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
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.
After building up a good story with great characters Stephen King left himself without a plausible ending. I enjoyed 4/5th's of the book but was really disappointed with the finish. I realise that the story could not have a satisfactory conclusion that would keep everybody happy and for myself it was just too convenient.The beginning of the book was interesting and if you didn't think too much about The Simpsons movie, it was a novel idea. Well rounded characters with King's usual mix of the good, bad and the ugly.The story was well told and you did want to know what was going to happen next. All in all a delightful listen, just a shame about the end.
With this gargantuan book, King returns to the broad canvas approach of works like The Stand, as opposed to the more focused character pieces seen more recently in the excellent Duma Key. For all the scope and size of cast, it's still the character work that King excels at. Threading the story of a down at heel washer-up in a small town diner, the bitter small minded machinations of a local politico, the earnest idealism of the town's newspaper editor -idealism untested til now- and dozens more, he creates an evocative picture of how close to the edge of chaos we always live. In a way that TV's recent revival of Survivors could only gaze enviously at, he maps the collapse of order, celebrating the small victories for justice and the petty point scoring for venality. Several times while I was out walking or on a train listening to this I had to stop my self from shouting out in alarm for the fate of one or more characters.
An absorbing listen, the narrator coming as close as I've heard to King's own inflections (as heard on Bag of Bones) giving it an authentic feel. It's a long book -it takes up five downloads- but it's a fabulous wallow, like a glass of malt whiskey on a cold winder night. Recommended.
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.
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.
I get bored quickly so take ages choosing my books. Preferred authors are Sanderson, Rothfuss, Abercrombie, tho' C Harris makes me laugh too
Typically Stephen King; at times disturbing with its graphic and quite brutal imagery, but no denying the skilfulness of the storytelling.
Despite knowing where things were headed, and what was bound to happen, it was still a gripping ride.
I did enjoy this – although it gave me a nightmare about being trapped a few days after finishing it (fortunately, only the one nightmare). This is another of those books which I will probably recall for many years to come.
I couldn't quite decide between 4 or 5 stars. 4 because it was both so unlikely and yet predictable (and it gave me a nightmare!!), but settled on 5 because despite the above, it is well written and the concept itself was thought provoking. In a previous review on a different book, I commented "good idea, poorly executed". This is the opposite: "Simple idea, very well executed".
The narration is solid – good character definition with distinctly identifiable voices.
What a fantastic story teller Stephen King is! This tale grabs you right at the start and never lets you go. His conversational style of writing adapts brilliantly to audio, and the narration is nothing less than a tour de force. 34 hours of superb entertainment await you if you buy this book, and I strongly recommend you do so. You wont regret it!
I was captivated by this book from the start. The almost 36 hour length seemed daunting at first, but worth every second. The issue of how the dome came to be, eventually become secondary as the characters and their develop. A novel way of trapping people with no way out. The book give you the chance to then sit back and see what happens. I am a born again Stephen King fan.
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!
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.
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