93 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great, not perfect, but still great, 24 Nov 2009
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... As is often the case (in film and in books) the monsters are always scarier when you can't quite see them, and once the evil force in Dome was revealed a lot of the fear and suspense was lost.
These criticisms out of the way I have very rarely been so easily taken hostage by a book. For the past 5 days the town and it's many inhabitants have taken over my mental landscape and I can honestly say that I actually miss them and didn't want the book to end. Setbacks aside if you like King, if you like clever sci-fi, nerve-jangling thrillers or a clever political allegory you'll love this.