Under the Dome by Stephen King – Book Review

djinn24 reviews Stephen King’s Sci-Fi/Thriller book, Under the Dome, the basis for the upcoming CBS television miniseries by Stephen Spielberg’s DreamWorks Television premiering June 24th, 2013.

The master of character development comes at you again, bringing with him a cast of characters you will love, hate, and despise. ~ The Founding Fields

It’s shortly before 11:44am on Saturday October 21st and Dale “Barbie” Barbara is fleeing the town of Chester’s Mill, Maine because of a conflict with second selectmen’s son, Junior Rennie. An old fat woodchuck is watching him as he walks down the road. Sadly the woodchuck becomes the first causality as the dome comes down and cuts him in half, an act that Dale witnesses shortly before the first human causality is recorded when a plane strikes the dome, killing the pilot and student aboard. Barbie is now trapped in Chester’s Mill in the midst of an absolute crisis. This is exactly what the second selectman, Big Jim Rennie wants as he wrests control of the town away and begins running it like his own little kingdom.

When I first picked up Under the Dome in 2009 I had just started getting into Stephen King’s book. At this point I think I had read parts of the Dark Tower series and one or two of his larger stand alone books. As someone who enjoys Sci-Fi the book seemed as it would be something that I would enjoy by reading the teaser for the book and I was right.  While it is not my favorite book of his, that spot would be held by the immortal IT, I found it to be very enjoyable, though at times, slow read. When I heard that there was going to be a TV mini series coming out I decided it was time to revisit this book for a review.

The second time through was just as enjoyable as the first time. The character development is on par with the rest of his books, in depth, to the point you can almost guess what size underwear the character is wearing. You learn to love or hate the characters in “Under the Dome”. There are several times I wanted to reach into the book and strangle some of the characters. This book is not a horror novel like a majority of Stephen King’s stories, it’s a thriller/sci-fi novel, genres that King seem to be tinkering in more and more in the later books.

I give this book a solid 7/10. The points are lost of the overall slow pacing of the book in points that cause it to bog down. There are also several side stories that are unneeded as well which could have been cut to remove 100+ pages of material. To me the book reminds me of a mix of Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies. If you are a fan of Stephen King and Sci-Fi then I would recommend this book. If you are not a fan of Sci-Fi or thrillers then you might find this book to not be your taste.



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.


djinn24 is a professional miniatures painter, with an equally strong love of books. His reviews are concise and critical. He’s definitely good at what he does.

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