Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King

What am I doing reading Stephen King? (Gore, grisly murders, cursing) This hunk-of-a-book was a Christmas gift from my husband and I wanted to read it before my assigned reading for school took over.  Under the Dome was over 1000 pages! Don't drop it on your foot! The coverlet picture and summary were intriguing as well as the idea of a dome encasing a modern city - an original idea! I read lots of King in high school but YA paranormal and MG Fantasy have piqued my interest these past few years so a King novel would not drawn my attention with all those superpowers and Inkworld's swirling around in my head. So many authors blog about his book On Writing  that I figured I should give him another look and see just what he's got going on after all these years.

     Under the Dome is one of those stories where you can't tell too much or you'll give it away.  A small city is suddenly encased under an invisible dome that even our military can't penetrate. But what happens under the dome....stays under the dome. 

     King spent pages and pages developing memorable characters in this book.  I can't help but meet people and think, "Yep, he's the spitting image of that Rennie character." That's how well  he wrote the Dome. He not only describes each character's physical appearance, but their personality is so developed that you know exactly what they are capable of, down to their innermost thoughts and knee-jerk reactions.  The story itself built in intensity and peaked in the very last two chapters - leaving me sympathetically short of breath for the characters' peril. 

     The other aspect of King's writing is the one that keeps me from reading his novels - the gore/violence/cursing. I kept thinking, "This book would be so great if it didn't have all that - it's unnecessary." But that's King's M.O. and that's how he makes his characters so believable. He makes them transparent, down to their vile natures and evil thoughts. For King, as a writer, it must be necessary because it works. Other than being uncomfortable with all the R-rated content, I was disappointed that the adversarial characters were so well developed but the "good" characters were lacking in personality.
     I can't say I'll be picking up another King novel anytime soon, but because of the strong character development in this novel I give it **** 4 stars!


  1. You are so good at reading and reviewing. I'm always impressed that you can get through so many books and then that you can explain them so well. Maybe you and Josh will be writing together in the future???

  2. I think it's some sort of book-OCD disorder. Can't move on until I review it or it just swims around in my head.........Maybe Josh and I could team up!