It is a very very long time since I have read a book this incredibly big. It is close to 900 pages and it has taken me nearly two weeks to read the thing! I picked it up thinking I would have a look, see if I thought I’d like it and within 5 pages was completely hooked. I have only read three Stephen King’s and have really enjoyed all of them, my particular fave is The girl who loved Tom Gordon, which is an old one but well worth reading if you can find it. It sits nicely for teenagers who enjoyed Hatchet by Gary Paulsen when they were younger.
Under the dome is the story of a small American town which is cut off from the world at 10am one Saturday morning when a large dome descends upon it and cuts it off from the rest of humanity. The dome is impenetrable and so life in the town becomes a dog eat dog survival story. The boss of the town is the Second Selectman Jim Rennie and he rules with an iron fist, the other two Selectmen are merely puppets doing his bidding. Jim is not a good man. Are small towns in America really run with just a couple of people making all the decisions on everything from the hospitals to the footpath? Wasn’t sure about this. There are a bunch of characters and many of them are recognisable characters from any small town. There are lots of funny moments and lots of typical small town politics and megalomania.
Stephen King is a great writer, he hooks you in, he keeps the pace up so that you have to keep on finding out what is going on, the chapters are a decent length and within each chapter he keeps changing the angle of the story. I particularly like his snarky sense of humour and the way every now and then he does an overview section where he takes a look at all the different situations and gives a run down of what is going on, kind of an eye of God sort of thing. It is great for keeping you up to speed with all the characters – and there are a lot of them – and for reminding you of where you are in the timeframe of the story. I like the way he makes characters who are minor players come into their own when you aren’t expecting them to, and he gives you gentle hints that although this particular thing you are reading about might not be important now it will be in the end. Great storytelling. Get a copy, sit yourself down and spend time under the dome. And stay off the wikipedia site for this book because it gives you the ending in the first couple of lines and that is very downright annoying when you are within 200 pages of the end. Loved it! Check out the book trailer and I fully expect to see a movie of this book eventually, they’d be crazy not to make one.