Under the Dome falls flat, during the entire 1000+ pages I felt as if I, myself was sipping on stale air.
I haven’t read a King novel in a long time. It has at least been a decade. King will always remain in my heart as the novelist who popped my paranormal cherry. It was 6th grade and I read IT to the horror of my deeply religious teacher, who couldn’t believe that I was reading the book, and thought I was just showing off by bringing the book to “free time”. (Catholic School K-12) The man actually gave me a test on the book to prove that I was lying and as unintelligent as he assumed I was.
Since then I sucked down every King novel that was in our local library, and The Stand still remains as one of my top 10 favorite books in existence. Yet, with maturity comes changes in taste and my tastes moved away from Mr. King’s novels and onto others. With his release of Under the Dome I thought it might be the time to go back and sample Kings writings. Especially since I had a 50% Off coupon from Borders. (Yes I bought this sucker with my own money)
I think I picked the wrong novel to make my way back into King’s macabre world. This novel can’t even compare to some of his earlier writing. It had everything that makes King’s writing memorable and epic: witty dialog between characters, the intense action sequences, death and destruction, larger than life villains and troubled, soiled and touching good guys/girls.
Yet, there was a lot of undesirables in this novel also.
For one there were way too many characters. There was an index! I was completely lost during half the book as the POV shifted and it took me almost a page to figure out who this person was.
Secondly, there was too much foreshadowing within the novel. So much so, that when the climax hit, I was just basically like “Oh ok, well finally.” No surprise, just grisly teeth grinding as I read through the graphic depictions of people’s deaths.
Next I also thought the characters were a bit off. Sometimes they just didn’t act like themselves.
Lastly, it was just too much. Too much book for me. Too many characters, too much description, too many plot lines that were way too hard to follow. I skimmed a lot through this book. Half this book could have been cut out and it would have been much better. There was also tons of plot threads that didn’t match. Bigger the author – the more the editor gets scared of them, huh?
Oh, and on a personal note – mom always tells me not to discuss politics and religion in polite company. This book was choked full of political references and religious stereotypes. It was very obvious which way King’s political beliefs fell, and his stereotyping of right-wing crazies was insulting at some times. I’ve really had enough of actors and singers getting political – there is nothing like going to a concert and hearing a singer blab about this and that political agenda. I really don’t want to read it either. But that is just this reviewers opinion.
Fans of King will probably enjoy this. For me, well it was just pretty stale – like that old pack of cigarettes that you find in your coat pocket when you pull it out for the winter. Eureka! Look what I’ve found – until you smoke it. You get the nicotine kick – but it just tastes like smoking old hay.