Review – Under the Dome by Stephen King

under the dome


Title: Under the Dome
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Supernatural Horror/Suspense
Pages: 1088
Reviewer: Debby


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. 

It comes as no surprise that Stephen King’s Under the Dome is a fabulous read.  This is another great work from a master of the craft. I find myself experiencing a severe book hangover after reading anything by King, as though no other offer of literature shines as brightly as the illuminated prose put forth by this genius author.  It sounds like a little too much praise but what can I say – I loved this book.

I was so enthralled with King’s impressive handle on the numerous characters populating the town of Chester’s Mill and his clever use of the different character stories to further the plot.  Like so many pieces of a puzzle slowly coming together, each of these unique and often twisted characters makes a fateful choice that propels the story along it trajectory; and this coming together is just so satisfying to read.

There is no doubt that Stephen King has a way of portraying the ugliest of our human characteristics.  This story reveals so much about human nature and how differently people act under pressure.  Many of the inhabitants of Chester’s Mill puzzle over the effect their situation has had on the townspeople they thought they knew so well.  The supermarket scene is a particularly gripping event which demonstrates how the mind of the crowd can so easily override the mind of the individual.

I was extremely impressed with King’s style of omniscient narration. He uses the technique in such a way that the reader feels both like a town inhabitant and like one peering into the dome through a magnifying glass.  So many of the characters I met in Under the Dome will stay with me for some time to come; I would have to write a book of my own to be able to comment sufficiently on my thoughts surrounding these characters, so I would rather you spend that time discovering them yourself!  This is yet another of King’s strengths that I envy; he can write male and female, young and old, even dog, in such a convincing and flawless manner.

Stephen King demonstrates, time and time again, the potential of the imagination.  It certainly takes a great mind to fabricate such an intricate story around what the conclusion proves to be such a simple idea. I wholeheartedly recommend this book and don’t think you can get by with just watching the TV series (which, of course, I do), because the best of King is not TV friendly and you don’t want to miss out on that.

And just for fun, I have to share my favourite quote from the book, “It was amazing, really, how well disappointment and lack of surprise complemented each other; they were like the Olsen Twins of emotion.” (Pg 416)  What a fantastic simile!!

lips grey 5

22 thoughts on “Review – Under the Dome by Stephen King

  1. I’m loving the tv show right now… wasn’t sure if I’d want to read this (pretty lengthy) book. Your mention of the tv series missing out on some of the best elements does have me intrigued, though!!
    xo leanna

    • I am glad to have sparked your interest Leanna. The TV series and the book are so different its like you can enjoy the concept in two totally different ways. I definitely recommend read the book! It is a big read but trust me it goes fast!

  2. The summary of this book reminds me of Gone series by Michael Grant! I have always loved Stephen King but I have gone a long time without reading one of his novels. This should be a good book to start keeping on track again. Thanks for a wonderful review! x

  3. Pingback: Our “GOSSIP WORTHY” books reviewed so far this year!! | Book Gossips

  4. I loved Under the Dome – as soon as I heard about its concept, I knew I had to get it. I love the sort of “What happens when people are stuck together” scenarios. The TV show hasn’t managed to keep my attention.

  5. Read it, watch it, love it! Several King books fall short in their book to screen adaptations. An army of writers cannot bring to the screen what one man brings to the page. This is why I have to read his work; it’s just too good not to.

  6. Although not a huge fan of King…I did like this book very much. A real page turner. You’ve managed to hit the spot with your review…not patronising and written for an adult audience. Your review didn’t state the obvious and managed to make me think of some stuff which hadn’t occurred to me before.Thanks
    I noticed a review on a site called ‘Bookaholic Bookworm’ lately which seemed to have been written for those starting out to read,that is young teenagers etc. Perhaps, not to criticise too much the review site itself maybe written by a youngster themselves as the grammar suggested!?
    Much preferred your in- depth approach and will continue with this review site,Best of luck to you and your family!

  7. Well I must say this book has grabbed my attention now… thank you for drawing my attention to it and I am now going to have to hunt for it at my local library. Thank you for coming into my blog last night 🙂 It is always great to hear from other bloggers. Love how you have all set this page up… So where are you all in Perth? I used to live there between 1998-2001 before jetting off to Saudi Arabia. It is a fantastic city! 😀

    • Hi Richelle,
      Thanks for taking the time to check out my review and our blog.
      No problems, I hope you enjoy the book as well.
      Yes we love Perth, only problem is that its so far away from the rest of the world as you would know, we all live North side of the river (the better side lol) pretty central really only abour 15/20 mins from the CBD.

  8. Pingback: BOOK GOSSIPS BEST REVIEWS FOR 2013! | Book Gossips

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s