Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King

  • Details:

  • Under the Dome
  • By: Stephen King
  • ISBN-13: 9781476735474
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 6/11/2013
  • Edition description: Media Tie-In
  • Pages: 1088


On one normal autumnal day in the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine, a transparent, electric dome crashes down- severing the town from the rest of the world. No one can get in or out, water and air barely pass through- leaving streams to dry up inside the dome and air to become stale at best and putrid and dense at worst. 

Over the course of a week, the town goes from quiet and quaint to a tyranny-led mob state. Sides form over who should lead the town and the rest of the world watches in horror and pity from the outside. Eventually, all bad deeds, once hidden from public view, explode through the town- destroying themselves from the inside out.


Wow. Well, this is my second Stephen King novel ever.... I read The Green Mile once when I was younger (young, in fact, I believe I was in Middle School...). I can't handle horror at all so I generally steer clear of this author, but after watching the first season of this on Amazon Instant Video and one of my book groups on goodreads.com starting this book, I decided to give it a try. It's still not one of my normal books, and there were times that I had a hard time reading it, but I still enjoyed the experience for the most part.

One of the best parts of Under the Dome is the characterization. There are many characters in the book- good, bad, and average, and we get to know about all of them in this 1000+ page book. I love books with great characterization! Especially long books- over time the characters become my friends and I hate to see the story end, I want to live with the characters forever and ever! However, in this story, part of me was glad when this ended. There were quite a few nasty characters and I had a hard time sticking around with them. They would keep me up at night. There were several scenes that were hard to read.

Under the Dome kept me going, it was very engaging and I had a hard time putting it down at night, even being exhausted after being up the night before with my 4 month old. I just wanted to know who put the dome there and why! There had to be a reason! Right?

There was a reason for the dome. But I didn't like it. I don't want to give anything away, hence why I'm not even using names of the characters or describing events... it would all take too long and I'd give away the story since all the plots are intertwined. But in the end, all you want to know if the purpose for the dome. I understand what Stephen King was trying to do, he was making a fantastical plot as a means for us to discover human nature and the destruction we cause each other. Humans can have a very nasty side, especially in desperate times or when we are part of a group (for a great study on the nature of groups, I high recommend Phillip Zimbardo's books The Lucifer Effect- he was the researcher behind the Stanford Prison Experiment and an expert witness in the Abu Ghraib trials.)

The characters had to explore there own pasts and actions before they could get rid of the dome. But the actual reason for the dome was kind of stupid, in my opinion. Maybe I missed something, but I expected much more. Maybe it just wasn't told right? I felt like I spent a lot of time learning about these characters and then it was just rushed and too ethereal at the end, so it no longer felt like the same book. 

Overall, I enjoyed the thrill and pace of the book, even when it was difficult to read some of the more gruesome or nasty sections, but I was disappointed in the ending. It was a quick for a 1000 page chunkster, so don't let the heft the book stop you if you are interested! Please feel free to comment on this post or send me a message if you want to discuss the actual details of the book, or tell me what I'm missing in the ending! I'd love to know :)

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