Under The Dome is a novel by Stephen King. On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a selectwoman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short, it’s running out.
- Title: Under The Dome
- Raina Rating: 9 out of 10
- Genre: Science Fiction / Dystopian
- Author: Stephen King
The first thing most people note about this book is the length, and for good reason … this book is an amazing 1,088 pages long. And that, mind you, is the seriously edited-down version.
Apparently, at least according to various news sources, it was at one time a few hundred pages bigger at the start. The book is complex and, at first overwhelming, as there are a lot of characters to get to know and keep up with. Once, however, you get the basics down of who is who, the book starts to make far more sense and is enjoyable. Publisher’s Weekly says Under the Dome is “King’s return to supernatural horror is uncomfortably bulky, formidably complex and irresistibly compelling,” and that’s so true. So perfect said.
It really is a great read. In fact, this is my first ever Stephen King novel, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I heard he was an amazing writer and that once you get into his stories, you can’t help but get caught up in his stories, and that turned out to be very true. It’s a book that makes you think. It makes you think about society and people. It makes you think about the people in your own neighborhood, and you suddenly begin to wonder what you really know about them in the first place. I mean, you think you know someone, but in a crisis, do you really? It also makes you look at your own emergency supplies and wonder just how long you could last in a crisis. There is more than just good but things like aspirin, bottled water, teeth paste, and toilet paper.
On the negative side, a few things that stood out to me is how everyone thinks everyone is “stupid.” I didn’t do an exact count, but I would say so, and so is stupid is said at least 3 to 4 times per chapter, sometimes more. I get one or two people to think one or two people are stupid, but it seems to be a recurring thing for just about everyone throughout the entire book.
I can get past the excessive cursing, as it is clearly part of the makeup of these characters and well-fitting. But there is also a lot of sexist behavior as well as racism. You can probably sort of understand the racist things said, considering it’s a small town kind of stereotypical place, but you really have to wonder how much Stephen King disrespects women in general by the endless sexist and degrading things said and done to all female characters in this book. Some may argue he’s just telling a story, and that’s the way the characters in this book are, that he’s not necessarily that way. And perhaps that’s true, but I did want to point it out as one of the features of the book that sort of rubbed me the wrong way.
Still, I thought it was an interesting story that, while at times a little complicated trying to keep up with so many stories, I would without a doubt recommend it. It was actually one of the best books I’ve read this year.
I normally prefer reading romance books, and while this had an element of romance, in the end, it was more thriller than “romance,” but it was still a great book. I really did love it.