Customer Reviews


640 Reviews
5 star:
 (336)
4 star:
 (132)
3 star:
 (95)
2 star:
 (45)
1 star:
 (32)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Stephen King of old!
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...
Published 17 months ago by Bunty

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Familiar Tale Under The Dome
Under The Dome is a book of 900 pages and an effective measure of Stephen King's development since his last doorstopper 31 years ago. Where the writing in The Stand was patchy and baggy, Under The Dome is consistent and lean. The cast of characters, major and minor, is handled much more skilfully. For Stephen King fans, Under The Dome will deliver the usual rewards: we...
Published on 3 Feb. 2012 by Horatio Bannister


‹ Previous | 1 264 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Familiar Tale Under The Dome, 3 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Under the Dome (Paperback)
Under The Dome is a book of 900 pages and an effective measure of Stephen King's development since his last doorstopper 31 years ago. Where the writing in The Stand was patchy and baggy, Under The Dome is consistent and lean. The cast of characters, major and minor, is handled much more skilfully. For Stephen King fans, Under The Dome will deliver the usual rewards: we are held, compelled, and propelled.

Are the usual rewards enough after 40 odd novels? We've been under Stephen King's dome for 35 years and every blade of grass is familiar to us, perhaps over familiar. The town in this story is a Maine small town filled with characters who are the usual stock and trade of a King novel: the small-town-punk-bully; his easily led friends; the settled-for-too-little-brainy-liberal; the fat-ageing-honest-policeman; the malevolent-town-big-shot; the nice-guy-hero-outsider. The punk-bully and his friends deliver the same after closing time beating to our new hero as they did to Nick Andros 31 years before in The Stand. His story is repeating itself.

The characters are not very complex; they're either good or they're bad and that's about it. So wholesome and dull are the good people of the little town that one would soon be driven to desperate acts were one confined with them. Like many a Stephen King hero, Dale Barbara is colourless, but good. As usual, only the bad guys have any real nuance or character development, principally "Big Jim" Rennie who's "feelin' it" moments are a fine insight into the puffed up village Napoleon. Other black hat characters have nice turns too.

We have the oft-repeated struggle between good and evil within the dome, with an added element: the dome itself. The dome is the most interesting character in the book. Its arrival is sudden and unexplained. It is unyielding, immovable, irresistible. It is as if the town has been chosen to experience a hitherto unknown law of physics.That experience is nicely played: the alarm of the townspeople; the pragmatic acceptance; the emotional disintegration. The dome affects their lives often only slowly but the pressure builds as the the physical environment deteriorates and people unravel.

The Stand and Stephen King's latest tome are separated by three decades but, unhappily, they share a common fault: very lame endings. One can see Under The Dome's resolution coming like a smokestack in Kansas. The explanation of the dome - why need there be an explanation?! - is very silly indeed. It's our old friend deus ex machina. In Under The Dome we see both the gods and the machine. Each is absurd. That's a let down after such an investment of time.

There are parallels in the book with things that are happening in the wider world. We see religion perverted for commercial and political purposes, we see local government corruption and criminality, we see people using high office for selfish and dishonest ends, we see a struggle with the press, and all of this played out before a flock of sheep. It's no secret that Stephen King is a nice WASP liberal, but when these issues are presented in such a cartoon fashion they can seem facile. The most powerful point is simply made by the build up of pollution on the inside of the dome through the activity of the town's people. Whatever your environmental politics, the novel makes the simple point that anything pristine - welcome or not - is quickly tarnished by the muck we put into the air every day of our lives.

As a thriller, Under The Dome is OK and will involve Stephen King's fans and initiates alike. For those who have been waiting for this talented, popular and unique writer to step up a level and really shock, this will be a familiar disappointment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Stephen King of old!, 26 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Under the Dome (Kindle Edition)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING! Didn't want it to end!, 30 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Under the Dome (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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, 2 Aug. 2010
By 
This review is from: Under the Dome (Paperback)
The story starts with a lot of promise but somewhere in the 800+ pages (paperback) it gets lost. King is a master of character development - he can do more to flesh out a character in 1 page than many authors can do in a whole novel. But unfortunately, that gift seems to have abandoned him on this outing. There were too many characters to really care about most of them, the hero doesn't do much of anything for a good 300 pages and the demise of the main villains was pretty anti-climactic.

The most annoying aspect of the book was the jarring use of slang. What 20-something in the year 2010 would say "mind your own beeswax"? There are also 30-something men calling each other "brother" or "pal". It felt very 1970's and clashed with the overly hip teen skaters.

There have been comparisons to The Stand but this book is really more akin to Tommyknockers. Both of those books were excellent! I recommend this for a die-hard King fan but if you haven't read his classics - The Talisman, The Stand, Dead Zone, It, Tommyknockers, etc, skip this and read those instead.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


93 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, not perfect, but still great, 24 Nov. 2009
By 
This review is from: Under the Dome (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... 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


63 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's more to King than meets the eye, 19 Nov. 2009
By 
Samuel "Samuel" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Under the Dome (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MASTERPIECE? COULD BE., 31 July 2012
This review is from: Under the Dome (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back on form, 26 July 2010
By 
Scheherazade (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Under the Dome (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF HIS BEST IN A LONG TIME, 14 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Under the Dome (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, but..., 2 Feb. 2010
By 
L. Foster (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Under the Dome (Hardcover)
....but I can see why some of the reviewers had reservations. I agree that there were far too many characters at first; I agree that the final pay-off was a bit too easy and could have had more tension, and I also agree that Stephen King could do with understanding kids better. However, it is still a great book, and one that, once I got a grip of the characters, I couldn't put down.

King creates a very dark and volatile atmosphere in a small town, one which is sealed of by the Dome. Although the speed at which the town reached anarchy was rather quick, it is possible that the same situation could occur if a town was cut off by storms or fire or earthquake. The Dome itself becomes almost ancillary to the plot - its just a way of segregating the people from the rest of the world, but King builds on the claustrophobia, grudges, petty hatreds and small town politics to create an excellent and engrossing story line. I am not trying to be all pseudo-intellectual here, not suggesting that King is using the Dome as a metaphor for societal isolation, but its what happens in the town which makes this a great read.

Still, I would have preferred the villain to have had a longer and more painful death........
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 264 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Under the Dome
Under the Dome by Stephen King (Paperback - 8 July 2010)
£7.49
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews