Tag Archives: suspense

Under the Dome by Stephen King

22 Aug

99% of the time, I am terrified to look at a cover of a Stephen King novel, let alone read it. I made the mistake of picking up Gingerbread Girl when I was in the first few years of high school on vacation, and did not sleep for weeks (perhaps the cause of my insomnia and loathing of running?). I again attempted to read another book of his, but barely got through the first ten pages. So I was very very hesitant to take my friend’s advice and try Under the Dome,  firstly because King’s reputation and secondly, the book was over 1,000 pages. Talk about a days worth of light reading. 

I was absolutely enthralled by the epic. The novel takes place in a stereotypically small New England town in Maine. Without warning or justification, they are separated from the rest of the world by an invisible bubble/forcefield no one can see nor get through. Within moments of this shield, the death toll rises within and outside the dome. A plane crashes, cars traveling on the roads crash, and in Stephen King gore, he tells of an animal severed by the dome, and the sheriff of the town is killed when he goes to close the the barrier and his pacemaker explodes. Within the first part of the book, King wraps the reader into an intricate web of characters and interactions, leaving one breathless with the dread that something (or many somethings) is going to make the situation from bad to worse.

Soon, the town is in an uproar blaming the government, but on the other side of the dome, the government is equally as baffled by the situation. Within hours the town starts to turn on one another, and within days, there is no sense of calm or order. There is murder, rape, and other crimes that go with the lawlessness of the situation. While there are no monsters, killer clowns, killer dogs, or other viscous King imaginings, he creates a novel where people become the monsters – which is even worse.

While I was not happy to read the sinister parts of the novel, I was so involved with the events, there was no way I could abandon the book. For so much action and events, the time frame of the novel is short – which is terrifying in its own way, can the world turn against one another so quickly and destructively? King writes a novel that really infiltrates the human mind and psyche. He creates a situation where it takes the reader to truly examine human psychology.

It is long and hard to get through, page length wise and what King is writing, but I think it is worth it, especially because I am not a firm King fan. My one disappointment was the ending, which typically ruins a book for me, but this time, it was alright; I still appreciate and recommend the novel.

To learn more about this book, or to look at Stephen King’s works, check out his website.

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