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Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King

Under the Dome: A Novel (edition 2009)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,421363472 (3.84)410
Title:Under the Dome: A Novel
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Scribner (2009), Hardcover, 1088 pages
Tags:horror, sci-fi, secret santa, 12 in 12

Work details

Under The Dome by Stephen King

  1. 341
    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. 82
    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. 31
    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. 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 344 (next | show all)
Upon my friends' insistence, I chose Under the Dome as my first foray into the Stephen King universe. Without having seen the television show I had no basis to compare or go off of. I am pleased to report that Mr. King lives up to his hype. He is indeed a seasoned master storyteller, interweaving characters and plots with deft precision and keen ruthlessness. I began this novel ready for the long ride and enjoying the fun. Then somewhere around the middle I grew frustrated and increasingly frustrated. So many political intrigues! So many instances where the bad guys seemed to rule over the good with injustice. I had to force myself to continue, yet knew it would pay off eventually. I was right. The ending of this novel, while surprising in its twists was satisfying and gratifying. It was as though Mr. King sensed my growing frustration and took care of the large portion of the problem for me in the end. And his work reminded me why I love storytelling in the first place. Now I plan to read anything that is under a thousand pages. ( )
  JSilverwood | Aug 27, 2016 |
Stephen King's Under the Dome relates the story of a small Maine town, Chester's Mill, which is suddenly cut off from the rest of the United States by what people call the Dome. The Dome is an invisible barrier that shuts off Chester's Mill completely. No one can get out, no one can get in. Its invisibility leads to many crashes in the beginning, starting with a plane crash and many cars crashing into the Dome.

While the novel features a large set of characters, many of which have major roles in unfolding the plot, it is mainly the interplay between protagonist Dale 'Barbie' Barbara, a former Army lieutenant, and antagonist James 'Big Jim' Rennie, the town's Second Selectman and the owner of a used-car dealership, that is the dirivng force of the novel. Yet, there are so many other characters, whose stories make for a compelling reading experience. Dale Barbara wants to leave Chester's Mill after an altercation with Big Jim's son Junior Rennie and his friends. However, the Dome forces him to stay in Chester's Mill. James Rennie is an elected town official, sells used cars and is a self-proclaimed 'faithful servant' of the Lord. And he runs one of the biggest drug rings in the United States. Soon, they clash, Big Jim striving to have all the power in the city and Dale Barbara trying to help the city cope with the situation under the Dome and trying to find a way out.

This is the setting for one of Stephen King's greatest novels. Not only because of its length of more than 1,000 pages it is reminiscent of King's major epic The Stand. King creates a credible scenario of what could happen if a city was shut off from the rest of the world. Despite its length, Under the Dome never fails to capture and is a fantastic read. It is only the ending that disappointed me a little. On the whole 4.5 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Aug 3, 2016 |
Everyone has secrets. Some are dark and disturbing. Others are embarrassing. All are buried deep so that no one can uncover them. So when a mysterious dome encapsulates a small town one bright fall day, it is just a matter of time before those secrets worm their way to the surface. Such is the driving premise behind Under the Dome.

Granted, much of the novel is about the dome itself, what happened when it came into being, what does or does not pass through it, possible theories on how to break through it, and so forth. It dictates how people act and react, how they think, and how they plan. In that regard, the dome is very much a silent character among the rest.

Speaking of characters, in true King fashion the cast of characters numbers in the double digits. Really, all of the citizens of Chester’s Mill or any visitors trapped within the dome are unique characters. This makes it fairly difficult to keep track of them all, especially when there is very little to distinguish among them. Junior Rennie’s posse is particularly challenging to separate into individuals…at first. Of course, by the time the story ends, there is no forgetting any one person under the dome because Mr. King has brought them to life in a way only he can.

The only real fault one might find with the story is the reason for the dome and how the story ends. While fans are used to lackluster endings and something weird behind the mystery, in Under the Dome it is all just a bit more difficult to accept than normal. This is in part because the townspeople are so alive and their plight so real that the weird origins of the dome are just that much more fantastic. Then there is the seemingly relative ease of confronting those origins and seeking resolution. Again, this is where Mr. King’s master storytelling hurts him because there is no ending that will be a fitting end to the chaos that is Chester’s Mill. Thankfully, King fans are forgiving and able to ignore the preposterous to focus on the deliciousness of the rest of the novel.

Like most of Mr. King’s more recent novels, Under the Dome does not explore supernatural horrors as much as it explores the all-too-real horrors of which human beings are capable. In Big Jim Rennie, Mr. King brings to life a megalomaniac willing to do anything to maintain his hold on the town and his eagerness to do so with a smile on his face and a prayer on his lips is as chilling as any killer clown hiding under in a sewer drain. Even better, while the story’s hero, Barbie is not the innocent one might expect him to be in a story with such a clear bad guy. As always, Mr. King’s storytelling is excellent. While the mystery behind the dome may be hilariously awkward, that does not diminish one’s enjoyment of the story or race to finish it.
  jmchshannon | Jul 17, 2016 |
This is a VERY long book but the story covers only a few days. Chester's Mill one day gets trapped in a clear dome and all hell breaks loose. It shows you what happens when a community is cut off from the rest of the world and how true personalities come out. How people will do things when they know there is no one to make them accountable. It's also interesting to see what causes the dome. I watched the show this summer so I wanted to read the book to see what happens. To my surprise the book is SO different from the show. Yes, most of the characters are the same, but the background stories are so different, what happens to them is so different and what the dome is, is so different from the show. This book really makes you think about what you would do if something like this dropped on your town. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Stephen King had a morale in mind when writing this book, and it was always right in front. It got to the point where I felt he had a BIG bat and kept knocking me over the head with it. It reminded me of a theory a college professor proposed in one of my graduate classes in college. The prof proposed that in high school and earlier you'd be surrounded by people Stephen King was bashing in Under the Dome. If you decide to get more education, and then work in a position that requires a college degree you would not be exposed to moments that reminded one Under the Dome character of middle school. The character was ganged up on and beat up - the old pushed from the front and tripped in the back by two bullies trick. I just kept telling myself that these things could not happen at that decision making level. ( )
  mainrun | Jul 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 344 (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 (11 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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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
In memory of Surendra Dahyabhai Patel. We miss you, my friend.
First words
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:57 -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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