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Under the Dome: A Novel Paperback – July 6, 2010
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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"Tight and energetic from start to finish... Hard as this thing is to hoist, it's even harder to put down." -- "New York Times"
""Under the Dome" moves so fast and grips the reader so tightly that it's practically incapacitating." -- "Newsday"
"Spellbinding." -- ABCnews.com
"Stephen King's "Under the Dome" was one of my favourite books of the year so far." -- Neil Gaiman
"King returns to his glory days of "The Stand"." -- "New York Daily News"
"The work of a master storyteller having a whole lot of fun." -- "Los Angeles Times"
"Propulsively intriguing... Staggeringly addictive." -- "USA Today"
""Dome" is classic King, sure to please any fan." -- "Baltimore Sun"
"A wildly entertaining trip." -- "People" (3.5 stars)
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, the Bill Hodges trilogy End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and now an AT&T Audience Network original television series), Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome. His novel 11/22/63—a Hulu original television series event—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. His epic works The Dark Tower and It are the basis for major motion pictures. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and 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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In case you haven't read any of the reviews for Under the Dome "Part 1," be aware....and BEWARE. This is NOT a sequel to Under the Dome. Greedy publishers have made a horrible decision to take the original 1,000 page novel and split it into two parts. If you fall for this and buy both Part 1 and Part 2, you will have paid more for the book than you would in some other formats, but the worst part of this is the treatment of those readers who don't like paying around $20 or more for a new hardcover or around $15 for a new large paperback, who wait for the smaller mass market paperback to buy a writer's newest book. Those readers now will have to pay the same amount as everyone else for the book because they'll have to buy two paperbacks at regular price to get the whole story. When I was younger, I didn't have money in my budget to buy brand new hardcovers, so when the small paperback finally came out, I'd get it for about $7 and be able to read the story. A few years ago, beginning with the book Cell, they increased the size of Stephen King mass market paperbacks and raised the price to $10. That apparently wasn't enough, as now they want you to pay for two books to get one full story. It can't have anything to do with the quantity of pages in the book; they've printed regular sized, regular priced paperbacks before of the novels It and The Stand: Complete and Uncut. This boils down to misleading advertising and a desire to squeeze as much out of loyal readers as possible. Not a good move.
**Update** It's nice to see that Amazon has finally added a "Product Alert" in the description of this half-book. It should have been done immediately upon the book's release, but I guess better late than never. Maybe not for all the people who got duped into buying it initially, however.
The book, which is similar in the beginning, diverged significantly from the show and was so much better then the TV show ever was. I really enjoyed the book's understated Sci-Fi sensibilities which made it far more believable. The book's characters were much darker but far more realistic in their actions and relationships to each other.
Overall, if I were to do it over again, I would have read the book and skipped the TV show entirely. Perhaps someday it will be redone by someone who stays much truer to the original material.
One last note. One thing the TV did perfectly was casting Dean Norris as "Big Jim". Throughout my reading, it was impossible not see Dean in my imagining of the book's Jim Rennie.
Now, imagine you have a narcissistic leader of the town counsel who gets drunk with power and sees this as an opportunity for himself. People are dying - no one knows when this will end, the air quality declines, planes crash into the barrier from the outside; people commit suicide on the inside.
A leader is appointed by the military, who has taken active control of the situation - but only on the outside of the dome. Because "Big Jim", the leader of the town sets himself up as the hero and the outsiders as the enemy, the military/government is seen to have done this - it is a conspiracy in the eyes of the town.
There are a couple of ex-military on the inside, one of whom is contacted by cell phone. (Cell phones continue to work.) He's told to take control. The conflict between Big Jim and Colonel Barbie is intense. But, with Barbie the newcomer to the town and Big Jim seen as it's parading hero, it seems to be a losing battle. I won't go any further than this, but suffice it to say that the plot thickens and gets quite intense.
Reading it reminded me strongly of Animal Farm. The town is on an island and someone has to be in charge. What happens when the power goes to their heads? What happens to people who stand in their way (perceived or real)?
Don't be afraid of the bulk of the book. Topping in at about 1,100 pages it could seem overwhelming. But, King's style flows well and the book reads pretty quickly. This is a real page turner. If you are fond of Steven King's writing, this one will get you going. Enjoy.