I avoiding reading about the tv version until I get to watch it this weekend......just tell me, those of you who watched it....did you like the kick off of the miniseries?????
Here's and overview of the novel and some of my thoughts:
The 1,000+ page novel focuses on of the rural Maine town of Chester Mill, which is instantly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible "dome". Trapped inside, the residents (good and evil) work both together and against one another to save their town, which is set off from the rest of the US and for that matter, the world.
What I Liked and What I Disliked:
- I thought it was an interesting premise for a novel, and I was hooked early on. I'm not a fan of the SF genre, but this story will make me take a closer look before rejecting something based on the genre alone.
- The characters were fairly well drawn, especially the evil ones. Big Jim Rennie, a used car salesman and a town council bully, is the biggest of the "bad guys". His son, Junior, isn't far behind when it comes to evil. There are dozens of characters in this novel.
- I would have liked to see the "good guys", Dale Barbara (AKA...Barbie) explored even deeper. He was a man who spent time in Iraq as a former Army Captain, and just can't seem to find his place after the war. He is a short-order cook in town, and he's haunted by memories of something that went terribly wrong for him in the war. When the "dome" descends on the town, the President (Obama) puts "Barbie" in charge of maintaining order. Other "good guys" in the novel are Julia Shumway, the editor of the local newspaper, a physician's assistant, and a computer wiz kid to name a few.
- Although there are not any real elements of horror in this novel, there is a good amount of gore, as well a couple of rape scenes, but compared to some of King's work, I would not consider this one over the top.
- For all the foul language, there is some humor/satire as well which I loved. King's "good versus evil" takes things a step further, extending into the political arena: democrats versus republicans, which made me chuckle.
- The story started out fast paced and kept me turning pages and some some cases listening longer than I planned to, but then there were parts that really seemed to drag as well.
- Overall, there is plenty of entertainment factor in Under the Dome: people dropping like flies, political corruption, large scale drug operations, ego manics, power struggles and even religious zealots. For me though, reading about what happens when humans are isolated and how differently people react when feeling desperate was what I enjoyed the most about this novel.
- What caused the "dome" to appear over Chester Mill? It was somewhat silly, but actually I couldn't have come up with an alternate ending if I tried, so who am I to criticize Stephen King?
- Overall rating - 4/5 stars.