In Stephen King's mesmerizing new masterpiece - his biggest, most riveting novel since The Stand - a Maine town and its inhabitants are isolated from the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome.
Celebrated storyteller Stephen King returns to his roots in this tour de force, featuring more than 100 characters - some heroic, some diabolical - and a supernatural element as baffling and chilling as any he's ever conjured.
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mills, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the Dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens - town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a selectwoman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing - even murder - to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry.
But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.
With some of the most spectacularly sinister characters King has ever imagined and a driving plot, Under the Dome is Stephen King at his epic best. This book will thrill every listener who's ever loved a novel by King.
©2009 Stephen King; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster Audio division
I've struggled with some of King's recent stuff - for me his early works have a sharper edge, but this, I'm happy to say, is back to form. This feels like Stand-era King, in scale and style, and I love it. Raul Esparza voices dozens of characters uniquely - men, women, toddlers, grandparents... how does he *do* that? - but town official Jim Rennie steals the show. Where Cell was oversaturated with the supernatural, here the appearance of the dome on page one is enough to drive the very human chain of events that form the bulk of this long, but utterly engaging story.
Most reviews of this book say it's a return to the style of 'The Stand' - which is true - and no bad thing in itself!
Characters - (of which there are dozens) are well rounded and believable.
Plot - Entertaining throughout and frightening in parts.
Interest is maintained throughout the book - although it may have been a slightly better book for being just a little shorter.
Generally - well worth a listen - and well read.
Recommended - try and make the time to listen to this book.
3hrs in the car a day = lots of listening time!
I loved this audiobook, what totally made it was the excellent narration- probably one of the best narrated audiobooks I have listened to and couldn't have come too soon as have listened to some pretty rubbish narrators recently.
It's a great novel and my first Stephen King, great characters and there are a lot of them but all are really well developed. The story is out there but actually it feels really believable, I agree with some reviewers about the ending but to be honest that didn't take away from how great the entire novel is.
Absolutely awesome book! I usually save my books for reading before i go to sleep and this one had me quaking in my bed in parts! I felt like a small child who'd seen the boogieman. Unfortunately this book was so more-ish that it didn't stay in my bedroom for long. I just couldn't put it down until it was all over. Absolutely awesome!
I loved this book and although i agree it did bring Steven King's The Stand to mind i dont think that making it any shorter would have been of any benefit. i was slightly disappointed by the fairly quick ending to it all though. The true star to this though was Raul Esparza. He made the book far more enjoyable with his numerous accents and voices for all the different characters considering how many Steven King always includes in his books. I didnt want to stop listening to this as i wanted to know what was going to happen next which is always a good sign.
Have now listenend to this book twice in the past year. Narration is great Raul Esparza is terrific. Large cast in a small town. Some of it was dark and nasty, some is funny and uplifting. But showed what human nature is like when trapped. Some of the cast rise to the challange and of course some sink as low as is humanly possible. Well done Stephen King superb.
Have been watching the mini series on T.V. It's nothing like the book. Not only is the story line different, the towns people are weak and rubbish. The only thing the same is the title.
Stick with the book you can't go wrong. Enjoy.
Is this book good? Yes. If you have read many Stephen King books to date, will this book given anything new to the reader? Not really...
Not to make it sound like the book is unoriginal, it's just the characters and psychoses developed are so similar to those in countless other situation by King. It is thoroughly readable/listenable, and I recommend this book if you like Stephen King, or just a decent thriller! But don't expect something new from the King of horror/thriller writing. People being trapped under a dome? Okay, that's not exactly unoriginal, but that's really only a small part of the book. The framework on which rests the character development and the good and evil elements of the heroes and villains of the piece.
It is a roller coaster ride for sure, and i don't doubt anyone would enjoy this book, if they are considering it, or reading this.
However, if you are new to King I recommend Needful Things, IT, Christine, Cujo, Carrie and even Dreamcatcher as original and exciting stories.
This was my first Stephen King novel and i loved every minute of it. Raul Esparza was a wonderful narrator (if only there where a lot more books to choose from with his narration). I recommend this to anyone. My next download has a lot to live up to.
now I am a bit feeble, nothing beats listening to an audiobook on a Kindle. Just sheer relaxation.
This story is essentially about the fact that "the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglee". The "clustermug" reference is to the habit of Jim Rennie, the corrupted 2nd selectman of Chester's Mills, in avoiding cuss words (he is oh so religious). Big Jim is typified by King as the wheeler dealer who worms his way into positions of absolute power, and then becomes so corrupted thereby that he can't discriminate between his ego needs, and the welfare of his community.
His character may be familiar to many who look over the parapet from time to time and he is also the most interesting character.
Chester's Mills is not unlike many closely woven social groups, embodying the best and the worst of human usage and abusage. Most of us would not object to much of what routinely goes on here, and King's descriptions (although seen by some reviewers as over-long) establish the necessary basis for the disaster which is immediately apparent from the start of "Under the Dome".
Whatever moral judgment a listener may be tempted to embrace, such issues are more or less irrelevant, as the events unfold it seems that Chester's Mills is being randomly sinned against by forces beyond our ken.
One always hopes for a happy ending when sh** happens, sometimes there is one, sometimes not - so wait and see - you will have to listen until the end of Raul Esparza's fine reading of this everyday story of country folk.
Raul has a brilliant ear for the nuances of the "yankee" dialect, and to non-American english speakers such as myself, this dimension is really entertaining.
Thanks Stephen you work very hard to get a result - I believe you have one here!
Say something about yourself!
I think you gain something extra from listening to audio books, but to say that they are better than print in any eventuality is not really accurate. That said, Raul Esparza really brings the characters to life.
I would have to draw comparisons with The Stand, largely due to the character interplay. Much as with The Stand, Under the Dome throws a cast of unlikely bedfellows together, puts them in a situation which will strain them and allows you a fly on the wall view of all hell breaking loose as a consequence.
Esparza really makes the effort to give each character a sense of individuality. The reading of certain characters really gives insight into the author's intention (or at least Esparza's understanding of it). His voicing of Big Jim Rennie was so good that I would cringe to hear the character appear. The lackadaisical drawl, as well as King's vivid descriptions, really make the character appear to you.
The constant foreknowledge of how the Rennie's intended to frame Barbara was so well done that it became difficult to continue listening. I had to force myself to go on knowing what the inevitable consequences would be. The scene where he is arrested by the new deputies, and the reactions of characters that we have come to view as "the good guys" when they think that he is a murderer was really emotive.
All in all this is a really great listen and I would love to hear more audio books voiced by Raul Esparza
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