Under the Dome

Stephen King

Under the Dome

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as ‘the dome’ comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. Dale Barbara, Iraq vet, teams up with a few intrepid citizens against the town’s corrupt politician. But time, under the dome, is running out.... 4.3 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
Under the Dome

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror & Ghost Stories
Format Hardback
Pages 896
RRP £19.99
Date of Publication November 2009
ISBN 978-0340992562
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton
 

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as ‘the dome’ comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. Dale Barbara, Iraq vet, teams up with a few intrepid citizens against the town’s corrupt politician. But time, under the dome, is running out....

Reviews

The Los Angeles Times

Jedediah Berry

Impressive... a vivid and harrowing tale, expertly constructed, intensely moral and often thrilling, related with the masterful ease we have come to expect from its author.

09/11/2009

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The New York Times

Janet Maslin

“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.

11/11/2009

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The Washington Post

Graham Joyce

Although he's an undisputed master of suspense and terror, what gives King's work heft is his moral clarity. The harrowing climax of "Under the Dome" stems from a humane vision. It's another work in an oeuvre that identifies compassion as the antidote to evil, whether that evil be human or supernatural. And our stock of literature in the great American Gothic tradition is brilliantly replenished because of it.

14/11/2009

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The Daily Telegraph

Lewis Jones

The sci-fi aspect of the story – the origin and purpose of the mysterious dome – is kept for the most part on the back burner, which was a relief to me, as I find it difficult to suspend my disbelief in such stuff, but when it does emerge it has an ingeniously metaphysical plausibility... Under the Dome has terrific pace, whizzing from one cliffhanger to the next on narrative wires strung to an admirable tension.

31/10/2009

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The New York Times

James Parker

Given King’s extraordinary career-long dominance, we might expect him at this point to be stylistically complete, turning perfect sentences, as breezily at home in his idiom as P. G. Wodehouse. But he isn’t, quite... But then, King has always produced at pulp speed. “Nov. 22, 2007 - March 14, 2009” proclaims the final page of “Under the Dome”: that’s 1,100 pages in 480 days. We shouldn’t be too squeamish about the odd half-baked simile or lapse into B-movie dialogue, is my point. Writing flat-out keeps him close to his story, close to his source.

05/11/2009

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The Daily Express

Jennifer Selway

King is a great storyteller but some may baulk at the violence. Is this how it’d be? It’s hard not to be convinced. It’s also hard to avoid a hernia carrying this 882-page book. A measure of its excellence is that you are still sorry when you come to the end.

13/11/2009

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The Financial Times

James Lovegrove

There are a few flaws. Prophetic visions experienced by a number of characters, principally children, serve as somewhat clumsy foreshadowing, and the explanation for the dome itself is the kind of ironic pay-off a Twilight Zone episode might conclude with. Set against that, though, is the aplomb with which King marshals a huge cast, his expert ratcheting of tension as he puts the people of Chester’s Mill through the, ahem, mill and his ability to sustain a lively narrative across almost 900 pages.

02/11/2009

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The Independent

Roz Kaveney

King's problems with the subtle, and his love of big melodramatic set-pieces, work for him here... If Under the Dome has a weakness, it is that King's sentimental fondness for his inadequate good people undercuts the driving scorn with which he treats everyone else.

13/11/2009

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The Independent on Sunday

Matt Thorne

The claustrophobic and circular nature of the action matches the characters' predicament but robs the novel of the epic quality of his more quest-based longer fiction such as The Stand or the seven-volume Dark Tower sequence. Nevertheless, while not one of King's best, Under the Dome is an ambitious and impressive achievement that no fan will want to miss.

15/11/2009

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The Sunday Times

John Dugdale

King’s inability to raise his game — to relinquish the methods of his more straightforward tales of the paranormal — prevents you taking his socio­political vision seriously... But as an evocation of a community, this is a remarkable achievement: few other post-war writers have attempted to portray small-town America so comprehensively.

08/11/2009

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The Scotsman

Stephen McGinty

I'm an advocate of King's lengthy ruminations – he can build characters as domestic and well-rounded as Updike or Cheever... But the novel is rather too loose, rambling and saggy; and if it took him 30 years to complete it – he wrote the first 75 pages in 1978 – you feel he could have spent a few more months trimming the fat and leaving the muscle.

14/11/2009

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The Guardian

M John Harrison

Sometimes it works, and sometimes you feel King's heart isn't entirely in it. To keep the reader focused, King regularly quotes from "Small Town", but he can't match the ironies that undermine the complacency of McMurtry's audience. Where McMurtry's songs encourage everything in life to bleed into everything else, the us-and-them oppositions of Under the Dome are too well differentiated, too overtly polemical.

14/11/2009

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The Observer

Euan Ferguson

It is, in many ways, a good book: King's take on the America of Bush and 9/11, a nation on the verge of environmental and moral collapse. But it is, in so many other ways, too much, too big, too long. And too Stephen King.

29/11/2009

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