17 June 2013

Review: Under the Dome

Under the Dome
Under the Dome by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is now the first non-mystery, non-non-fiction book I've read by Stephen King, and I think I get it now.

First, the book itself. It's a meaty 1070 pages that spends really no time outside of its basic plot, slapping a mysterious dome over a town in Maine within the first few pages, and spending the rest of the time with a giant population within town (for a book) coping with the mystery and coping (or, really, not coping) with each other. It's science fiction at a pretty fast clip, with a lot of weird twists and turns as well as a final 100 pages that I didn't see coming at all.

The book is far from perfect, but that's okay. King, as appears to be his standard from my understanding of his writing, really revels in bringing out the worst in the people of the town, and does so relatively quickly. In a situation that was only somewhat helpless, with a small and quiet town in Maine (as opposed to, say, a densely populated city or a town with a history of problems), the trajectory of the plot was a little over the top and left a lot to be desired in that regard. The sheer number of characters, as well, is very frustrating to keep track of, and not in a Game of Thrones way. The minor subplots that were introduced were also never truly resolved - a lot like the real world, for sure, but it doesn't lend itself to the most reasonable narrative.

With all that said, I absolutely tore through this book. The larger chapters are the perfect size, the plot move along so quickly that nothing feels like it's dragging even with over 1000 pages to get through, and, as I noted before, the quick shifts in narrative as well as story make for a fun read as well as a fast one. I do tend to read very quickly, but a book has to really flow well for me to do nearly 1100 pages over four days.

I read this before the show started out, and I'm really curious as to how this ever got greenlit as a series, never mind on a network. Definitely worth your time if you haven't read it yet, and this is definitely going to get more Stephen King on my list.

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