Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King

What can you say about Stephen King? Like a fine wine, he gets better with age. And King's latest tome of a novel is one of his best. Under the Dome is a brilliant story that unfolds over a week or so in the tiny Maine town of Chester's Mill, where on a bright sunny day in October, a mysterious dome settles over the town, cutting off those within from the outside world.

The story brings us into the lives of those under the dome and we discover many secrets along the way. We share the fear, the heartache and the general pissed-offedness of Chester's Mill's residents. We follow Dale Barbara, the ex-lieutenant from the war in Iraq, Julia Shumway, the town's scrappy newspaper editor, James Rennie, Chester's Mill's Second Selectman (and one downright evil cotton-picking son of a buck) and a hundred or so others.

Yes, at over a thousand pages, the novel is large. But King writes this story like it's no big deal, and that's where the beauty lies. Start reading Under the Dome and you will become a townie. You will feel as if you are there. And that's the hardest trick of all for a writer to pull off, but this is why King is one of the greats.

In my opinion, Stephen King is the literary world's George Romero. Like Romero's zombie movies, King's tales have an underlying message relating to current-day, real-life issues. Sure, it may be covered by blood and guts, but the message is there. At its core, Under the Dome sheds a light on the all-too real horrors that are of growing concern in this country, such as the damage to the environment and power-hungry politicians with one hand on a gun and the other on a bible. King shows us how bad things can get, and how quickly, when the situation allows it. As entertaining as Under the Dome is, it is equally a sobering and contemplative piece of work. No, there are no monsters, but King shows us that sometimes, humans can be quite horrific if the situation is right, and in his work, Stephen King never lies, my friend, he never lies.

Read Under the Dome. It's a literary work of art that may change the way you view the world and those around you. Believe me, you'll never look at ants the same way again. Under the Dome gets ***** out of *****.

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