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Summary

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

What listeners say about Under the Dome

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Incredible Writing

I have listened to this audio book five times and shall probably listen indefinately. An amazing piece of work, one of King's best, the character list is immense and yet you get to know them all in detail, you can feel the sun on your face and the dust in your eyes, you can feel pain and happiness in chapters like you are actually experiencing it, you can eagerly and bitterly resent characters yet feel love and safety in others.
The story is incredible and keeps you totally drawn in without allowing yourself to miss a single second. This truly is a masterpiece and wish I could erase it from memory so I can listen afresh over and over.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It gave me a nightmare!

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.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

King back on a roll

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.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Typical Stephen King

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.

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Story,Bad Ending

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.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Just so hard to listen to....

I love King's books, and I'm sure I will love this story, but, particularly early on, it often sounds rather like its being read by Artificial intelligence rather than a person. Its not horribly bad, just bad enough to be annoying and rather soporific, especially when you have to listen to it for over 30 hours.

I doubt I will make it through this reading. Honestly, King's audio books sell well enough to have the narrator and recording team do a much better job than this.

Its getting easier to listen as i get into it, but it was a challenge to get to that point :)

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

An intruiging story

I've spent the past few months catching up with the works of Stephen King and this title did not disappoint, until right at the end. The story kicks into gear from the very first chapter and never falters or drags. The story twists and turns as the various power plays within the town develop and then start to run out of control.

The narration by Paul Esparza was excellent throught, creating living breathing characters.

For me the only let down was the ending (which I'm not going to reveal) which I found too far off the radar to be believable. It's almost as if Mr King ran out of ideas, which is a shame as the book up to that point had been absolutely first-class

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic King at his best

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Among King's best

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.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Another Stephen King...

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.

22 people found this helpful