Under the Dome by Stephen King

I’ve been looking at the cover of this book in bookshops since it came out in 2009 – having had a similar idea for an isolated small town myself. After reading “On Writing” and having heard it was soon to become a TV show, I knew that this would be my next read.

First thing: it’s a big book. I mean seriously. Just look at this picture I’ve stolen from another WordPress blog:

Big.

It came in at over a thousand Kindle pages. That said, it’s a rare moment when the story feels slow, wordy or padded. These pages are all story.

I have to admit, though, the first act was a little slow-going for me. As King himself states in his afterword, it is a densely-populated universe he has created here under the dome. Every other chapter seems to introduce a new family or set of characters to learn and love, before having them cruelly wrenched off=stage for another handful of chapters.

Nevertheless, this all pays of in the end, with each and every character receiving an filling and sometimes emotional ending. The main characters are strong but flawed, and the small-town enemies soon become magnified through the non-glass of the dome.

The story slowly grows as we get to know this community inside and out. We know the friendly, unfriendly, weird and drunken as well or better than we do those of our own friendship circles.

I would thoroughly recommend this book, but not as light summer reading – both literally and metaphorically. At one point, the fate of one character made me stop reading, as tears were obscuring my vision.

This is a short, fast review as I’ve got a lot of other things to do right now. But for what it’s worth, it’s a “yes” from me, and I’ll definitely be tuning in to watch my favourite characters (both loved and hated) appear on-screen.

 

under-the-dome

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