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.
King's return to supernatural horror is uncomfortably bulky, formidably complex and irresistibly compelling. When the smalltown of Chester's Mill, Maine, is surrounded by an invisible force field, the people inside must exert themselves to survive. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome's ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, an obscenely sanctimonious local politician and drug lord who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. Opposing him are footloose Iraq veteran Dale "Barbie" Barbara, newspaper editor Julia Shumway, a gaggle of teen skateboarders and others who want to solve the riddle of the dome. King handles the huge cast of characters masterfully but ruthlessly, forcing them to live (or not) with the consequences of hasty decisions. Readers will recognize themes and images from King's earlier fiction, and while this novel doesn't have the moral weight of, say, The Stand, nevertheless, it's a nonstop thrill ride as well as a disturbing, moving meditation on our capacity for good and evil.
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A definite must-read!
Up until the very end where they explain exactly why the Dome was put in place, it was such an enticing story from all the conspiracies and controversies with strong political resonance with our own politics in reality. The actual explanation for the Dome however...I won’t reveal why, obviously, but when I found out why the Dome existed, let’s just say my initial reaction was, “...Wait, seriously?” Not in a good way either. But still a good read, and I found myself constantly looking up words along the way, so extending my vocabulary is always a plus! Onward to the TV series (which was the reason why I read it first, because that’s the proper way to enjoy a show or movie adapted from a novel)!
Under The Dome a bit Underwelming!
Pretty good story, but too many characters. It was confusing to me, trying to keep up with them. Fewer bit characters could have made the remaining ones more meaningful which would have made it more interesting and the characters more familiar.
Not a fan of the “big” premise that was causing the Dome crisis and not a fan of the ending that felt rushed. and anti climactic.
You still got it, my man!
I've been reading Steven King novels since I was 13 ( probably a little young for " The Gunslinger " but it didn't stop me from enjoying every page. ) now almost 40, I still find every one of his books thrilling, frightening, angering, inspiring and rewarding by the end of them. " Under the Dome " is no exception. Keep em comin, my man!! You never disappoint. ;-)