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Under the Dome Hardcover – 10 Nov 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 886 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (10 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340992565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340992562
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 5.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (665 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The achievement of Stephen King is unlike that of any writer. He has taken a genre which was somewhat moribund when he came to it -- the horror novel -- and transformed it into one of the most phenomenally successful areas for quality popular writing -- what's more, his unprecedented sales success has inspired hundreds of imitators, and while few can match his inspiration (or, for that matter, his jawdropping productivity), there is no question that he has rejuvenated the horror field. Not that King confined himself to the strict parameters one might associate with the genre; several of his books -- such as this latest one, The Dome, stray into science fiction territory). But King’s achievement doesn't end there -- such is his influence over other genres (notably the crime and thriller field) that writers in those genres have been obliged to up the ante in terms of gruesome compulsiveness (Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter books, for instance, owe much to the King transformation of the popular literature field). And as for that loaded world – ‘literature’ -- isn't Stephen King reputed to be the author who has brought quality writing into a field not noted for such things? (Not, that is, since the halcyon days of Edgar Allen Poe in a previous century). Is that claim true of the new book?

So... The Dome. This massive novel, 25 years in the writing (if Stephen King is to be believed), is quite his most ambitious project, and brings to mind earlier blockbuster novels which aficionados considered to be among the writer's best work. Something like the basic premise here may be found in a classic piece of British science fiction, John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned). In that book, a village is isolated by an invisible force field -- and in the King novel, the residents can no more get out than the outside world can enter. John Wyndham's narrative involved the insemination of the women in the town by unseen alien presences, but Stephen King in The Dome has chosen to work in a different area. When the small New England town of Chester's Mill is cut off from the outside world by a mysterious force, all the laws of physics seem to be up for grabs; cars leaving town come up against invisible barriers, and there is death and mutilation for whatever was caught in the boundaries of an invisible field. Inside the dome, the inhabitants of the town deal with the catastrophe in a surprising (and often alarming) variety of ways: ex-military hero Dale Barbara has already come up against the antisocial elements of the town, and has been trying to get out. But the self-styled boss of the town, the demagogue Big Jim Rennie, soon establishes a Machiavellian control (another echo of the books of John Wyndham, in which catastrophe always throw up vicious, fascist-style leaders who capitalise on the disaster).

As ever, King develops his massive dramatis personae with great assurance, and demonstrates once again that his imagination in terms of plotting is as strong as ever. Those, however, who have made a case for King as a quality writer rather than a great popular entertainer will not find much ammunition for their arguments here, but this great sprawling canvas affords many pleasures. --Barry Forshaw


'Spooky, mysterious, gripping and satisfyingly scary' (Daily Telegraph on JUST AFTER SUNSET)

'King has the ability to capture the reader's imagination from the first page' (Sun on JUST AFTER SUNSET)

His most accomplished work: 13 beautifully turned tales, no two of which are alike (Daily Express on JUST AFTER SUNSET)

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4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Keiran Lee Foord on 30 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
For those who have seen the CBS TV show of Under The Dome and are about to read this here is a little warning:
The books is nothing like the TV show, apart from the characters names. But I don't mean that it is a terrible book, on the contrary, I found it more enjoyable reading the book than I did watching the TV show. But yeah, I also loved the TV show.
In my opinion if you have seen the show and are going to read the book (Like I did), go in with a new mind and you will love it.

Under The Dome is brough to us by the amazing mind of Mr. Stephen King, and tells of Chester's Mill a town in Maine (Where almost all of his books are based in) how one day an invisible dome crashes around their town sealing them off from the rest of the world. The story takes place in a couple of days (In the tv shpw, it takes place in 2 or 3 weeks) So with the population of CM under the dome, and put under preassure of wanting to get out alive, people start to show their true colour.

I loved this book 100% and finishing it in under 5 days. My opinion, if you LOVE Stephen King as much as I do, then Under The Dome is a must read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Simmons on 14 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
Like many, I got in to Stephen King in my late teens/early twenties with the brilliant 'Needful Things' and 'The Stand' (I was one of the brave ones to read the unabridged version). But then, for me, things started to go a bit wrong with Mr. King's output. Even 'Dolores Claiborne' which people seemed to love left me cold. So, after many years of absence, I decided to give 'The Dome' a try simply because I liked the cover(s) and I liked the sound of the blurb. Well, I am pleased I did. It took me five days (I like to take my time over a book) but this one didn't let me go. It kept calling me back to it, to read a little bit more and then some more until I was racing towards the finale at 2am! King evidently started this story in the 70's but felt overwhelmed by it as a new writer and put it in a drawer for thirty years. This must have been a good thing as with maturity and experience as a writer, King has now made this story possibly better than it may have been if published 30 years ago. 'The Dome' is back to what King is famous for, a story well told, gripping storyline all told in short segments that propel you to turn those pages fast. A fantastic, spooky and classic King that I strongly endorse. I have now been recommended to read 'Duma Key' - so that will be my next stop.
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94 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. S. Coward on 24 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this brick of a book in a matter of days which is saying something as I have a full-time job and not an awful lot of time on my hands... all the same I literally couldn't help myself. Stephen King is nothing if not a bloody good read!

The premise is great, well-written and spooky and there are some brilliant characters. Also for the first half of the book a kind of supernatural whodunnit is played out (Who made the dome, was it aliens, the army, something/someone else?) which I found really enjoyable. All in all I really do feel it does stand up to scrutiny when compared to his previous classics; like IT and the Tommyknockers which I feel it owes a lot. Then again (unlike some reviewers) I am not a hater of modern king, I really loved Duma Key for example.

I have but two qualms, one is the children. Now I really really feel that before Mr King next puts pen to paper (or finger to laptop) he should go out and have a talk to a real 12-18 year old of today. I say this because Kings writing of modern day children and teenagers in Under the Dome is sometimes stilted, occasionally cloying and once or twice plain bad. At it's worse King sounds similar to a middle-aged politician using 'catch-phrases' and 'hip anecdotes' and references 'things that young people like' in an embarrassing attempt to be 'down with the kids'. Maybe if King just tried less hard to use 'youth lingo' with his young characters they'd feel more natural. That aside... I did like the three main young characters even if I had to wince at their dialogue a couple of times.

Secondly, the payoff was a little disappointing. I think the idea was pretty good and the final sequence was actually pretty well written but I guess I was hoping for one final injection of fear...
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63 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Samuel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long term Stephen King fan, I've been of the view for some time that his best work was behind him. However, with Cell and Duma Key, he seemed to be heading back to the King that I knew and loved when he was churning out books like The Stand, The Tommyknockers and It.

It was thus with some trepidation that I started to read Under the Dome. I'd desperately wanted to like the last 'old' novel that King had published, Blaze, but found that a terrible disappointment. And the early signs weren't good with Under the Dome. There's a very daunting list of 'dramatis personae' at the start of the book, and confusion reigned as seemingly hundreds of characters were introduced in the first fifty or so pages. Whereas King has handled large number of characters very successfully before, most notably in The Stand, that relied on reasonably long chapters to introduce each new group of people. In Under the Dome, there are seemingly dozens of new characters on every page at the start, and I can see readers being put off from carrying on unless they concentrate VERY hard on keeping track of who is who.

However, get through this, and the rewards are rich. When the dome comes down on Chester's Mill, Jim Rennie, the evil second selectman of the town, quickly seizes the reins of power, and the battle for power begins. On the one side is Rennie and his henchmen; on the other, a small group of townsfolk lead by Dale Barbara, a veteran of the Iraq war who, when the dome came down, was on the verge of leaving town. What follows demonstrates superbly the fact that the crimes of the few can bring suffering to the poor, as Rennie's tyranny takes root.
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