fan of his throughout high school and college; but then also like millions of others, in my twenties I grew to have more and more problems with King's writing, especially as I finished more and more examples of truly great books throughout history, leading to me almost entirely dumping his work altogether by my thirties. And that's why, although I've now officially read 31 of his books, all but six of those are from at least twenty years ago if not more; and that of course is also why I was highly dubious when word started spreading a few months ago about his latest, the only lightly supernatural psychological thriller Under the Dome, that many now consider perhaps the best book of his entire 40-year, 75-title career. Because on the one hand, calling a particular book Stephen King's best is kind of like saying that Genghis Khan was the most humane mass-murderer in history (you know, as in, "Who gives a sh-t when they're all so terrible to begin with?"); but then again, I was an avowed King fan for many years myself, and like many I have long held onto the hope that he might go from merely entertaining to truly brilliant late in his career, just exactly like Mark Twain did, and so it's hard not to be intrigued when a growing amount of people start calling his newest the exact brilliant breakthrough I had been hoping for. So I broke down and checked out the three-pound behemoth (seriously, that's its actual weight) from my neighborhood library last month, and slogged through 75 pages of it every night for two weeks straight until I was finally finished. And what did I think? Well, in a nutshell -- meh. Because yes, this might possibly be one of the best books of King's career; but as I was painfully reminded of starting about halfway through, that's still not saying an awful lot, and is why King is destined to eventually become the modern equivalent of the Victorian Age's Edward Bulwer-Lytton, yet another massively popular author who sold tens of millions of books when alive, but who just a hundred years later is now barely remembered. And that's because King is a master at turning in flashy reflections of our particular day and age, books that are exactly as entertaining when first reading as some generic television show playing in the background of your kitchen when trying to make dinner one night, but that largely fail the test of time just as badly as an episode of Law & Order after its fourth viewing; and although I have no doubt that a century from now, there will still be a healthy audience reading his absolutely most well-known work like The Stand and the "Dark Tower" series, the vast majority of his oeuvre is destined to be known the same way we currently know the vast majority of books by, say, Jules Verne or Jack London, as simply an endless list of unlinked, forgotten titles at the bottom of his Wikipedia entry. Although make no mistake, Under the Dome has a great high-concept premise, one that's easy to describe but that can fuel a thousand-page manuscript; basically, one day an impenetrable force-field bubble appears around a small town in Maine, over 30,000 feet high and presumably that far deep under the surface too, blocking out everything but a trickle of water and air and utterly unbreakable by any device known to man. So who constructed it? And why? And how long will it last? Well, although King does eventually give a lip-service answer to those questions by the end (for an interesting reason that he details during his recent surprisingly fascinating talk for the New York Times' "TimesCenter" podcast), these aren't really the questions he's most interested in exploring; no, what he's most interested in discussing is what would happen to existing society under such circumstances, under a situation where both basic resources and all authority figures have been stripped away from a modern American civilization, making this King's less-heavy version of such recent high-minded apocalyptic tales as Cormac McCarthy's The Road. And like The Road, King frames his answer mostly through the filter of what we saw happen to our society during the Bush years of the early 2000s, when we first got a little taste of what such an apocalypse might be like; and like The Road, King's conclusion is that we'd all be pretty much screwed*, that the sheen of "enlightened civility" we pride ourselves on here in the US is in actuality just the thinnest of veneers, and that all it would take is just a few chinks in this armor to turn all of us into snarling, violent, genocidal animals. After all, this is exactly what we saw so many citizens of New Orleans turn into, after the Bush administration decided to abandon the city after Hurricane Katrina, what exactly we saw so many American soldiers turn into once getting the official permission of the Bushists to torture and rape without repercussions; and in this you can add Under the Dome to such other '00s classics as The Road, The Plot Against America, Jamestown, Anathem, The Possibility of an Island, Radiant Days, Rant, The Yiddish Policemen's Union and World War Z to equal by the end an entire class of so-called "Bushist Literature," the disaster-plagued chaos-embracing stories that will teach future generations about the unending misery we all just got done living through (and will soon be living through again, apparently, if the teabaggers have their way, proving again just like the Germans did in the 1900s that sometimes it takes not just one but two giant catastrophies before a fascist society finally learns its f-cking lesson). And in fact King does a nice job here of exploring the details of the Bush years through the microcosm of a small New England town, with various characters in this massive cast standing in for such infamous figures as Bush himself and his evil puppetmaster Dick Cheney, as well as a look at how such glibly religious, self-righteous monsters can so easily manipulate an entire population into mass panic and resulting mob violence, therefore justifying the martial law they wanted all along. But then this starts getting into the problems I had with this book as well, which is that King felt the need here to push all these stereotypes to the Nth most radical degree: just to cite one good example, the Glenn-Beck-listening city council members who take over in the wake of the dome's appearance are not just corrupt and lazy, but also just happen to be meth dealers; and are not just meth dealers but happen to be the largest meth dealers in the entire United States; and are not just the largest meth dealers in the entire United States but priest-killing necrophiliacs that also just happen to be the largest meth dealers in the entire United States, and who by the way happen to be the corrupt city council members who organize a brownshirt-style takeover of the town's armory after the appearance of the dome. Subtle, King, subtle! And that's disappointing, because this weakens the entire message that most of these Bushist books (including King's) are trying to make -- that true evil in a corrupt society comes not from the tiny amount of legitimately freakish monsters, but rather the petty evils of a million otherwise decent human beings, that the troubles of the Bush years weren't caused by priest-killing necrophiliacs but rather by a hundred thousand cops and security guards and airport security screeners, each and every one of whom added an extra 30 seconds of misery to the lives of every person they professionally dealt with, simply as a way of meting petty scorn on a series of innocent victims who had no means of retaliating or even complaining. As we all unfortunately learned last decade, this is more than enough horror to create a 24-hour national waking nightmare, and it's a shame that King felt the need to gussy this up into the ludicrous extremes seen in Under the Dome. Now combine all this with what's turned out over the decades to be King's natural recurring problems simply as a writer, weaknesses in his work that have been there since the very first day -- stilted dialogue, for example, an eyerolling amount of casual misogyny, annoying villainous catchphrases that are then repeated so often that you eventually want to beat the author to death with his own freaking three-pound book -- and you can suddenly see why a person might consider this one of King's best books but still be disappointed by it anyway. But then to flip the argument once again, I was tempted to forgive King many times for these exact things I'm complaining about -- because after all, most of the exaggerations of evil seen here are in reality no worse than the actual cartoonish evil that the Bushists really did get away with during the '00s; or to cite another example, if King hadn't made this so big and rambling, people wouldn't be talking so much about it in the first place, making its excessive size both necessary and unnecessary at the same time. So when all is said and done, then, I found myself with a whole plethora of emotions when it comes to Under the Dome -- gratitude that King was so willing to stand up to his conservative fans like this, amazement that the mouth-breathers have so passionately fallen for it anyway, yet disappointment that it wasn't better than it was, and a sort of tired resignation over the fact that all a Stephen King book has to be is merely okay for it to get labeled The Greatest Stephen King Book Of His Entire Career. It comes absolutely recommended to existing King fans, but with only a lukewarm endorsement for those who aren't, a book that I'm very glad exists but that I don't think is necessarily worth everyone's time. It should all be kept in mind before picking it up yourself. Out of 10: 7.5 *And by the way, a final observation about this book that I found no good place for in the main review: that the last hundred pages now stand as the single greatest piece of disaster pornography in the history of the genre, a boner-inducing catastrof-ck that alone almost completely justifies the 900 so-so pages that come before it. It's true what this book's most diehard fans say, that you shouldn't judge Under the Dome until you've gotten to the very last page, and that you shouldn't assume you know what the ending will be just because you're getting a good sense of it two-thirds of the way through.

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