Monday, December 7, 2009

And THAT is Stephen King's genius

Under the Dome
by Stephen King

From the moment I heard the premise of Under the Dome, I couldn't wait to read it. Here it is in a nutshell: On a perfectly ordinary fall day, an invisible, impregnable barrier surrounds the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine. Nightmare ensues. And I do mean nightmare. Uncle Stevie isn't playing around. This isn't one of his tall tales filled with imaginary monsters and buckets of gore. The monsters here are human, and they are terrifying.

Okay, as an editor, when I see a 1,000+ page novel, my first thought is, "Does it really need to be this long?" Maybe not. I'm sure a few pages could have been trimmed. But I will tell you this... The deeper I got into this novel, the quicker I turned pages--right up until the end, when I was in a veritable page-turning frenzy. It reminded me, right from the start, of the fine work he did in the 70's, when as a child I devoured each new novel upon publication. King hasn't lost his touch with character, and he remains a consummate storyteller.

Under the Dome is epic. The time span is short, but the novel deals with the lives of more than 2,000 people trapped in a combustible hothouse. These are truly terrifying and incomprehensible circumstances. Things in Chester's Mill are bad, and hour by hour the situation got so much worse I didn't want to believe it. But I did. I believed it all. And that is Stephen King's genius.


  1. I adore King's work (The Stand is still one of my all time favorite books) and I just bought this book. My sister finished it in 3 days...and told me I HAD to buy it and read it. Your review just reinforced it for me :)

  2. I am halfway through this book right now and I SO love it! It really does harken back to his early works. I am so glad he got his groove back!!! I was so worried when he was hit by that car that we'd never get him back full steam. Boy am I glad I was wrong!

  3. Sarah,

    I'm glad you're enjoying the novel so much. I hope you like the end! Everyone I know is reading it right now (you, Mom, BFF), but no one has finished. I look forward to hearing your thoughts once you're done.

    Enjoy the reading, and happy New Year!

  4. I loved it! I loved every page. I loved every word. I know a lot of people don't like King because they feel like he just abruptly ends things, but I have never felt that way and I certainly don't this time. This was a compelling page-turner where the monsters I think King is the master of making the impossible seem plausible.

  5. Oh and if you haven't read his wife's work, I highly, highly recommend her books as well.