Review: UNDER THE DOME by Stephen King
Title: Under The Dome
Author: Stephen King
Release Date: November 10, 2009
ISBN #: 9781439148501
With CBS premiering the Under The Dome TV miniseries this June, I thought I would give you all a review of the epic novel by Stephen King that the series will be based on. One would think that, after just about forty years in the literature world, publishing over fifty books & numerous short stories, Mr. King would have gotten dull, repetitive & out of touch. Not so with his 2009, 1000+ page novel, which gives longtime King readers a slight sense of deja vu of The Stand.
Under The Dome is set in a small, fictional town in Maine (where else?) called Cleaves Mills, a sleepy little place where not much goes on…aside from a little meth cooking, adultery & murder. The story begins with ex-Army Lieutenant Dale Barbara, aka “Barbie”, trying to quickly escape The Mill (as it is known to the townsfolk), after being falsely accused of rape by the town’s Second Selectman, James “Big Jim” Rennie’s unstable son Junior & his equally unstable & delinquent friends. After the police chief decides not to charge Barbie, the boys take matters into their own hands & beat the living delights out of the innocent diner cook. While Barbie walks quickly (but still too slowly) out of town, he witnesses a small plane crash…into thin air, right at the edge of town.
Not long after, rescue crews’ vehicles also crash into thin air, right near where the plane went down. Residents find that they cannot take one step outside the town limits, because there is something there. They can’t see it, but they can feel it, particularly Chief Howie “Duke” Perkins, whose pacemaker explodes as soon as he touches the contraption, leaving behind a loving wife and an unfinished file on the town’s biggest (and most dangerous) criminal.
Completely cut of from the world, residents of The Mill must rely on Barbie’s commander’s, Colonel Cox, attempt to blow up The Dome…and the leadership of their Select men: Andy Sanders, a hapless puppet who lost his wife & daughter, Andrea Grinnel, a prescription drug addict, and Big Jim…town meth dealer (along with the local pastor, Lester Coggins), murderer & would-be dictator. In fact, Jim Rennie is much, much more frightening than The Dome’s air supply running out, or the fact that, since no government agency created or placed The Dome, only one radiation-filled possibility remains: that it didn’t come from this world at all.
Under The Dome is a frightening look into small-town America. Throughout the story, you will snicker, smile, gasp & cry as you realize that, not only is this amazing novel a modern-day horror story, where the REAL villains are all too human, it is also about standing up for what’s right, for your life and for kindness. Scariest things in this novel? Not the aliens, but the humans.
King skeptic? You’ll go from skeptic to fan once you’ve finished this masterpiece.