There is nothing quite like a Stephen King book.
I was actually nervous when I thought about writing a review for this book. I have bought and read more Stephen King books than I can remember, and yet this is the first review I’m attempting. I almost feel like I’m writing a test paper.
First I had to get over the fact that Under the Dome is such a HUGE book and I don’t normally like huge books. Only looking at them makes me want to groan inwardly and think “how long is it going to take me to get through that?” And what if the story just drags on and I get bored. On the other hand, this is my favorite author we’re talking about here so the thicker the book, the better.
One thing I’ve always liked about King’s writing was the way he can show the reader exactly what his characters are thinking. It’s almost voyeuristic.
In Under the Dome there are all sorts of characters, and they are put into groups, us and them. From Junior Rennie, he of the huge headache, to the kids and the dogs, they all play their parts in this “experiment” that seems to take over the town all of a sudden as a huge invisible dome slams down around its borders and BOOM!, everyone’s a prisoner. The comparison with an ant nest feels adequate but this time it’s people and not ants that are powerless to act. Things get interesting as old rivalries flare up and new connections are made.
I enjoyed the references to other books, both contemporary and classic. Lee Child’s character, Jack Reacher, was mentioned a couple of times and I was glad I read Nothing to Lose just a few months ago. A Streetcar named Desire was another that caught me by surprise and made me smile.
The end is odd to say the least, considering I was never the one to buy into the “others” concept but then the best part is not the predicament itself but how people react to get out of it. And King is the perfect writer to show us how that happens.
Read between March 30-April 7, 2011