Author: Stephen King
First Published: 2009
Page Count: 1072
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The size of this book will definitely seem intimidating to some, but the content makes every page of this hefty book worth the read.
*Consistent storytelling for over 1000 pages *Meticulously detailed
*Beginning scope of story can be overwhelming
“An idea is like a cold germ: sooner or later someone always catches it.” The town of Chester’s Mill was like any other small town in America. It was home to small town people with small town problems. However, when a glass-like force field known as the Dome mysteriously encases the town, its inhabitants are left to fend for themselves as the world watches and wonders about the fate of the town and the source of this otherworldly bubble. Life under the Dome turns into a game of survival of the fittest as the true nature of the citizens of Chester’s Mill surfaces under the pressure of confinement.
I was excited to read my first Stephen King book but was unsure whether Under the Dome would be a good choice. Afterall, it is over 1000 pages long, and what author can fill every page with an interesting story? I didn’t want to be disappointed but I shouldn’t have questioned the great King’s talent since he has given the world such treasures as The Shining and The Stand. Big mistake! That’s probably what I most admire about this book. It takes a lot of talent to develop a large cast of characters and a unique plot while making it last for over 1000 pages. King pulls it off with flying colors. The story isn’t just about the invisible force field imprisoning the town; it’s about the relationships of the townspeople and basic human morality. And without the research and detail King puts into the story, such as the town’s setting and the effect the Dome would have on the natural environment, the story wouldn’t have such an eerie realism to it.
My only problem with the story was that the beginning was very difficult for me to get into. King introduces us to a whole towns worth of characters that the reader follows throughout the novel, and I applauded him for being able to develop each so well. However, the action starts on page one and so many different scenes are taking place with a multitude of characters that it felt as if I was thrown into this ocean of a world and I had to try to tread water. There was so much going on, it took me awhile to take in all that was happening while I tried to get used to all the names of the townsfolk and their relationships to each other.
But, once I got past the initial process of learning about Chester’s Mill, I was completely engrossed in the plot. It isn’t hard to root for the good guys and simmer in disgust at the bad guys because Stephen King develops great characters and stories that all compliment the greater story about the mysterious Dome. Under the Dome is the book to read if you want to experience writing at its finest.
*TV Adaptations: (Starring Mike Vogel 2013)