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Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King
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Under the Dome: A Novel (edition 2009)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,591314574 (3.86)394
Member:crazybatcow
Title:Under the Dome: A Novel
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Scribner (2009), Hardcover, 1088 pages
Collections:Books
Rating:****
Tags:horror, sci-fi, secret santa, 12 in 12

Work details

Under the Dome by Stephen King

  1. 331
    The Stand by Stephen King (tina1969)
  2. 131
    The Gunslinger by Stephen King (jlparent)
    jlparent: Actually, the whole Dark Tower series - both are epic in scale, each concerns itself with the interaction between the people caught in the crosshairs.
  3. 72
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (sturlington)
    sturlington: Undert the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  4. 30
    Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry (Scottneumann)
  5. 30
    Gone by Michael Grant (virginiahomeschooler)
  6. 31
    Strangers by Dean Koontz (Scottneumann)
    Scottneumann: Another book where people unite to overcome an unseen foe
  7. 20
    The Wall by Marlen Haushofer (Anonymous user)
  8. 10
    Dead Man's Song by Jonathan Maberry (Scottneumann)
  9. 00
    Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven (sturlington)
  10. 04
    El cuarto Jinete by Victor Blazquez (soyleyenda)
    soyleyenda: El estilo de Víctor Blázquez bebe mucho de Stephen King, y además, El cuarto jinete es una obra tan coral como La Cúpula y la acción transcurre en un pequeño pueblo americano muy similar al de la novela de King.
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Showing 1-5 of 294 (next | show all)
I picked this up because a friend was reading it and was enjoying the multiple points of views. Right away I remembered why I stopped reading King so many years ago.
The characters are too folksy-jokey for me, the plot points often seem to be included only for laughs, and while the level of writing is common for genre works, the lack of any other driver made me put it down. I really wanted to read this book because I thought that as a writer who works with multiple viewpoints, it might have something to offer. But I just couldn't get through more than 30 pages. Pure torture all the way. ( )
1 vote Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
Never done this before: read a book while watching the series based on said book simultaneously. I ususally prefer to read the book before I see the movie or series, because I love to make my own in-head-movie while reading.
Seeing what other people made of it often seriously spoils the fun I had reading, or, if I hadn't read the book yet, makes me repeat the movie I saw instead of creating my own.

Well now, about this book... I liked it a lot. It was quite a shock to read that things are handled differently here than in the series. Did you read well what I just wrote: differently. Not better, not worse, just different.
For some reason the things that happen in the book have the same logic to it, as the things I saw in the series.
Which means, that it is good. I won't give any details on either of them, since there are probably people who haven't read the book or seen the series. The end is surprising, but very logical. Lots of characters that I needed to get acquainted with, but I like that in a book. They all had a part to play and a contribution to make to the greater whole of this book.

I'm sorry that I've finished.

Despite I liked the early King-books too, I'm happy that his latest works are more 'normal' without giant spiders or things like that. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Feb 14, 2015 |
I read Stephen King's "Under the Dome" based on a recommendation from a friend who said one of the characters-- Big Jim Rennie -- reminded him of a local politician. I thought the book was okay, but it wasn't something I would have picked up on my own.

King's story about a town trapped under a big dome has a lot of interesting elements, but was a little too sprawling to be a fantastic book. I felt like it needed a good edit to tighten up the story (but how do you tell an author as prolific and famous as Stephen King that his book needs to be pared down?)

I went through a phase in middle school where I read a lot of King's books. Many of those still, decades later, stand out to me as being brilliant. "Under the Dome" is a book that definitely won't stand out to as time runs its course. ( )
  amerynth | Feb 12, 2015 |
Six-word review: Chaos overtakes a suddenly isolated town.

Extended review:

If 11/22/63 was Stephen King the Author pulling out all the stops in a virtuoso display of everything he'd mastered while successfully publishing some 50 novels over 37 years, Under the Dome was King the Trickster playing God in the sandbox, blowing up anthills with cherry bombs, laughing his head off the whole time.

And honestly, I don't begrudge him the joke. I'm recalling the old Zen koan about the goose in the bottle. Steve knows how to get the goose out.

There was a time when I'd kept up with King, read everything he wrote as fast as it came out. That ended with Christine in 1983. From there it was an occasional return (Misery, Needful Things, Rose Madder), only to back off again, and a few abandonments (forgotten). As far as I was concerned, he was straining to recapture the essence of what had made his early work so gripping, using a formula that more or less boiled down to "a magic X" (touch, necklace, cemetery, car), and it wasn't working for me any longer. I moved on.

But I couldn't resist delving into his take on the defining moment of our youth--ours, because King and I are only months apart in age--namely, the Kennedy assassination. With that he won me back completely, reminding me of what he could do and how well he could do it when he focused and gave it his all. 11/22/63 rated four and a half stars from me, and it was probably only the H.G. Wells Time Machine ending that kept it from being five. I could happily have gone on with it for several hundred more pages, experiencing my own time travel as King took me vividly back to scenes of my youth in New England--and hoping against hope that even for just one fictional moment I might see a different outcome on that terrible November day.

And so, when my husband suggested it, I was ready after all this time to tackle another voluminous King novel. He enticed me into reading--or, rather, listening to him read--Under the Dome by promising me that it was loaded with instances of things that King oughtn't to have done as an author, but he did. (An odd footnote here is that my husband had already read all 874 pages of the thing, and here he was offering to go through it again, this time at a slow read-aloud pace that would take months.) And that made me curious. More: it whetted my appetite. After 16 years of weekly read-alouds, my husband well knows the pleasure I take in picking on an author's mistakes--continuity errors, egregious repetition, malapropisms, et cetera--and, even more so, editorial lapses, frequently a different breed of error entirely. Think of it as a variant of how a sports fan reacts when an athlete blows a play: calling out his screwups is part of the entertainment. I began my editorial career just about when King published The Dead Zone, and I've been reading with an editor's double vision ever since. Retirement doesn't shut off the instinct.

And this was, you might say, a target-rich environment.

So we hooted when King suddenly slipped into cinematic mode and gave us crane shots panning a crowd scene. We jeered when he switched into present tense and hopped from vignette to vignette as if he were narrating a double-page spread in a Where's Waldo? book. We groaned when he lapsed into a paternalistic nineteenth-century voice with dear-reader asides commenting on characters' motives and behavior or remarking on what was about to happen. And we scolded when he forgot what he'd just said and repeated himself or lost track of the location of a character or prop.

But we also forgave him for going with the impulses, for goofing off and breaking the rules. He can afford it. He can even laugh at us. It's his game.

Because he has nothing more to prove. He still tells a thumping good yarn, always did. He creates characters and builds suspense like the pro that he is. And he has that special knack of creating a distinctive character, even a minor one, out of just a few words and giving him or her a moment--even if only a cameo--in which to be seen. Just as we are all cameos or indistinct faces in the crowd scenes of someone else's drama. The camera rolls on and the moment is past, but we contributed something--a little color, a little perspective, a space-filler--that enriched the story somehow. King's novels are full of people like us.

King's novels are full of people just like us.

And we, King reminds us forcefully, all have our little lives.

Under the Dome didn't quite wrap up the way I hoped it would. I wanted a complete, logical answer to what and why and how. I expected a real confrontational come-uppance for the bad guy, with justice overflowing to slake a thirst for payback. What's more, it was too stretched out in places and could have stood to lose a couple hundred pages of nonessential authorially self-indulgent verbiage.

Still, I enjoyed it very much, enjoyed seeing how a single dramatically weird premise played out somewhat realistically (an impenetrable dome settles over a town and isolates its inhabitants from the rest of the world; now what?)--not, however, a unique one: any number of authors have stranded a group of people on an island, in a remote country house, on a ship, on a spacecraft or an airplane, on a planet, and so on--and then watched to see what would happen. This is just the first time it's been done this way.

So, Steve, it did take me a couple of days after finishing Under the Dome, but only a couple, and then I knew whose the leather faces were.

Thanks, I get it now. And you've earned a good laugh. ( )
  Meredy | Feb 12, 2015 |
Sounds intriguing, right? This is one of those novels that I was lucky enough to find at a bargain outlet store for ridiculously cheap. I got the brand new hardcover for $10 - including the character cards! The character cards were a neat addition to the novel. I read through all of the cards before starting the book, which helped me form connections and follow the plot line as I read.
For such a large novel, I thought that King really kept the pace up. It just kept moving along and before I knew it I was 300 pages in... 500.. 800.. 900.. 1000.. and then it was over. I was extremely impressed with the pacing and the tone throughout the book - it wasn't so fast that it was overwhelming, but it was really easy to get swept away in the book.
King did a phenomenal job with the storytelling in this one too. It wasn't one long drawn out story, but a bunch of people experiencing the same event to form one big novel. Under the Dome follows some main characters (like Big Jim, Barbie, Julia, Junior, and Rusty), but it also follows all the minor players in Chester's Mill as well. It seemed as though everyone had a story and it was either woven into those of the main characters or given their own short life in the novel. Either way, every character almost had a main character appeal to them. Even the minor rolls were developed and enhanced throughout the novel.
The concept behind the story itself was also thought out very well. The idea of a dome encompassing a township and cutting them off from the rest of the world is creepy. Slightly end of the world apocalypse-ish, it brings the idea of being prepared for any emergency to the forefront. Not to mention the reactions of the people. When shit hits the fan, how crazy will it get?? The added element to The Dome is the idea of manipulation - there is something fishy going on and it has nothing to do with The Dome... or does it? These questions arise pretty quick and little pieces of the puzzle are revealed as the novel moves forward... just enough to keep us interested and craving answers. Deceit, manipulation, politics, religion, relationships, stereotypes, and power are all at play in this King novel.
Many people have mentioned how "creepy" or "scary" this book was. Personally, I didn't feel that way at all. Maybe it is because I am desensitized to scary things, but in my opinion Under the Dome wasn't scary or creepy at all. It had a 'thriller' vibe, but that is because it is such an intense novel. For me, this hit more into the idea of weird science fiction. Interesting and really mysterious, but not scary. There is some typical King gore and blood, but aside from that I wasn't scared. That disappointed me, but really doesn't weigh in on my overall thoughts on the book.
Now, I've read a lot of Stephen King. Love him, in fact. He is a great author. He does have a "thing" though (in my opinion)... and that thing is endings. Sometimes his books just fizzle out and don't end strong. For me, I felt that way with Under the Dome. I have no better ideas for an ending, but I definitely wasn't blown away. For such an intense and strong book for all of its 1000 pages, the last 72 kind of just went out with a whimper for me.
Overall, regardless of the fizzled out ending, I loved this book. It was easy to read and follow -- which I wasn't so sure would happened with a 1000 page book that needed character cards. The plot was interesting and held its power throughout the entire novel. Characters were awesome and like I said earlier, it seemed like everyone in Chester's Mill was important. The conspiracy theory aspects (as well as the small-town politics and deceit) were very interesting and quite realistic. This novel may be a bulky, but it is well worth the read. Stephen King did a great job with this one, and I would certainly recommend it to his fans and to fans of science fiction.
Oh, and I watched the first episode (more on that later into the mini series) and might I suggest strongly that you read the book first. Seriously. Read the book.
- See more at: http://papajm25.blogspot.com/#sthash.u2eEhYvg.dpuf ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 294 (next | show all)
Though his scenarios aren’t always plausible in strictest terms, King’s imagination, as always, yields a most satisfying yarn.
added by Christa_Josh | editKirkus Reviews (Oct 15, 2011)
 
It’s a fun and clear-headed fury, though. This is King humming at the height of his powers, cackling at human folly, taking childish glee in the gross-out and all the while spinning a modern fable that asks some serious questions without sounding preachy. If the fury left a few excessive typos and a dog’s name that mistakenly changes on occasion, well, these are (mostly) forgivable sins. After all, few of us can resist such nightmares and dreamscapes.
 
King says he started "Under the Dome" in 1976 but then "crept away from it with my tail between my legs. . . . I was terrified of screwing it up." Fortunately, he found the confidence to return to this daunting story because the result is one of his most powerful novels ever.
 
The King book that is most readily brought to mind by “Under the Dome” isn’t an earlier large-scale apocalyptic fantasy like “It” or “The Stand”; it’s “On Writing,” the instructive autobiographical gem that cast light on how Mr. King’s creative mind works. In the spirit of “On Writing,” “Under the Dome” takes a lucid, commonsense approach that keeps it tight and energetic from start to finish. Hard as this thing is to hoist, it’s even harder to put down.
 
1,100 pages of localized apocalypse from an author whose continued and slightly frenzied commerce with his muse has been one of the more enthralling spectacles in American literature.
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Esparza, RaúlNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuipers, HugoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Who you lookin for/What was his name/you can prob'ly find him/at the football game/it's a small town/you know what I mean/it's a small town, son/and we all support the team. --James McMurtry
Dedication
In memory of Surendra Dahyabhai Patel. We miss you, my friend.
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From two thousand feet, where Claudette Sanders was taking a flying lesson, the town of Chester's Mill gleamed in the morning light like something freshly made and just set down.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
A first edition, epic by Stephen King.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0340992581, Paperback)

A town is mysteriously sealed in an inexplicable dome. The residents are trapped inside leading to drama, hysteria, and a shocking series of events.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The small town of Chester's Mill, Maine, is faced with a big dilemma when it is mysteriously sealed off by an invisible and completely impenetrable force field. With cars and airplanes exploding on contact, the force field has completely isolated the townspeople from the outside world. Now, Iraq war vet Dale Barbara and a group of the town's more sensible citizens must overcome the tyrannical rule of Big Jim Rennie, a politician bent on controlling everything within the Dome.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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