Stephen King’s “Under the Dome”

A Must Read 300With the new It movie coming out, I figured now was the time to dive into some Stephen King novels I’ve either overlooked or put off reading. First up is Under the Dome, which had everybody excited a few years ago. In terms of premise, the novel is certainly strange. One perfectly fine afternoon, a small Maine town is cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious barrier, which is completely invisible. Planes fall from the sky, power is lost across the area, and anything unfortunate enough to be under the dome’s edges upon its descent was cut cleanly in two. Over time, those inside of the dome begin to realize that it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and the clock quickly begins to count down for all trapped inside.

Like I said, this is actually a pretty strange series of events. A perfectly normal, realistic world is shattered by an occurrence of supernatural proportions. That being said, Stephen King manages to simply make it all believable. As you read, you begin to place yourself in the same situation the characters are in, and the reader begins to just accept the fact that the barrier exists in that realistic world. I honestly can’t see many writers being able to pull that off. The actual writing is some of the best I have read from King, with character development that is top-notch and completely relatable, as well as a town and community dynamic that is often attempted but rarely successful for so many fiction writers. As far as horror novels go, I actually have to say I wasn’t all that scared throughout the novel, in the conventional sense. The really freaky stuff is the human aspect of the novel, testing the limits of what people will do to survive. Naturally, this is almost assuredly what King was going for. When I heard about Under the Dome I can honestly say I wasn’t too intrigued. The plot seemed far-fetched, which in most novels is a death sentence. Luckily, I was surprised. King, as he has with killer dogs, cars, and cities of vampires, just manages to make an invisible barrier work. If you like Stephen King’s work, or might be intrigued by the excellent seeds of mystery and despair that are sown into this novel, then be sure to pick up a copy of Under the Dome. This novel is a prime example of how a skilled author can draw an audience into an otherwise ludicrous scenario.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor