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Under the Dome: A Novel [Hardcover] [2009] 1 Ed. Stephen King Unknown Binding – 1000

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Scribner (1000)
  • ASIN: B00CVR7U8K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,954 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,993,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

It was too long, too many characters, and little character developement.
James L. Woolridge
I think that's one thing that makes King a good writer, his books never end the way you think they will.
I would highly recommend reading before watching the new TV series very loosely based on this book.
Mom of 2

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,226 of 1,317 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A small New England town is suddenly, inexplicably cut off from the rest of the world, trapping a large cast of characters inside (or outside) a huge, clear dome. As the emergency escalates, various heroes (and villains) emerge to play a part in the drama. What is the dome? Why is it there? Will the town survive? This is the premise of Stephen King's big, long, thoroughly fascinating new novel.

King has rarely written a book as ambitious as this. As I was reading, I was constantly wondering about the motives behind the deceptively simple story. As with the best of horror and science fiction, it isn't just about a monster on the rampage. What clearly interests King--and us, the readers--is the reaction of the "ordinary" people of Chester's Mill, Maine, who are placed in this extraordinary situation. In the struggles of these heroes, villains, lovers, and fools, we can all see ourselves. And that is the mark of a great work of art, isn't it?

I've been reading Stephen King for 35 years now--I read his first 3 novels in college--and I've always been impressed by his work. But UNDER THE DOME is in a small group of King stories that go far beyond merely being entertaining fiction. This novel will inevitably be compared to The Stand because it deals with the horrors of the world around us. Forget ghosts and vampires and space aliens--there's nothing as horrifying as what humans are capable of doing to one another. Stephen King knows that: it's the reason his stories are so effective. In his long, distinguished career, he's rarely been as effective--or as entertaining--as he is here. UNDER THE DOME is a fast-paced modern horror story, and it's also an amazingly perceptive modern novel. Highly recommended.
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692 of 754 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Stephen King, no novice at penning lengthy tomes, turns in another 1,000-plus-page behemoth with Under the Dome, a book he started writing in 1976 but abandoned for more than three decades. More than 30 years later, with one of the most remarkable literary careers in history under his belt, he tackled the project again, this time completing a story that plumbs the depths of human wickedness.

The town of Chester's Mill, Maine, is a pretty typical-seeming smallish New England community. It has a diner, a used car dealership, a couple of churches, a supermarket, a newspaper, and a religious radio station. Most of its 2,000 or so residents are good, honest people who genuinely care for each other and for their town.

The scene changes abruptly when a mysterious and invisible barrier materializes out of nowhere, completely cutting the town off from the rest of the world. Within minutes, the death toll begins to rise. A plane smashes into the barrier followed by a number of cars. As scientists and government and military officials scramble to find a way to break through the barrier, those inside the dome have to quickly adjust to their new reality. And with Stephen King manning the controls, it's just a matter of time before that reality turns sinister.

Within days, Chester's Mill turns into a depressing cauldron of murder, corruption, conspiracy, and increasing fear. The town's police fall under the control of a vicious town selectman with dictatorial ambitions. Resources are seized. Vocal dissenters are jailed--or worse. Soon the air quality inside the dome begins to change. Illnesses increase. Children begin to have seizures and frightening visions. Fear leads to anger, and people start to do things they wouldn't have dreamed of just days earlier.
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403 of 450 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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667 of 797 people found the following review helpful By Pam Gearhart on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Me: Huge King fan. I have five bookshelves with nothing but King -- not just books BY King but books ABOUT his books. Hardcover firsts, special limited editions, graphic novels, and some books I bought only because King wrote the introduction. I've read him from the beginning and have been repaid with hundreds of hours of enjoyment. Anyone else remember the Castle Rock newsletter put out by his secretary?

I was enthralled with the first couple hundred pages of Under the Dome. Clear, concise language, vivid images, a well-paced story, and some characters who looked like they were going to be interesting. When the characters failed to develop and it became apparent that most of them were introduced just so we could watch them die in various ways, my interest flagged. Pretty soon I was reading just to get it all over with.

Now it's over. With the best books, you have the sense that the characters lived before you met them and that they will live on when you close the book. Stu Redman is still with me. So is Annie Wilkes. Jack Torrance. But the people of Chester's Mill never came alive -- they're just characters in a novel, thinly drawn pawns that King played with for awhile, moving them here and there without much thought or care.

Specific complaints -- unrealistic expository dialogue, an almost-cartoonish villain, too much foreshadowing that someone was going to die (sometimes King spoils his own books), and a few unbelievable and contrived spots where if you know anything at all about how things really work, you're taken right out of the story.

Maybe if I hadn't been looking forward to this book for so long, it wouldn't have been so disappointing. I hyped it up in my own mind. I'll never do that again.
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More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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