Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Under the Dome by Stephen King
Title: Under the Dome
Author: Stephen King
ISBN: 9781439148501, Simon & Schuster, 2009
Genre: Horror, Fiction
Source: Paperback Swap
First Line: From two thousand feet, where Claudette Sanders was taking a flying lesson, the town of Chester's Mill gleamed in the morning light like something freshly made and just set down.
Under the Dome is huge. I never did get around to weighing the thing, but if you chucked it at someone, you could cause some real damage. It comes with a map and a cast of characters. I went through it like a house afire, and the only thing I got tired of was the feeling that I'd strapped a sleeping toddler to the end of my arm.
A dome comes down over the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine. If you're inside the dome, you can't get out. If you're outside the dome and want in, you're out of luck. If you happen to be caught halfway, you're really out of luck. You can't dig under the dome, and you can't fly over it, and used car salesman Jim Rennie thinks all his prayers have been answered. The town and the people of Chester's Mill have been put right in the palm of his sanctimonious, greedy, power hungry hand.
Although the cast of characters is huge, and the action continuously shifts from place to place, after the initial inspection upon opening the book, I never referred back to either the map or the cast of characters. I grew up in a small town, and I think I mentally put Stephen King's dome down over my own home town and called many of its people by King's names. I would imagine that I'm not the only one who did this. For those who didn't, the map and the cast list will probably come in very handy.
The dome immediately becomes a media event, and the military shows up even before CNN and Fox. It doesn't take long before people realize that the dome has an ecological effect on the town, and as people feverishly work to get rid of it, King's characters became etched in my mind: Big Jim Rennie and his spoiled son, young Rennie's pack of no-good friends, "Barbie" the Iraqi war veteran, the newspaperwoman, the minister who isn't so sure she believes in God... it's a large cast, and each character remained clear in my mind.
As the pages flew by, character after character paid dearly for hasty decisions, and I didn't always like the consequences. Fortunately King provided just enough comic relief for Under the Dome to avoid becoming overwhelmingly dark. His opinion of the human race isn't very kind; unfortunately, it's often right on the mark, so if you like reading a fast-paced novel about good and evil filled with memorable characters, pick up Under the Dome. With its heft, you'll also be giving yourself a workout.
[Note: if you have a low tolerance for gore, I'd advise you to avoid this one. I normally don't think about this because I have a high gore tolerance. Must come from going hunting with my grandfather and cleaning what was brought home to eat.]
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.