Book Review–Under the Dome by Stephen King


This is the thirty-third book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.

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Under the Dome by Stephen King

Published November 10th, 2009

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.


I’m currently kicking myself. Why? I got this book two years ago but never got around to reading it. In fact, part of the reason that I didn’t read it is because of how thick the book is. If you are hesitant over the many pages yet claim to be a Stephen King fan, DON’T let it intimidate you. Seriously. This book was a pretty fast read considering it was over a thousand pages.

This may be my favorite King book yet. As always, King writes a wonderful and vivid cast of characters who are so realistic that at times I forgot that I was reading and not standing next to them in the real world. Stephen King’s ability to create realistic, flawed characters, has always been one of my favorite things about his books. Even his good characters have something to hide most of the time, just like I’m sure most of us do. He also has a talent for writing bad guys. I believe he especially did a good job with the bad guys in this book.

My favorite characters in this would have to be Dale “Barbie” Barbara, Julia Shumway, Rusty Everett, Andrea Grinnel, Duke and Brenda Perkins, Rose Twitchell, Jackie Wettington, Joe McClatchey, Norrie Calvert, Samantha Bushey, and all three of the main dogs (Clover, Horace, and Audrey).

As much as I disliked the actions of the bad guys, at the same time I was enchanted with them because they were complex and/or kept surprising me. I especially found Jim Rennie, Junior, and Carter Thibodeau fascinating in an horrified kind of way.

Although I enjoyed the storyline for the most part, it’s really the characters that captured my heart. Some of the characters really ended up surprising me. Some characters I just couldn’t get over. I’m still reeling over some of the deaths of the characters, even ones that I didn’t “love.”

The storyline was constantly surprising me. There were many times when I had to go back and re-read because I was in such shock over an event that had just happened. For the most part, the plot added up beautifully. However, I can honestly say that I didn’t care too much for the explanation of the dome, or the ending. It just didn’t seem to fit. That’s my only gripe with the book, though, and I’m willing to overlook it due to everything else.

Another thing that I loved about this book was the setting. There’s just something about small towns. I’m from a small town and King hits the nail on the head when it comes to writing them. I believe small towns are the best settings for horror because all (or most) of the characters know one another already, which somehow makes the events occurring even more frightening. Especially if you try to put yourself in their shoes.

I could probably go on and on about this book, but I won’t. Here’s a short list of reasons of why you should check this book out:

1. The characters
2. The Bad Guys
3. Stephen King’s narrative/writing style
4. Small-town setting
5. Intriguing Storyline/Plot
6. Great Themes that we can all relate to
7. The TV show is premiering soon

Oh, and did I mention that there’s a few times that King writes from the POV of Horace the Corgi? Yeah, you DO NOT want to miss that. It was awesome.



P.S. The show is a lot different, but also pretty awesome right now. Check it out!





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