69 of 82 people found the following review helpful
The best of king and the worst of king (in one book)
, 2 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Under the Dome (Hardcover)
Every aspect of Stephen King fleshed out into almost 900 pages.
A typical Maine town is inexplicably sealed off by a dome, trapping the residents inside. No-body understands how it arrived and what it means, the Government are unable to penetrate from outside while inside things take a very dark turn.
King uses a very large cast of characters (which are sometimes hard to keep track of) and cranks up the tension (and the body count) as within the dome, the residents need to start taking sides as previously hidden evil comes to the surface. King also uses the dome as a microcosm of society and demonstrates how quickly things change if there is an event of significance. This was more of a disaster story then horror or sci-fi in my opinion, although it has the traditional dark elements of King's writing. Oh, and strangely a couple of name checks to Lee Child's character Jack Reacher as an off-stage character in this story!
**Minor spoilers** I know he writes long books, but this felt too long, but at times surprisingly rushed. Within the Dome, things fall apart within about 24 hours and I feel that a little more common sense would have prevailed, likewise bad guy Big Jim would have waited a bit to see if the dome lifted and he would have to answer for his actions before taking power in the way he does. The whole "it's an alien experiment" thing reminded me too much of numerous Star Trek episodes where mankind was 'tested' to really engage me as an interesting concept from within King could do his stuff. But he does flesh out his characters and the advantage of the length of the book is that you do engage with them and care what happens even if the story could have been told in half the page count!
So it is over long and over indulgent, but it also works and the author's legion of fans will probably love it, and vote my review unhelpful. Personally I thought the town went bad far too quickly and it was not convincing enough. So an okay book but not a stand-out one.
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