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A small town, under the magnifying glass...

  • Mar 9, 2010
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Take any small town in America and throw a really big indestructible glass bowl over the top of it and put it under a microscope. Add in corrupt local government, a big meth lab and a whole boatload of very interesting characters... and you, my friends, are Under The Dome.

You simply cannot talk about this book without bring up "The Stand", so I'll get that out of the way - The Stand is probably one of the best epic length end-of-the-world type of books ever written. It is, in my humble opinion, the best Stephen King novel ever written. I read this book every 3-5 years because I adore the character development and storyline and execution. Having said that, Under The Dome is not The Stand but it does stand on it's own two feet.

King's more recent work has left me a bit "meh" feeling. I honestly only read one here or there, I read this one because a friend said to - and yes, because of the hype. I wasn't really expecting much, but was hoping for that feeling of epic goodness that King can bring out when he puts his mind to it. I really think King succeeds admirably in that respect. The character development is phenomenal, the descriptions are well placed, and the town feels real. Yes, a few characters are over the top, a few niggles here and there, but on a broad scale - and anyone that's been involved in any type of small-based politics will tell you - there's always some level of corruption going on there. There's always backs being scratched - and yes, there's some insanity too.

The story is less about how the dome got there and more about what happened in the aftermath of the dome falling on them. It's a bit of a look at how us crazy humans act (and react) when faced with calamities. It happens much as you would expect. Some ride to the occasion and some, well, don't. I don't want to give away any of the plot, but I will say this - don't give up at that 3/4 in spot where it kind of goes all wonky. That last hurrah, the thing that happens in the last 10% or so of the book... that makes it worth it. Some of the best "holy crap, the world is ending" writing I've seen in a long time.

Read it. It's not The Stand, but it's quite epic in it's own right.

PS - a nod to the artwork. I read this on my kindle, but the artwork is absolutely gorgeous. A nod to their marketing department for getting the art department on board. I bet that sold more than a few hardbacks :) Seriously, though, gorgeous - simply gorgeous.

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More Under the Dome reviews
review by . March 29, 2011
Under The Dome. Well, you read the synopsis.  The story takes us into a small town in (where else) Maine, where an invisible dome has appeared (pretty clever the way that ties in with the title, eh?). Anyway, in typical King fashion there are horrific accidents as people/animals/machinery run into the dome. And what Stephen King tale would be complete without a well placed and homicidal nutjob? Fear not, it's got one of those too.    The book was well written and you …
review by . June 09, 2010
I had never read a Stephen King book before I received Under the Dome as a gift last year - I just didn't really think they would interest me. But this hefty piece of writing actually changed that opinion for me quite a bit. The book defied most of my stereotypes, lived up to a few others, yet still managed to be highly entertaining throughout.      From the very beginning, the book reads like the literary offspring of a Michael Bay movie and an episode of South Park. Surprisingly, …
review by . May 16, 2010
One of Stephen King's Best Novels
Under the Dome may be one of the most entertaining novels Stephen King as written in years, and maybe one of the longest, weighing in at a hefty 1,072 pages.  But don’t let that deter you, this novel keeps rolling from start to finish and keeps the reader deeply engaged in the story.  A small New England town, Chester’s Mill, is a rather normal little burg.  It has a small town police force, punky teens on skateboards, trailer trash, a megalomaniac politician on a small …
review by . August 01, 2010
Iraq veteran Dale (Barbie) Barbara is on his way out of Chester's Mill when an invisible shield drops down, running along the small town's boundaries. Planes, cars and birds crash into it, people run into it, and no one can figure out what it is. The US military's calculations are that a large force field in the shape of a dome has settled over Chester's Mill, cutting the town off from the rest of the country. Their efforts to destroy the dome are fruitless, as are their attempts to figure out who …
review by . June 25, 2010
Under the Dome is a TERRIBLE book.  Actually, it’s a fantastic book that just contains terrible things.         Stephen King continues to thrill with his latest post-retirement book which, in my opinion, is his greatest non-Dark Tower novel in the last 10 years.  Under the Dome is a frightening look at what might happen in small town America when the town finds itself cut off from the rest of the world.  This is King’s longest book since It …
review by . June 17, 2010
   Stephen Kings novel "Under the Dome" is an in-depth look at the inhabitants of a small Maine town by the name of Chester's Mill, barely a blip on the map, that find themselves cut off from the rest of the world due to an invisible barrier - the sudden appearance of which causes numerous injuries and fatalities to both humans and animals. Follow the inhabitants of Chester's Mill as they learn about and attempt to deal with the confusing and at times tragic series of …
review by . March 21, 2010
Stephen King is an author that goes above American Literature.  He is a global phenomenon.  He has gone from being influenced by pop culture... to actually influencing Pop Culture.  At least at one point in time he did.  There's a lot King has done to influence Pop Culture and he is still a capable writer, even while he's going onto his sixth decade and pushing his career onto forty years.  Under the Dome is an ambitious novel; one he's had rolling around up in his head …
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
Long read, but good. Not as good as some of his others, but good...really kind of makes you wonder, what if? Along the same lines as "Cell".
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
really disappointing. I used to love Stephen King but maybe I'm too old for him now. The writing seems really simplistic.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Under the Dome was the first book I read on my Amazon Kindle last Christmas. Definitely a page turner with some likeable characters and other you love to hate. I found it enjoyable and interesting but didn't like a couple of ways the story turned. I still recommend it though!
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Candy Beauchamp ()
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I'm the owner of OffAssist, a virtual bookkeeping company. I like what I do, most of the time ;) - My husband and I got married in '93, we have 2 kids born in 2000 and 2003. I truly love my life. … more
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About this book


Under the Dome is a novel by Stephen King that was released on November 10, 2009. It is a rewrite of a novel King attempted writing twice in the late 1970s and early 1980s, under the titles The Cannibals and Under the Dome. As King stated on his official site, these two unfinished works "were two very different attempts to utilize the same idea, which concerns itself with how people behave when they are cut off from the society they've always belonged to. Also, my memory of The Cannibals is that it, like Needful Things, was a kind of social comedy. The new Under the Dome is played dead straight." From the material originally written in the 1980s, only the first chapter is included in the new novel.
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ISBN-10: 1439148503
ISBN-13: 978-1439148501
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror, Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Scribner, Pocket
Date Published: November 10, 2009
ISBN: 978-1439148501
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