I think Under the Dome is one of the best books Stephen King has written since "The Stand." I loved the concept of "Under the Dome" and unlike many of the reviewers here, I loved how he drew the character of Big Jim Rennie. I know that guy. I've known quite a few Big Jim Rennies during my lifetime. In my opinion, the bad guys were characterized quite a bit better than the good guys. My biggest disappointment was with Barbie. At the beginning of the book, I thought he was going to be a fascinating hero.
Turns out, he was a bit too quiet and unassuming for my taste, which leads me to my next criticism. I like a book with a full stage of characters, but still, I need that one hero(ine) to stand out as the main character. To me, the only main character in the book was Big Jim, which I suppose is okay for the villain to claim center stage. Still, I wish that Barbie had shined just a bit more, or even Rusty (although his character just never really did it for me ..... sorry to the "real" Rusty for this comment, for I'm sure you're far more interesting. :))
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It could have and should have been a bit shorter, I think. (There were too many characters who took up pages which should have been devoted to the main cast.) Yet, it's a fascinating read, and the last three hundred pages are real page-turners.
One last word to the author: I love the fact that you can get away with so many things other authors wouldn't dare attempt, as in that intrusive narrator. I mean, how many writers can get past an editor's desk with sentences such as, "Thanks to the magic of narration...." Kudos, Mr. King. By golly, you've earned the right, and I applaud you. :)
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