23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
King burns rubber for 1072 pages,
This review is from: Under the Dome: A Novel (Hardcover)I read my first Stephen King book when I was 13 years old and have been hooked every since. As is expected with an author that has something like 50+ published novels of pretty substantial size, I have been disappointed a number of times. Under the Dome, however, is not one of those times. After getting my hands on an advanced reading copy through my work (a bookstore) I started this behemoth and was hooked from page 3. King starts this story with a bang and burns rubber throughout the entire novel, never letting up the hyper-speed pace. With a book this size, I was expecting a few parts to sag, to be boring, but nothing like that ever happened while reading this book: I was completely addicted.
The story is simple: a big ol' dome comes down and cuts off this one small town, Chester's Mill, from the rest of the world. No one can get in or out. What the novel focuses on is how that changes the society inside the dome, how people react to their new enclosed space. And, since this is a King book, you can expect that they don't act well. This town has a lot of bad apples and skeletons in the closet, and they all come out to play when the dome comes down.
There are a few times in this story where I had to suspend my disbelief a little bit farther than I was willing. Mainly, in that things turned south so fast. Perhaps it was just the fact that the book was hundreds of pages, but I couldn't help being jarred whenever I learned that only a day or two had passed in the world of the book, when it felt like it was more time to me. Perhaps this was a conscious decision to keep the pacing fast. Some of the characters can come across as cartoonish, especially the main villain. Most of the characters are well-written and interesting, with faults that make them more believable. But this book is a good one. Not as good as the book it's inevitably going to be compared to (The Stand), but good. King dives into some complex questions about authority, fear, and propaganda, drawing some comparisons between the tactics of George Bush and Dick Cheney and our Dome-villian government figures. There is also a pretty heavy dose of environmental catastrophe interlaced throughout that parallels well with our current global warming issue.
My advice would be not to start this book unless you're ready to turn off the phone, lock the door, and finish the whole thing in one go.