[REVIEW] Under The Dome – Stephen King

Andreea Dulgheru

Everybody knows the master of mystery novels, Mr. Stephen King. His literature works has fascinated the whole world and he has never failed to scare the wits out of us all. Here under the magnifying glass we have one of his great works, “Under the Dome”.

Set in Chester’s Mill, a small town in Maine, “Under the Dome” is a 1074 pages novel about the mysterious appearance of a dome which separates the town from the outside world. The book is definitely not for the faint hearted as it depicts numerous gory and bloody accidents that are caused by the sudden materialisation of the invisible force field, as well as the ones that occur inside the dome due to various reasons.

While the plot itself appears to be quite simple, I can assure you there’s more to this book than it seems at a first look. King describes in a realistic way how the inhabitants of The Mill cope with the inability to get out of the town, as well as the loss of contact with friends and relatives from “the outside”. They have to start saving up their remaining resources and use them wisely in order to survive as long as they can until the American Government and the Military manage to remove the dome. But that’s not all, as King sprinkles the storyline with loads of plot twists and slow discoveries of each character’s deepest secrets, which will surely keep you on the edge of your seat!

As you would expect from such a long piece of writing, the number of characters is quite hefty, but don’t worry; at the beginning of the book there’s both a map of Chester’s Mill and a list of the most important characters in the book.

What’s interesting and unique about this book is that the story does not revolve around one main character, but instead it combines the perspectives of many characters in order to give the reader an insight into their views of the incident, as well as their personalities.

In the spotlight we have Dale Barbara, a military veteran and a short-order cook at a local restaurant, who is suddenly reintroduced into the military in order to solve the problem of the dome from inside and maintain peace in The Mill. As the story develops, he receives help with his mission from Julia Shumway, the town newspaper owner and other residents of the town. However, as with every other story, there are also some bad guys, the main antagonists being James “Big Jim” Rennie, the Second Selectman of the town and his son, Junior.

Overall, the book was quite fascinating and after reading it I finally understood why Stephen King is considered to be one of the best contemporary writers. I was mostly impressed by the way he describes every little detail and how he skillfully places a plot twist when you least expect it! The only thing that disappointed me though was the ending, as I found it a little bit out of place and not as interesting as the rest of the book; it definitely wasn’t foreseeable, but I felt like it didn’t quite fit with the rest of the novel, which was spine tingling and dripping with mystery.

All in all, “Under the Dome” is a great example of a book that constantly keeps you on the edge, in true King style. If you’re an avid reader of mystery books filled with plot twists and supernatural elements, then this book might be just the thing for you!

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