7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2014
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!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2012
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.
95 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 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.
64 of 73 people found the following review helpful
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. I got so absorbed in what was effectively the battle for the town, that it was easy to forget the main cause of the problems, and the main point of the book - that the town is under a mysterious dome, and almost completely cut off from the outside world.
King fans will love this - it's sort of a cross between Needful Things and The Tommyknockers, in my opinion. If one ignores the supernatural elements that King almost always brings to his work, the book acts as a great way of highlighting the everyday evil that can befall anybody or anywhere in time of crisis, and explores man's propensity to do wrong. In this regard, it reminded me of a latterday Lord of the Flies, and if there is any justice then it will gain King an army of new fans. Rumours of King's retirement have been written large since his near-fatal accident some years ago but, on this basis, his best work may be ahead of him. Five stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2013
I really struggled with this.
I am a big fan of SK's books and consider him a master story teller, but I found this to be a task and a half. I stuck with it, because I wanted to know the outcome, but it left me quite dissatisfied, none the wiser and relieved to finally be able to put it to bed.
My problem(s) with this book is that a) there are FAR too many people in it. That cast of characters is so immense, it took AGES to "get to know" any of them. b) the story doesn't flow well at all, it kept jumping from one thread to another, just as you were warming to the theme. c) It's too big. A lot of the book is padding - this could have been constructed with half the word count.
But it's a good idea for a book.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2013
This is a really good read, I have throughly enjoyed the whole thing. Menacing and edgy, makes you wonder what you would do in the same sort of situation. Stephen King can write a story about people, doing things either they didn't know they were capable of, or hoped they weren't capable of. Give it a try. Watching it on TV at the moment, and it bears hardly any resemblance to the book, and is pretty dire. If I had seen the TV show first, I probably wouldn't have bought the book, so don't let it put you off, the book is much much better.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2013
A pretty good read with great pace.
It is amazing that the book covers just over a week. As you might know the premise, or have started watching the miniseries, at the blink of an eye the town for Chester's Mill is cut out from the rest of the world. The 'Dome' has an instant effect on people when they touch it the first time and some people, especially kids, have premonitory hallucinations.
The people of the town would have been safe or have endured a less unpleasant ride had the town not been run by a big nasty crook, Big Jim. Big Jim is a wheeler dealer at every level, used cars, having the main guy in the as his hand puppet... oh and a massive meth lab to compete with Walter White (Breaking Bad).
In the week that we share with the town, Big Jim helps to push it way beyond where the Lord of the Flies reached. When it comes to power and sinking low, there is plenty and lucky for Big Jim there are plenty of scared people that will give up all common sense, rational thought and are swept by the 'authority'.
The good guy comes in the shape of Dale Barbara, a retired Lieutenant from the US Army. As expected, by Barbara challenging Jim he, and any of his supporters, go into Jim's black list and get themselves into plenty of trouble.
The conclusion might seem a bit simple to some people, but I think it works as it was the one approach they had not thought about.
It is a good King book, enjoyable with plenty of deaths and even more twists.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2012
The small New England town of Chester's Mill suddenly and inexplicably finds itself almost completely cut off from the rest of the world by a powerful, invisible force field, soon to be named the dome. Almost immediately, the dome's indirectly corrosive effect on the town's bewildered and frightened denizens begins to strip away the thin veneer of civility that is the social compact. As food, fuel and other vital resources begin to run short, so do tempers and tolerance.
Pretty soon, the town becomes split into two factions. The panicked masses who choose to follow the monstrous "Boss Hogg" type town selectman - "Big Jim" Rennie and a small group of Rennie's direct and indirect victims led by drifter and Iraq war veteran - Dale Barbara. Rennie is bound and determined to use the advent of the dome to tighten his already choking grip on Chester's Mill and Dale Barbara and his tiny band of brothers and sisters in arms are bound and determined to do almost anything to stop him.
I'm a huge Stephen King fan who loves almost everything he writes. However, if there's one tiny fault he has, it's that sometimes he does tend to be a bit "wordy". Where as my other favourite horror writer, Graham Masterton, will simply write - ... "and Jim chopped off Jane's head with the axe" - Mr King, during the the head chopping, will tell you the entire history of the axe, including how much it cost; before the head hits the floor. Yes, I'm exaggerating but fans of both author's work will understand what I mean.
However, UNDER THE DOME is nothing like his previous novels. The pace of this novel is absolutely supersonic and King's normal wordiness is kept to a minimum; yet he still manages to completely flesh out vivid characters that you will remember for a very long time after you've finished reading. According to King, this wasn't accidental. He deliberately set out to write a fast paced story, to which all I can say is - mission accomplished! Essentially, UNDER THE DOME is THE MIST only ten times bigger and twice as fast! Whether you're a King fan or not, you'll be making a big mistake if you don't get a copy of what could be, the man's finest novel to date.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Chester's Mill, a small Maine town that has somehow escaped the attention of vampires, ghosts, creatures from alternate realities, and hostile alien plagues, finally feels the full frontal effects of Stephen King's deadly imagination. One fall day, without warning, a transparent "dome" descends into place around the borders of the town, cutting it off from physical contact with the outside world. The rest of the story plays out with minimal attention to the Dome's origins, although speculation abounds. Readers focus on how this intervention affects the people trapped inside.
Some effects are immediate. A hapless woodchuck ambling down a country road is abruptly sliced in half by the descending Dome. Several vehicles encounter the barrier and fail explosively to penetrate it. Pedestrians fair better, suffering a few bumped heads and bloody noses. Such collisions decrease as those inside and outside of the Dome adjust to its presence. Although light, radio and cell phone transmissions pass freely through the Dome, physical penetration is more problematic. Water and air can seep through slowly, but nothing larger can pass. There is no way over or under it. The best minds in the Federal government set to work on a plan to rescue the inhabitants. This leaves plenty of time for character development.
Comparisons to Lord of the Flies are appropriate. Even more so than in Bag of Bones, the real monsters are all too human. Some follow a predictable path. Small-town power broker "Big Jim" Rennie becomes more ruthless and manipulative. His son Junior and a few others also degenerate into something less than their former selves. Most of the townspeople seem driven along by these events, neither understanding nor attempting to resist them. The few who do resist include drifter and former Army Captain Dale Barber and local newspaper publisher Julia Shumway. Each group is aided and frustrated by others in the town, sometimes in surprising ways. The population of the Dome gradually decreases.
This is an enjoyable story, lent an air of realism by the well-researched depiction of the worsening environmental conditions inside the Dome. The characters are convincing--and some are larger than life. Fans of "The Trashcan Man" in The Stand will love "The Chef," a meth-cooking, gun-toting, scripture-quoting outcast with his own agenda. He, too, finds help from unexpected sources.
This book is worth reading on its own merits. Seasoned King fans will find references to his other fiction. That's part of the game, too. Play it out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In my opinion, Under the Dome is King back at his best, writing the kind of book that made me adore him as an author in the first place. It's difficult not to make the inevitable comparison with The Stand; Under the Dome is a similar length, with a similar number of characters, and plays out on the same scale. If anything, it's more subtle than The Stand, though, since 95% of the action takes place within one small town. I think most authors would struggle to keep a book of this length interesting in a confined setting, but from King it's an absolute treat. The characters are well drawn, and the relationships and dymanics between them are clearly imagined.
My only complaint is about the ending. Although the town is trapped under the dome, as the title suggests, the subsequent action is highly realistic. There is nothing supernatural -- it's just human problems and human conflicts, and this is why it beats The Stand for subtlety. After reading what is essentially realism for a 900 or so pages, though, the ending does ring a bit false. Aliens?! It seems like a convenient deus ex machina to me, and it does slightly spoil an otherwise fantastic novel. Even so, it's still one of the best books I've read recently, and it's definetly worth reading, even if only to see King back on form.