I don’t know what it is, but lately, much of my reading has been gigantic books. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=under+the+dome&iid=7027334″ src=”0/f/2/2/Stephen_King_Promotes_45bc.jpg?adImageId=12043480&imageId=7027334″ width=”234″ height=”352″ /]
Whether it be a two-parter, a big book of basketball, or whatever, but they’ve just been extra large lately.
So I was fully prepared to read Stephen King’s latest book, Under the Dome.
A quick synopsis: A giant dome goes over the town of Chester’s Mill. The big man in charge, Rennie, is in love with the dome. With no dome, he was able to do whatever he wanted, such as opening a meth factory. With the dome there, he thinks he is unbeatable because no one can get in to touch him, but that’s actually his downfall.
Rennie is obviously the bad guy, but he gets more words than any other character. And that may be because of the amount of characters. King has created a whole town and a cast of hundreds it seems.
The good guys are generally stupid. Most of them put themselves into situations where nothing good can happen. The main good guy, Barbie (a nickname from his last name, Barbara), doesn’t go on the offensive. He tells things to people that get them in trouble. And generally, he actually doesn’t do anything.
Because there’s so many characters, it’s easy to forget who is who. But King does a good job of re-introducing each character as they come back into the story. So for example, when you see Andy again, he’ll be referred to as First Selectman Andy, and it will be mentioned again he is mourning the loss of his wife. So if you’re the type that has trouble with that sort of thing, there’s not much need to worry.
The main theme of this book is a familiar one: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Rennie is corrupt, and the more power he gets, the more corrupt he becomes. Other characters become more corrupt as well as the book moves along.
A smaller theme has to do with religion. Many of the bad things the bad guys do they know are a sin, but justify it by saying it’s the work of God.
There were a couple of flaws. One thing I didn’t like was the thought process behind the dome and how it came to be (and how they ultimately got rid of it). I won’t give it away here, but it’s not the type of thing that I’m used to seeing in a Stephen King novel, and it was a little disappointing. It felt more like a Star Trek ending more than anything.
Also, the final battle scene wasn’t really much of a battle scene. It seems as if there’s a buildup between the two sides, but they never actually deal with each other, and none is responsible for the death of the other, which is a disappointment.
For example, Rennie’s son, Junior, has had a beef with Barbie from before the dome even went down. You keep expecting something to happen between the two, but the battle is anticlimactic.
It’s still a good book though. Kept me reading, and I enjoyed the majority of it.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.