Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review Thursday: Under The Dome by Stephen King

Under The Dome
by Stephen King
Paperback: 880 pages
Publisher: Pocket; Reprint edition (July 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439149038
ISBN-13: 978-1439149034
Price: RM45.90

I adored Christine, The Shining, Firestarter, Misery, Salem's Lot, The Running Man and Thinner but Pet Sematary, The Talisman, and It just didn't feel right to me. If you have enjoyed King's last few books, you'll probably like this one too. I didn't.

Under The Dome is the story of a village cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible forcefield. Think pudding bowl over the town. As the air runs out, the people become more and more frantic. Worse, there's a killer on the loose.

King writes as if he's describing a film to a blind person. When I got to page 250, I still wasn't invested in the characters. Worse, the "mystery" was crystal clear. I flipped to the end, read the last 5 pages, and won't be bothering to read the middle bits.

The other thing about this book is the length: 880 pages. Unfortunately King doesn't use the extra space to add character depth, mystery or anything useful. It's just horribly long. A good editor would cut this book in half and improve it immeasurably.

If you like horror but can't be bothered to wade through this one, wait for the film. If you're not in Malaysia, you can buy this pretty much everywhere, including Amazon and Amazon UK.

7 comments:

Katnip Lounge said...

I enjoyed the book, hated the ending, which felt like a complete afterthought.

Neri said...

i will take this to heart! i also adore king's earlier works... my favorites are firestarter and the langoliers.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

What a coincidence! We've just finished reading it too. Yeah...his storytelling nowadays is not as when he first started. Perhaps he should have finished this in 1976, when he first started the book. purrr...meow!

Cezar and Léia said...

I'm curious about this book, thanks for this review!
Léia

Mishkat said...

My husband and I think that Stephen King's publishers stopped editing his books when he because so popular - it's a shame because they could really use it! We have not enjoyed his latest books very much because of this.

My favorite Stephen King (really a novella) is "The Shawshank Redemption". They actually did a great job on the movie too. And his non-fiction book "On Writing" is very good.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

I haven't cared for his recent stuff either. The last books of his that I liked were "The Regulators" (a better book than "Desperation") and "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon".

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Maybe it's crystal clear only to you, Ellen, cos you're smarter than most people.