Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Under The Dome by Stephen King
Published: November 2009 by Scribner
Source: my copy purchased for my Nook - because I didn't want to lug a 1000 page book around
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, 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 select-woman, 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.
Long, long ago - okay, it was during the Super Bowl - the first commercial for the t.v. adaptation of Under The Dome aired and another Stephen King readalong was born. Once upon a time, before many of you were even born, I read a lot of King, half a dozen books to be exact. Then he veered off into the Dark Tower books and I had children and stopped reading books. Seriously, how do you people with small children find the time?!
Oh King, I'm so happy to have found my way back to you! Oh sure, the dialogue isn't always noteworthy, the action can be ridiculously over the top, and the reason for the dome was not entirely satisfying. But the bad guys were really bad, the good guys were practically wearing white hats, and the action was nonstop. I loved the characters! Vintage King. Watching what happens when people are cut off from the world was fascinating and utterly believable. Like lemmings, the residents of Chester's Mill just kept following Big Jim Rennie right over the cliff.
Now, about that television show. I've watched three episodes. I'm not sure I'll watch another. I know that King is okay with the changes that have been made and that should make them okay for me, too. But I just can't get over some of them. Like the fact that you can't hear through the dome any more or that some of the characters are missing. Then there are things like the wind (where is it coming from INSIDE of a dome?) and the size of the young men who were the big high school football heroes (these boys should be big not typical Hollywood pretty boys). Small things, sure, But they're grating on my nerves. I think I'll use that time every week to read instead, maybe another King.