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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Under the Dome by Stephen King - BOOK REVIEW

Title:  Under the Dome
Author:  Stephen King
Publisher:  Gallery Books, a division of Simon and Schuster
Published:  September, 2010
Paperback, 1074 pages
ISBN 10:  1439149038

ISBN 13: 9781439149034

AWARDS:


GoodReads description:
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

My Take: If you equate Stephen King with rabid dogs and insane clowns, you haven't read his latest tales.

Under the Dome is a book that examines the evil that lurks in all of us.  Not a horror book in the true sense of the word (vampires, werewolves, and beasties; oh my!). No; THIS book is worse because what it contains is a story that could actually HAPPEN (well, except for the part about a mysterious dome appearing out of nowhere and enclosing a town within it; at least I HOPE that part could never happen).
A small town, trapped inside a dome, with the pollution levels getting higher and higher, and propane tanks that have almost all mysteriously disappeared, including the ones at the hospital.

The military on the other side of the Dome employ missiles and other means to try to break through, but no go.

The characters are all well-drawn, and the evil that is Jim Rennie is completely believable, which is what makes this story so creepy.  The fact that so many people are like sheep following him and believing him, even when he's busily setting up all kinds of bad things and hoping that the Dome NEVER goes away ... well, THAT'S unnerving and a testament to his charisma.  His creepy son .. with his "girlfriends" that he visits in the pantry.  A recently-deputized police force made up mainly of troublemaking teens and young adults ... a genius teenager and his friends teamed up with a few adults who think they know what Jim Rennie is, but have only half the picture ....

As the outside world of CNN and others congregate outside of the Dome and the story of the town becomes THE story, only a few people have a clue as to what is REALLY going on inside.  When the man who the President of the United States slated to take charge is charged with the murder of four people, one of them the former Sheriff's wife, and jailed, Rennie has no one to stand in his way.
This book, although HUGE, is just a continuous force of happenings.  There is not a single place where you can say to yourself, "OK .. time to cut to commercial" ... seriously. 

I'm not going to do my usual sort of synopsis; suffice it to say that once you open this book up, you'll be sitting with it until the wee hours of the morning, and, no, you won't be able to finish it in one sitting, but you'll WANT to.

QUOTES:

Today he had killed two girls he'd known since childhood.
Tomorrow he was going to be a town cop.

...Jack Evans, husband of the late Myra, is standing his backyard with a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and his home protection weapon of choice, a Ruger SR9, in the other.  He drinks and watches the pink stars fall.  He knows what they are, and he wishes on every one, and he wishes for death, because without Myra, the bottom has dropped out of his life.  He might be able to live without her, and he might be able to live like a rat in a glass cage, but he cannot manage both.  When the falling meteors become more intermittent -- this is around quarter after ten, about forty-five minutes after the shower began -- he swallows the last of the Jack, casts the bottle onto the grass, and blows his brains out.  He is The Mill's first official suicide.
He will not be the last.

To the southwest, where most of Little Bitch Road will within the next three minutes cease to exist, the yellowy-blue sky is burning black and Barbie has time to think, with perfect calm:  Now we're under the magnifying glass.

But mostly she is a little girl cowering on the splintery boards of the Town Common bandstand, a little girl who was punished for her innocent arrogance, a little girl who made the mistake of thinking she was big when she was small, that she mattered when she didn't, that the world cared when in reality the world is a huge dead locomotive with an engine but no headlight.
Book Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Sensitive Reader:  It's Stephen King; what do YOU think?

Disclosure:  This is a review of my own personal copy.

3 comments:

  1. I'm a huge SK fan, and I've always thought that the scariest things in his books were the people, not the monsters - except for bag of bones, that ghost really freaked me out :-) I liked this book a lot, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of his new collection of novellas.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a huge SK fan, and I've always thought that the scariest things in his books were the people, not the monsters - except for bag of bones, that ghost really freaked me out :-) I liked this book a lot, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of his new collection of novellas.

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