Customer Reviews for

Under the Dome

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

72 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

Believe the hype, King swings for the fences and nails it out of the park.

Please hold your critiques until you've read the book. I had the privilege to get my hands on an advance copy and I've been singing this story's praises to everyone. King brings the town of Chester's Mills to vivid life, examining the deepest, darkest secrets of the t...
Please hold your critiques until you've read the book. I had the privilege to get my hands on an advance copy and I've been singing this story's praises to everyone. King brings the town of Chester's Mills to vivid life, examining the deepest, darkest secrets of the town. Early on, a character makes a reference to Golding's Lord of the Flies; if only they had such luck. The story could happen in any town, and that is what makes it so terrifying and engaging. Under the Dome is long, but it seems he could have doubled the length and still left you wanting more. I recommend taking off a few days after the release of this book, because you will not want to waste time eating, bathing, or going to work until you've turned the final page.

posted by Freekman993 on September 19, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

43 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

Sorry to say, "Ho hum."

Although Under the Dome is 1000 pages, reading goes quickly as the writing style is quite simple. The only thing of real interest for me was the dome itself. What an interesting concept! Unfortunately the reason for the dome is lackluster and could easily have been u...
Although Under the Dome is 1000 pages, reading goes quickly as the writing style is quite simple. The only thing of real interest for me was the dome itself. What an interesting concept! Unfortunately the reason for the dome is lackluster and could easily have been used as a short story concept instead of as a tome.
I missed the suspense and can't-stop-reading characteristics of many of his other books and am perplexed that the author who is capable of writing The Shining and The Stand would write Under the Dome.
This is not Stephen King at his best or even close to it.

posted by joyflsong on December 28, 2009

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  • Posted November 24, 2009

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    The usual excellent King work with some great additions

    I'm a huge Stephen King fan. I've enjoyed almost all his books with only 2 or 3 that I thought were just ok to read. This is an outstanding book with many, many positives and only a few negatives. First the positives:

    - The plot is creatively told and keeps your interest the entire book. In addition, the plot and the subplots are not the usual formula types that have the expected outcomes.
    - The characters are wonderful. You'll recognize types of people that you know in your life and you may even recognize yourself in one of the characters. King does an oustanding job developing and fulfilling the characters.
    - The pace is superb. He keeps the plot going forward even while detailing the characters in ways that add significantly to the story.

    Now the couple of Negatives:
    - The overall length. In this day and age of immediate gratification, it feels overwhelming to begin a 1000 page book. On a positive note, I am grateful that this wasn't a trilogy like some authors have gravitated to.
    = The ending felt rushed. This was probably because of the 900 pages leading up to the ending more than it actually being rushed but it felt fast.

    I hearily recommend this book. King's writing remains the best of the best. I especially like his inclusion of modern culture like music and othe entertainment as side references in his books. In this one, he mentions Lee Child's main novel character, Jack Reacher. The Reacher novels are some of my favorites and obviously King likes them too. This is a long read but well worth the time.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    Take 100 hours of your life and do something else

    Skip this book. Waste of time. Have you ever heard of the God Machine? The Greeks invented it when they wrote themselves into a corner and couldn't figure out how to finish the story. Same here Stephen King brought in a God Machine and ended it very quickly and horribly

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    Good read, too much Stephen King

    Under the Dome is a good story unfortunately Stephen King had to inject his bitter liberal attitude into the story. He couldn't help expressing his anti-religion and anti-conservative feeling in the story. As with most celebrities he thinks his readers care about what he thinks. He should stick to writing story and leave his personal politics to himself.

    6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    I Wanted More

    I've been a King fan for many years, but Under the Dome falls flat despite more than enough pages to build it, shape it and hurdle it at us. Maybe I was expecting The Stand and instead got 900 pages of fairly predictable small town characters at odds with each other and 200 pages of a rather anticlimactic, unimaginative explanation of why the dome is there. King doesn't seem to be writing in his genre here, in fact at times it didn't even seem as if it was his writing. Maybe there's a reason this novel took so long to bring to completion. It just wasn't meant to be.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Stephen King returns with a book that is good in most rights, but falls short in some

    Stephen King is one of my favorite writers, specifically because of books like Under the Dome, in which he creates a town of people, a town of characters, and then has them fight against each other and join forces against a common foe.

    This book is fairly slow. It spends about sixty or seventy pages explaining all the deaths that happen when the Dome falls, then spends another thousand explaining what happens after. The book takes place within a week, and there is a lot of talking and characterization taking place between each more exciting and memorable scene. The characters are surprisingly deep in some respects, but a lot of them just sound the same and feel the same. All the cops hired on after the Dome falls for instance just feel like two dimensional characters, not characters I can really care for when they get hurt.

    The plot is not the biggest selling point, but it is pretty good. I mentioned before there were quite a few memorable scenes, and there are. It has many violent, bloody action scenes that leave an imprint in your mind. It is especially scary when you learn about some of the characters and can tack their personalities and actions on top of someone you know. How realistic the characters are and how they react to everything is amazing, and King's ability to create horrible situations and realistic reactions to them is rarely found in many novels.

    The whole story of "Put some people away from civilization" has been played out in books such as Battle Royal and Lord of Flies, but never to the degree of this.

    The ending is what really makes it lose a couple points. I didn't particularly like it. Sure the story is resolved and everything is over, but the execution and how it was done (no spoiler here) didn't feel right. I guess I kind of understand what it was getting at and the message, but I was hoping for a much better explanation of the events happening.

    I just want to address some other things about the book. Stephen King has always been raunchy and disgusting, but this book really shows this. Characters get raped, have sex with dead bodies, have illusions of two dead chicks having sex. It is full of disgusting things that really might churn the stomachs of some people, but it does show that a lot of bad things will happen when there is not law to interfere outside the dome and the only law is inside.

    I have a couple problems with the book, but any book I can read in five days that is as lengthy as this definitely deserves praise. It is a pretty good read, and while not the best King book ever, I personally think is the best one of the latest decade.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2009

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    Ultimately Flawed

    Under the Dome is a great effort from Stephen King, but it is ultimately flawed by two things.
    First is King's unfortunate need to engage in political sermonizing made worse by it falling flat repeatedly due to ironic inversions of intent and action.
    Second is the rather thoroughly anti-climatic climax. The concept behind it is poorly developed, and indeed often lost with alternative effects showing up, to the point of becoming a casual deus ex machina at the end.
    One hopes that the those two are not intertwined, and that King forgot to develop the real plot during bouts of failed sermonizing, as it bodes poorly for future efforts from him if he repeats such in the future.
    If you can get past his attempted sermonizing and accept that the book has no satisfying end, then the other 950 or so pages are excellent examples of the craft, much as he displayed in The Stand.
    Maybe in his next book he will remember that he is a horror writer and not a political talking head.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2009

    Second Greatest Novel

    I believe that Under The Dome will be Stephen King's greatest work since The Stand because it deals with true horror and that is the darkest nature of people in captivity.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Bravo!

    The entire time I was reading this book I kept telling my friends and family that it would make an excellent mini series. Then, I saw the previews on Super Bowl Sunday!! I can't wait! This is, by far, the best King has written. I have been a fan of his since I was old enough to be allowed to read them :-) The story has it all...drama, romance, suspense, mystery, crime...the list goes on. How he managed to work them all together in one story is sheer genius! Read it...you will not be disappointed!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    Be afraid..you may discover someone you don't like...and that someone may be YOU!

    Stephen King is the master of suspense, starting with "Do I have time to read this monstrous volume?" Like most of his novels once, you start reading; it is hard to put down. So don't worry the tale goes quickly as King develops his characters and the idiosyncrasies of small town life.
    The suspense provided by "Under the Dome" comes more from a personal point than the storyline itself. Though you are always wondering what comes next, this book, more than any of his other makes you look inside of yourself and question your biases and prejudice's. How would you handle the situation these people are in and which character would most react like? What events in your life have made you less than proud of who you are?
    I have been hooked on Stephen King since I read "Salem's Lot" cover to cover during a Midwestern thunderstorm locked in a closet because I was too afraid of what was happening outside. His style of writing has evolved to now I am not afraid of what's happening outside but rather what's happening inside.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    I'll be first in line....mail order takes too long.

    One thousand eighty eight pages of Stephen King! It doesn't get any better than that. I am greatly looking forward to this book. I will be at the store waiting for it to open.

    The fact that Mr. King kept picking up the original of this book over the years and re-editing it; makes me believe that it will be every bit as amazing as The Stand. His writing just get better and better over the years. (although I didn't think that was possible).

    On another note, this book was floating around Mr. Kings mind years before the Simpsons Movie.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2010

    WHAT A SNOOZER!

    I've been reading King since his early days of Salems Lot, Carrie and The Shining. This one definitely isn't up to his standards. While the concept of a dome descending over a small town is unique and interesting, the stereotypical characters and their horrendous dialog in this novel are appalling. I finished the book but had to slog through it do do so....wasn't worth the investment of 800+ pages on my nook e-reader.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2010

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    Left me wanting more.

    Being a huge Stephen King fan, this book was highly anticipated. When I got it for Christmas, I couldn't wait to finish the book I was reading in order to start this. From the beginning, I was captured by the rich depth of the characters and of course, the little surprises left by King. I enjoyed being able to pick up the book and get involved in the lives of these people, even though the concept of the book to me was scary, if only because it reminded me of a certain animated movie. The length did not bother me, in fact I fel that the story could have been a bit more lengthy. The idea ended up being very interesting and I got very excited as I continued. Then, I got to the end and was disappointed. I knew where he was going with the story, but I expected more depth, more detail and more of the original King disturbia.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    King has still got it

    A master of weaving terror. King goes more to his roots in this novel tingling the brain with horror in a very profound way.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    He's Baaaaack

    WOW, what a read. What a page turner. Could not put this down. I nearly spent every waking minute for 4 straight days "Under the Dome". I'm a huge King fan but he kind of lost me with Lisey's Story and Duma Key. Well, he is back with a vengence. Words like thrilling, epic, dark, and apocalyptic come to mind when I think about Under the Dome. This book rocks! It left me in a state of shock and awe, not to mention exhaustion. The book must weigh 8 lbs. I know people will say it is unoriginal, a rip off of twilight zone or other novels about a small town that's completely cut off from the outside world. But nobody, and I mean nobody, does it better than King. His best novel in years.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    ?

    I picked up a copy of Under the Dome when I heard about the television series that would be coming out two weeks prior. I figured I would try to finish this monster of a book so I can watch the series without spoilers. However this was not the case and got about halfway done when the show started, but decided to watch it nonetheless. Even though the show shares the same title and idea, it had little of the story line told by the novel. This, however, did not stop me from finishing my reading as I was already too enthralled, and slightly appaled, by the small town of Chesters Mill and the characters it inhabited. I found myself reading well past 2 AM just utterly shocked by what was occuring inside the dome, and while it was what started all the chaos, it had relatively little to do with most of the towns problems. For this you can put the blame on the second selectman Big Jim Rennie, the novels main antagonist. Now although every story needs a good bad guy, I often found myself so frustrated by this character that I would wind up putting the book down and stop reading for the night. This, and partially the ending although I'll get back to that later, is the reason this is not a five star novel. All the same, the good guys of Chester Mill were so likable and completely opposite of their opposers I would often cheer them on and, much too occasionally, mourn their deaths. There were no 'slow' parts of this novel which any reader of King prepares themselves before jumping into one of his books, especially one of over a thousand pages! but I just felt it was too long to take place in a period of less than a week. Despite this being said I would absolutely not take any parts out of this novel for they all play there own important role. Now for the ending...While I did not HATE this part, I do wish Stephen King found a better way to lift the dome, the way he did it just felt too lackadaisical and rushed for a novel of this size (I mean seriously around three pages?) But I suppose being an avid King reader sometimes requires a preparation for such things and I beleive more often than not he delivers. With this being said, while the very ending was just not quite satisfying, the hundred or so pages before were so thrilling and intense I was practically racing through the pages. THAT was King at his best and it made up for anything I wasnt quite sure I agreed within the story. Although this novel was not by any means a disappointment, I do NOT suggest this for a first time reader of this author mainly as the size can be very overwhelming, especially if you're unfamiliar with his writing style. Maybe once you have read a few simpilar works and adapt to King's story telling, than you can conquer Under the Dome. Some good ones to start with are Carrie or perhaps 'Salems Lot (my personel favorite) or even a few short stories like The Mist will do. I'm getting besides the point now, but if you are familiar with King and have enjoyed his other works, than I definitely reccomend this novel and am sure you will not be disappointed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    How did they do that? How does he do that?

    Stephen King writes some very long novels. The Stand was great-the extended version felt a little disjointed, but I couldn't put it down. Dreamcatcher seemed a bit like two stories, one of which I loved more than the other (I really liked the film). Duma Key is fantastic-still intriguing long after the book's been put back on the shelf. And Under the Dome, which I've just read-well, I'm sorry I'm not still reading it. Despite its weight (too heavy to carry round the house) and size (too big to take to the airport while picking up my Mum), I could scarcely put it down.

    Under the Dome has a huge cast of characters-a whole neighborhood, plus assorted hangers-on, passers-through, cops and politicians and military types. It's told through shimmering points of view-this chapter here, this chapter there. And the character introductions are perfectly done. I found myself reading with delight, then wondering afterwards, how did he do that? And, since I'm trying to edit my own multiple-point-of-view novel, I then found myself re-reading to see if I could answer, how did he do that?

    Stephen King is a master at slow revelation. A character inspires sympathy. We see him through the eyes of a friend, through his own eyes, through the eyes of a stranger. and slowly we see why he shouldn't be inspiring such sympathy after all. Another seems like a nobody then quietly, reluctantly, reveals his hidden depths. Young and old have the power to lead, surprise, and confuse. And the writing glides chapter by chapter through switching points of view, setting up scene and explanation to constantly intrigue.

    The set-up is great. A dome; a community sealed off from the world-of course, it inspires the question, how on earth will the author explain this? But he does, successfully, with hints and images quietly pointing the way.

    A Lee Child quote on the cover declares, "The best yet from the best ever." I think I agree. Under the Dome is a masterful novel, well-crafted, well-plotted, with fantastic characters, intriguing concepts, curious depths, and the power to leave your wondering, What if? I really enjoyed it.



    Disclosure: My husband bought me this for my birthday. He has good taste.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2010

    Horrible

    I could not bring myself to finish the book. Stephen King obvously has problems with religion. And the reason for the dome? Please. So disappointing...

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2010

    If you like gratuitous profanity and gore

    King had an imaginative main idea with the Dome- but why he has to fill it with needless profanity and sex - which just detracted from what could have been a great story, is a mystery.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2010

    WOW - What a Great Story!

    I took a break from SK when he went all alien for a while. Then I got sucked in again with "Cell" and "Lisey's Story." Really enjoyed both of them.

    Downloaded "Under the Dome" on my nook, and it took a while to read. The first half was interesting, good story and all. Then all of a sudden the second half just took off. I could not put it down. The last 200 pages were read in one sitting.

    Typical SK with a so-so ending. He wrapped it up with an answer to the Dome, but it wasn't great. But he kept the story going right up until the end, and that made it worthwhile.

    Very high on my favorite book list, somewhere just below "The Stand."

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Read But...

    As a Stephen King fan myself I found this to be one of his best books in the past couple of years, which I'm sorry to say isn't saying that much. He really has a way with characters that I envy. Yet I found that I knew quite a lot of what those characters were going to do next. As a republican I object to some of his comments in the books and would recommend to leave your feelings out of your books if you want people to continue to read your writing. Luckily there were only a few comments and they weren't offensive enough for me to quite reading. I would say that it is a lot longer than it needed to be, he could have cut it down to 800 pages without losing any of the story. Despite the length of the book it still read surprisingly fast. Over all I would say that the reason for the dome was a let down. I would recommend this book to other Stephen King fans who are looking for a character driven story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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