Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review: Under the Dome



As much as I am fascinated by the story, I am equally intrigued by not so much the writer, but the writing. It is astounding that someone could come up with all of these stories out of their imagination.

After the last line of the story in Under the Dome is this --- November 22, 2007 - March 14, 2009 --- the time span it took to write the 1074 page epic. And in the Author's Note in the back:

I first tried to write Under the Dome in 1976, and crept away from it with my tail between my legs after two weeks' work that amounted to about seventy-five pages. That manuscript was long lost on the day in 2007 when I sat down to start again, but I remembered the opening section - "The Airplane and the Woodchuck" - well enough to re-recreate it almost exactly. ~ Stephen King


But back to the story, a small town in Maine is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by a huge clear dome or force field. As repeated attempts to penetrate the dome fail, paranoia and chaos ensue. The cast of characters is extensive, and the story focuses on not so much what the dome is or why it is there, but how everyone reacts to it and to being trapped inside. The dome figurately acts as a magnifying glass on emotions and personalities, amplifying the good and bad in people.

Unlike some of King's books (where it seems like he just rambles on filling pages) this one is a real page-turner, the pace is quick and does not bog down. The characters are all very personal and you will find yourself rooting for the good ones and wishing you could get your hands on the bad guys. As usual, King doesn't need ghosts and vampires, he knows that there's nothing as horrifying as what humans are capable of doing to one another.

Not sure about the ending, I think it is a bit weak after the powerful story leading up to it (maybe I just didn't get it), but I recommend this one, a great summer read!

4 comments:

Kermit said...

The "Simson Movie" was kinda like that! Lol!!! Just kidding!!!

bwallace said...

I was disappointed in the ending a good deal - at least the actual resolution of the dome itself. I thought the idea of us being ants to a alien's cosmic magnifying glass an interesting one, but wasn't able to connect to the ultimate little lost alien girl ending.

I also was disappointed that the time they spent under the dome was so relatively short. I would've liked to seen what happens after several years in isolation.

Other than that, I enjoyed it. I liked the character of the 2nd Selectman and kept picturing John Goodman playing him :)


Barry

Gypsy Quilter said...

Have you read the one he wrote about the mist or fog that crept into a town? And what the mist was hiding. It was pretty eerie. I can't read his stuff anymore, but I may try this one.

Kerri said...

You've given this one an interesting review. Makes me want to read it. Too bad the ending is weak though. Maybe you could suggest he rewrite it ;)
From what I've read, he's a fascinating character himself and a good guy. Quite the philanthropist/humanitarian.
Thanks for the review!
Have you read Misery? I thought that was a good story and I liked the movie too. Gruesome, but fascinating.