Sunday, January 31, 2010

Under the Dome: A Novel

Under the Dome wasted no time diving into a suspenseful, action-packed science fiction thriller. When reading Under the Dome, I felt constant helplessness. Not since Misery have I experienced such powerlessness and empathy for the characters caught in the events that unfolded throughout the novel. The genius of the novel was its ability to take me to Chester's Mill; to trap me under the dome.

The novel's first 75 pages or so introduce a staggering number of major and minor characters. Most characters have rich backgrounds, and play important roles throughout the novel. Compared to Stephen King's The Stand, I thought the characters lacked amiability at first, but keep in mind that the number of major characters one follows in The Stand pales in comparison to those under and outside the dome. With that said, I realized that if King went into detail for every character, the book would easily exceed 2,000 pages. Thus, I believe King gave readers just enough (and at times, more than enough) to appreciate the characters independent of the hardships they face throughout the book.

As with any science fiction book, certain questions must be addressed. For example, "Can any air get into the dome? What about water? What is the weather like?" King addresses most of the complexity that the dome presents to reality, and I was grateful for the research he did for the novel to make it as realistic as possible.

Reading the novel was well worth my time, so I recommend it to anyone who is seeking to augment their Stephen King collections, anyone looking for a fast-paced, well-written novel, or anyone who is reading Stephen King for the first time.

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