My first review! Under the Dome by Stephen King

Written by Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton hardback
Release date 10 November 2009
When the Dome falls over the small town of Chester’s Mill, Maine, everyone’s shocked – but they don’t expect it to be there for long. As time progresses, though, and the struggle for power inside the Dome escalates, it becomes a matter of survival for all those involved............
WHY I BOTHERED

I bought this book solely because I just knew Stephen King wouldn’t disappoint. I’ve read a lot of his books, so when I saw Under The Dome, copies stacked one over the other, with the various different covers I just jumped and bought it! The back jacket proclaims various little blurbs like “staggeringly addictive” and “expert ratcheting of tension”. Looking at this book- this HUMUNGOUS book, mind you- you wonder how it can be true. Especially since the print is teeny-weeny.
But you know what? This is ONE book where the back blurbs are right. Like, totally right.
This book, people, is just amazing.
(Well, except for the bad language and constant cursing…but every book have its flaws)

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT
(Spoiler Free)
“Expert ratcheting of tension” is right.
This book is a constant series of cliffhangers. Starting from the very first page it goes onto keep the reader on their toes for the most part of the enormous book. This book is generously populated, with the author giving its 50(?) odd characters their own stories, their own mannerisms and their own places in the almost stereotypical town of Chester’s Mill. Although Stephen King is most known for his bizarre stories- Under The Dome itself being proclaimed bizarre- it is not the strangeness of what happens to Chester’s Mill (it’s inexplicably cut off by a dome- imagine a glass sphere- from the rest of the world) that interests us so much.
It is the human behavior.
The way the townspeople turn savage and unruly. The way one man plays God, Judge and Executioner. The way people will do anything to survive. The way they choose to be blind in the face of someone of power.
The characters are so immense in number that I cannot pinpoint any particular protagonist. This would have been annoying in any other book but King is…well, King. But Barbie, Rusty and Big Jim Rennie I felt has been drawn up so effortlessly, so wonderfully that it’s difficult to believe they aren’t real. Some of the other important characters are equally cleverly written- each with their quirks and general  normalness that I felt I should cherish. Each moment of each character’s life within the dome, not knowing how long they will be excluded from the rest of the world, not willing to give up their lives, not understanding what otherworldly power holds them captive…you should read it to understand it. Every character I can say with certainty, is perfectly realistic. Every moment, from the crash of the airplane in the beginning to the devastating fire towards the end, is written with style. Pop culture references abound, with James McMurty’s song and references to the US political scenarios giving the book a real it-can-happen-to-me quality. I loved the Stand, I loved Dome better. The microcosm of the small town within the dome is portrayed so, so well…
Like one of the back blurbs proclaim, you are SORRY when you come to the end. Because when you are UNDER THE DOME, you breathe, feel, live and be the characters that King has drawn up in such meticulous fashion.

Cover(sssss)


my copy's cover


the hardback edition

This book has many different covers. Although I did like the one with the dome out in front, which gives the whole sci-fi feel, I liked the ones with the townspeople in front better. There are many covers for this one, and each one features a different person. My own copy has the blond girl out front- I like to think of her as being Linda Everett for some reason- and I can get the whole feel of the book from her –of being trapped, of hoping against hope.
another cover. there are MORE and this one seems to me like...maybe Alice Appleton if she was older


Rating:

6 on 5??
Well, no. The amount of times this book goes into cursing-mode-craze is uncountable. You can’t blame anyone because it’s an adult book, it’s a realistic book and in real life…well , people curse.
Personally though, a restricted use of the “F” word and all it’s derivatives (all its ten thousand derivatives) would have been appreciated. I’m not a purist, but I’m not really into cursing beyond maybe shit, damn and…ah, I should stop.
4.5 on 5!
Yeah, we are settled.




Comments

  1. Thanks for your thoughts. Here's another review (Part 1 of 3) on Under the Dome from Second Guest. Enjoy and thanks again!
    sw

    http://2ndguest.blogspot.com/2010/11/under-dome-part-one.html

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  2. I haven't read this one yet...To be honest reading Cell (Which was terrible) put me off King for a while. I guess I'll have to go back and give him another shot-- The Dark Tower series is my favorite of all time, so I should really give him the benefit of the doubt.

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  3. I can't believe I'm about to admit to this, but I've never read a Stephen King novel before. I don't even know how that is possible either. Anyways, this one sounds rather good so I may give it a shot. And hopefully that'll lead to me reading more of his books.

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  4. @ scott- you're welcome, I'll definitely check it out
    @ Lela Gwenn- Cell was terrible. I agree. Dome is MUCH better, and Dark Tower series is my fave too!!
    @ Aylee- If you haven't read Stephen King yet, maybe you should start with his Dark Tower series or The Shining :)

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