Under The Dome: A Novel

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Overview

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if ...

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Under the Dome

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Overview

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442365483
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 6/11/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 244,236
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 5.72 (h) x 2.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3718 )
Rating Distribution

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(1698)

4 Star

(1079)

3 Star

(543)

2 Star

(221)

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(177)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 3732 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    72 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    New Book Old King

    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.

    51 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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.

    43 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    King at his best!

    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!

    38 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a strong King thriller that returns the great horror author to his Stand roots

    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

    31 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2010

    The End Doesn't Justify the Read!

    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.

    27 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2010

    Not his best, but definitely worth reading!

    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.

    24 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book is great!

    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.

    21 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Stephen King does it again . . .

    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.

    20 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    1100 that read like 500

    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.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    Meh.

    Got this book on my nook and read it over the course of the past month. Overall, I was very hooked into the plot and the book until I reached the last 1/4 of the book. The ending that King chose seemed way too far fetched, for even him, but even more frustrating was the fact that it was written as if he was under a 'timeline' to 'pump out another novel'. So much time was spent writing the rest of the book that to leave it with such a weak end note is disappointing. Overall, just Ok.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful Example of Great Stephen King

    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!

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointed

    The last couple of years, I've not read a Stephen King book, because the premises were starting to feel a little too much like "The Lamp Monster". This one had me intrigued, but I'm putting him back on my waste-of-time list. This book could easily have been 1/2 the page volume and probably would have been all the better for it. And to slog my way through all of that only to have the Dome's origins and eventual disappearance be such a let down... I finished it only because I had so much time invested already, but I should have stopped and gone on to something more fulfilling.

    14 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2010

    Too long...too big...too much

    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.

    13 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2009

    Letdown

    Save your time. It starts off great then goes on and on and on to nowhere.

    13 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    Not worth the effort

    Okay, I've read nearly everything this man has written, but I'm tired of his political views rammed home on almost every page. I slogged through over half of this weighty tome before I just read the last few pages and cut out most the rest of the drivel, no surprises at the end and I saved myself alot of boring reading....I won't be reading anything he writes again...same old, same old. There's so much better stuff out there, old Mr. King better get on the bandwagon or he's done for good!

    13 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    King fans rejoice! In my opinion, this is King's return to the writing that so many of his fans fell in love with years 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.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    IS HE REALLY BACK?

    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.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "Village of the Damned" Revisited?

    Chillingly, it seems that King is being driven by an obsession of re-writing ideas as this conjures up images of the 1957 novel "The Midwich Cuckoos" by John Wyndham which, in part, entails a town mysteriously shut off from the world for a brief period of time before chaos ensues; this served as the basis of the classic films "Village of the Damned" and "Children of the Damned." Mix in a dab of the classic 1960 "Twilight Zone" episode "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" concerning an isolated town and the city folk there and you've got a receipe of a re-hash. It is a shame but not a surprise that the once horrormeister is at this once again - "The Mist" borrowed liberally from James Herbert's 1975 novel "The Fog" and John Carpenter's 1980 movie "The Fog" though Herbert's book and Carpenter's film were unrelated. It's scary when a once great writer such as King is unable to uplug the wordprocess and walk away from the craft and genre he once dominated without soiling it by rewriting already successful works.

    12 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Review of "Under the Dome" by Stephen King

    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.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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