Under The Dome: A Novel

Under The Dome: A Novel

3.9 674
by Stephen King, Raul Esparza
     
 

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In Stephen King's mesmerizing new novel, a Maine town is subject to the imposition of an impenetrable dome that isolates its citizens from the world.
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Overview

In Stephen King's mesmerizing new novel, a Maine town is subject to the imposition of an impenetrable dome that isolates its citizens from the world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Propulsively intriguing... Staggeringly addictive." — USA Today

"Tight and energetic from start to finish... Hard as this thing is to hoist, it's even harder to put down." — New York Times

"The work of a master storyteller having a whole lot of fun." — Los Angeles Times

"King returns to his glory days of The Stand." — New York Daily News

"A wildly entertaining trip." — People (3.5 stars)

"Under the Dome moves so fast and grips the reader so tightly that it's practically incapacitating." — Newsday

"Stephen King's Under the Dome was one of my favourite books of the year so far." — Neil Gaiman

"Dome is classic King, sure to please any fan." — Baltimore Sun

"Spellbinding." — ABCnews.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442365483
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
30
Sales rank:
297,237
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 5.72(h) x 2.56(d)

Meet the Author

Raúl Esparza starred on Broadway in The Homecoming, Company (Tony nom., Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Award), Taboo (Drama Desk Award), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Cabaret. On television he had a recurring role on the ABC series Pushing Daisies. His film credits include Sydney Lumet's FInd Me Guilty.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Bangor, Maine
Date of Birth:
September 21, 1947
Place of Birth:
Portland, Maine
Education:
B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
Website:
http://www.stephenking.com

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Under the Dome 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 674 reviews.
Freekman993 More than 1 year ago
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.
Encharion More than 1 year ago
I'll be honest. I haven't been a fan of King's last couple of novels. With the exception of, "Just After Sunset". His books have been slow at best. This is not true with "Under The Dome" I too got the chance to read the advance copy and I loved every page of this lavish tome. The wealth of characters and plot balance perfectly between way too many people to keep track of and too few to hold your attention. Those of you skeptics who look at the page size and think of how long winded King can be, this is not that book. It needs to be this size, and I will tell you right now it is worth every minute you spend with it on your lap. The only bad thing to say about his newest book is if you leave it sitting on your legs, they may fall asleep-but you'll be too enthralled to notice anyway.
delcobooklover More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy. I was initially concerned by the editorial reviews comparing this to The Stand. As a fan of the author, I have read all his works, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Arguably The Stand is King's greatest stand-alone work, Dark Tower connections not-withstanding, but this is darn close to the top. King catches you from page one, with his description of an apparently ordinary morning in The Mill, which quickly becomes extraordinary. The characters drawn in the story are compelling. He shows us a seemingly ordinary American town, whose underbelly is far darker than anyone can imagine. After the dome falls, the dark core of this town quickly overwhelms the good. Some of the characters are twisted and evil. The good folks of The Mill shine through the breakdown of values and social structure. But just as compelling is the effects on the dome on the normal townsfolk. People who are just like the rest of us, but fall in line with the despot in charge. In a week, a Maine town becomes Germany in the 1930's. There are some 3rd act problems in the book, it is not perfect, but it is an exceptional work. The fantastic aspects of the dome aside, this is a great book dealing with the sociology of human goups in a crisis. Like The Stand, you'll grow to love and hate the characters, but you will keep reading. King is truly a master of character developement. I forced myself to read the book in small portions, because King can turn me into a glutton, devouring his work in hours. It is worth the time to enjoy his writing to its fullest. Can't wait to see the cover!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Chester's Mill, Maine Big Jim Rennie runs the small town through underhanded extortionist politics and illegal drug dealing. His son is a bully throwing his father's influential weight at others. Few overtly counter this pair of leading citizens, but army veteran Dale "Barbie" Barbara and newspaper editor Julia Shumway lead the opposition.--------- Already somewhat isolated due to its location, an invisible dome suddenly falls over the entire remote New England village; dropped by the Overlords who live amongst us and have chosen this place apparently for one of their experiments. Things begin to happen rather quickly starting with the plane crash and the tractor explosion. Nothing can enter or leave. Over a short period of time the infrastructure begins to collapse and survival means enemies teaming up. Some claim this is God's punishment and wait for the Rapture; others believe that Big Jim made a bad deal with his drug overlords, but some like short order cook Barbie insist it is something else. As conditions deteriorates rapidly, the townsfolk fail to unite; instead remain splintered into two major groups led by Big Jim who invokes marital law and Barbie who searches for who and why, and several smaller factions who mostly choose inaction using diverse rationale to defend their position.----------- This is a strong King thriller that returns the great horror author to his Stand roots of good vs. evil. Although somewhat stereotyped characters, fans will not care as morality takes center stage with the cast's differences of opinions negatively impacting survival. Good vs. evil on a bigger stage looks inside as on the smaller platform of Chester's Mill good vs. evil plays out in a reality version of survival.--------------- Harriet Klausner
Micki1223 More than 1 year ago
I am always hardest on Stephen King because I have been reading him since I was about 12 years old, and he is my favorite. As always, he explores his characters, their motivations and histories to further the readers' view of their actions. There are many characters in this book, many who mirror those you will see around you in everyday life, however the numbers keep the histories of each character to more of a minimum than usual for him. This book is long, and each day of the story is detailed. There is a map of the town the story takes place in, as well as a list of the characters. This is helpful. There is not as much suspense as I thought there would be, but he does paint a great setting. The ending is strange, however it does kinda give the reader a sense of how they relate to the world around them. If this is your first Stephen King, take a pass and read a collection of short stories first to get used to his style.
userbinry4n More than 1 year ago
I started to think and worry that maybe Stephen King lost his craft. I thought a lot of his books lately where not so great (maybe since Dark Tower 7). But this book is great! the kind is back, buy it now and read it as soon as you can this book is a great, and it was surprising how fast it goes.
McAusland More than 1 year ago
As I come to page 500 in this wonderful book, I can't put it down because Mr. King has done a great job of piecing out the chapters to manageable and thrilling sections. I don't remember being able to read good size chunks in a sitting in the past but the book paces itself quite nicely and the 1100 some odd pages are moving along. The characters are true King and you look forward to what is in store for them next. As always there is that dark and looming unknown presence in the room but man you just can't wait to get to the next page. My only negative aspect of the book is the book itself....the weight and size is very difficult to hold while reading in bed. I however wouldn't have been able to wait for the electronic version but would advise future readers to go that rout or wait for the paper back. I don't know if it's going to go down as better than The Stand but I would be willing to read the extended version if it ever came out. My last King novel was Just After Sunset and prior to that was at least 10 years ago. I'm not into all of his books and have moved away from the majority of his latest novels but this my friendly reader was well worth the wait.
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
This book was a real page turner. I expected nothing less from Stephen King. He is the master at creating unique characters and usually has a compelling plot for your enjoyment. Under the Dome has both . . . fascinating characters and a plot that keeps you turning the pages as fast as you can. My favorite part of Under the Dome were the lessons that readers can take from this story. We all can learn to be better to others, especially in times of crises. I felt that Mr. King was spot-on in this book with how a society would react if faced with this situation. As for the ending . . . yes I understand how some people are upset with it, but I felt it was just right for the story. Overall, Under the Dome is a great book and a "must-have" for your Stephen King collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book clearly proves that bigger is not always better. King starts out this thriller with a bang and does a decent job introducing characters that could have come from Twilight Zone episodes. Socio-political issues of a small town come to light with good plot twists and this continues to work for two-thirds of the book. However, King gets bogged down with overkill, adding unnecessary details and repetitive plot lines for each character, rather than giving us what we really want: more about the Dome! What really irked me was the ending. I had to read the last few pages three times and am still not sure what he wanted you to think. After nearly 1100 pages, the climax left you dissatisfied and feeling taken. He apparently got tired and wanted a quick resolution. I was tired too. My resolution is to skip his stuff in the future.
PrometheusBW More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of Stephen King book I enjoy reading. 1,000s of pages to establish an epic story and enough thrilling and compelling elements to keep the reader up way past midnight (if you don't know already, the best time to read Stephen King is at night.) I love the similarity of the style to THE STAND, one of my all time favorite books. I am glad King has ventured from his recent carapace of somewhat blander writing. Yippy-ki-yi-yay, mother******, as King would say!
joyflsong More than 1 year ago
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.
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
Going into details would give parts of the story away, but what I will say, is that King's vision of small town life is vivid.so real. Each character is so distinct and different from the other characters. King's portrayal of the town leader, Jim Rennie is so right on the money that when Big Jim speaks, you just want to reach into the book and slap him. He's a typical politician but the mannerisms, the holier than thou attitude.it all leaps off the page. We learn who these people are, we know their insecurities. It's like looking into a window as you walk by a house. We see things that we shouldn't, and although some of the story is a bit predictable, that's okay because in the end, these are folks that we care about. With this book, I see a vulnerability that I haven't seen in a King book in a really long time. Sort of like, he was testing the waters. Not the big-time writer writing up another bestseller, but it was as if he really wanted his "constant readers" to feel good about this one. I do feel good. As grim as the subject matter was, I feel good about reading it because this is the King that I have been missing for a long, long time. One example of this is his inclusion of a character list at the beginning of the book. There are dozens of characters yet I never had to use that list. I knew who each one was and what they were about yet King wanted to make sure of that. I found that interesting. I know that a lot of folks avoid King because some of his writing is pretty graphic. This one has some graphic scenes and a few may cause your gag reflex to go into overdrive, but compared to his other books, I felt this one was pretty mild. It's the "end of the world as we know it" type of violence that is caused by mass hysteria.shootings, rapes, suicides, etc. There is some language too, but not nearly as much as his other works. When people grow desperate, they get ugly. You just have to know this going in.
FlaBookworm More than 1 year ago
I have always been a faithful King reader and fan. However, Cell and Lisey's Story were big disappointments to me. Duma Key slightly rekindled my faith in his work. I am so glad I didn't give up. This was a great read. Not as awesome as The Stand, but it contained that same strong human good vs evil interaction idea. The Chef reminded me of Trash Can Man, and other parts of the story were reminiscent of his past works as well. I just hope he keeps writing in his older style. "Why fix it if it ain't broke?" is what I always say.
sisenhower More than 1 year ago
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.
TheEerieCoterie More than 1 year ago
Okay, let me start off by saying that everyone who knows me knows I adore Stephen King. They also know I think his writing style and characterization are pitch-perfect reflections on real life. Horror aside, no one can make people live and breathe on the page better than King. With that said - here we go! "Under the Dome" breaks new ground when it comes to telling an epic story. Like "It" and "The Stand" it is populated by many, many characters, but the true character that stands out in this tale is the town itself - Chester's Mill. Surrounded by other towns made infamous in other King tales (Tarker's Mill in "Cycle of the Werewolf", TR-90 from "Bag of Bones" and Castle Rock - well, what needs to be said there?) There is a sense of the everyday in the way King descibes the town and its people and on Dome Day, their mettle will be tested severely. I will not mention names on plot developements since the book is not even out yet, but I will say you are in for one hell of a ride. The big question is What is the Dome and what will happen if it doesn't go away? The ending is perfect King, holding you on hooks as you read and read and read this 1,088 page monstrosity. IT IS WORTH IT! As always King plays at poking fun at something that needs to be addresses - in this case the planet. Environmental issues and the like, but he has fun doing it. From the initial set-piece you know King is not about to let you - his Constant Readers - off lightly. Like in "Cell" he takes something we take for granted and gives it a bloody edge. As his books go I place this in my Top 10, but it did not reach my top spot. "Insomnia" still is my all time favorite, despite many people arguing relentlessly with me - that book is just perfect. "Under the Dome" plays on a huge canvas and no one but King could have pulled this off. With it being so long yo would usually get tired or overwhelmed, but you dive in and hold your breath as long as it takes with this one. Hopefully you come back alive. After the initial release of the book I will post a much more precise review on The Eerie Coterie website. It is http://eerie-coterie.blogspot.com.
writebrained More than 1 year ago
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.
veddergirl187 More than 1 year ago
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.
arteaser More than 1 year ago
Stephen King must be getting paid by the word! This book had an interesting premise but it definitely would have improved with some editing. It's about 400 pages too long and that fact alone reduces the thrill factor considerably. If you're a big King fan...wait for the soft cover.
Ratchet573 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In response to dreaminglily, this book is a re-write of an unfinished novel that Stephen King wrote in the 1980's, well before the Simpson's Movie was released, you should really try getting some background info on the book before writing a (rather) negative review, especially since the review you're writing is for a book that won't be released until November.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
can-I-read909 More than 1 year ago
A master of weaving terror. King goes more to his roots in this novel tingling the brain with horror in a very profound way.
bookdude More than 1 year ago
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.
RoniH More than 1 year ago
I just had to see what comes next, what the the madman could come up with next, and so on! I think it is Stephen King's best "people book" ever. The characters step off the page. I have thinking about them all day - I finished the book early this morning - I feel like I have lost some friends. The book presentation was brilliant - the illustrations, the additional cards, the double dust cover. All in all - very impressive. I love Stephen King but I am selective and I know what I like and dislike. THIS IS LIKE AND RECOMMEND.