It took me way longer than I’d like to admit to read this book. A whole month. I could have read so many books in a month! I did love every moment of this book, though. Other than the fact that it was extremely heavy to carry around in all my classes.
School+1074 pages= slow reading and stronger arms
This was my first Stephen King book, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it. For one, he is known to be the king of creepy and suspenseful books, and I’ve never even seen a scary movie! I had to mentally prepare before reading this book. Luckily, it wasn’t as frightening as I expected.
I’m going to start out by saying, no, I have not seen the show. I watched the first episode and thought, wow that looks really good, and never
went back to watch another one. It’s mainly due to the fact I never watch TV. Usually, I attempt to keep myself busy at all times, whether it be reading, school, clubs, friends, etc… That leaves no room for television!!
Looking back, I realize I didn’t get the whole “under a dome” concept. I just figured they would have to resort back to simpler times in growing food and having no electricity. Sure, they were going to fight over food and kill each other over time and that 1074 pages was more than enough time to illustrate the scenario.
The story happened in the span of a week and everyone died in that time. Well, not everyone. But you get my point.
One week was enough to drive countless people into killing themselves, killing others, causing riots, and generally freaking out. One. Week. Nobody seemed to even really prepare! If it were me, I would be stocking up on food, preserving propane, and trying with all my might to find the cause of the mysterious dome. It was laughable how in the beginning of the book people just assumed the dome would disappear as quickly as it came. Well, it actually did come down fairly fast, but only after the causalities were too many to count.
Stephen King was killing people left and right. No one was spared in his brutal depiction of a town trapped like zoo animals. Suicides were on every other page! I thought that was a little ridiculous. For instance, one couple killed themselves for no apparent reason. They didn’t have any family die or traumatic event or anything. Just “hey, honey, let’s soak in the hot tube then overdose tonight, shall we?” A little melodramatic. But then again, I’ve never been trapped under a dome with no known origin.
Another thing I didn’t completely grasp until I read the book: the dome was a semi-permeable membrane that only let little amounts of air and water pass through, which turned out to be the real problem. Between cars, cigarettes, generators, fire, and breathing, the residents of Chester’s Mill wouldn’t have been able to survive for long.
The book was exquisitely written and was obviously well thought out. The metaphorical aspects of the dome became blatantly obvious towards the end of the story, and may cause people to rethink some of their childhood– and adulthood– choices. English teachers would go crazy at the prospect of analyzing the allegory in Under the Dome. Also, there didn’t seem to be any holes in the plot. All the technological points of the barrier made complete sense and he didn’t skip out on explaining anything. I never had a moment where I thought, well, why don’t they just do this? The characters tried all the usual, and some unusual, ways to break free of the restraint. The air quality and propane amount and food supply seemed accurate as well. On the other hand, I am only a sophomore in high school and science was never my strong suite. Some other scientific genius may find a hole in the technicalities of the dome, but it was brilliant to me.
The suspense was killer throughout the book. It was the mysterious dome that tied me in tightly to finishing the novel. Also, there was never a dull moment. There was always plotting and planning or “battle” scenes. You were constantly at the edge of your seat. Since the reader followed all characters, you always knew what was going on. The exciting part was watching to see how the other people reacted or solved the problem. The creepy moments that dotted the plot kept you worried and nervous, but the resourcefulness of the characters made sure you never gave up hope for them. This book had the potential to be a sob story, but it was more of a survival story. Even considering that, I still shed tears in some parts for the particularly devastating events that happened to my favorite characters.
The characters. Oh so many characters! I had trouble keeping up with them all, even with the chart of the main people in the beginning of the book. There were
nicknames and minor characters and main characters and mentioned characters. There were dogs and flashback characters and out of the dome characters. It was a complete madhouse. For example, one of the characters was called Rusty. He was sometimes mentioned as Eric, his first name, or just Everett, his last name. The first time someone called him Eric, I thought it was a new character. Another example was Gina and Ginny. Two different people who both worked at the hospital. Until around page 600 I assumed they were the same person. But I would have been a lot more confused if Stephen King hadn’t broken up the chapters the way he did.
Under the Dome was broken up into long chapters with actual titles, like “Ants” or “Survivors.” In these chapters, he had subsections usually numbered from 1 to around 30. Each section was focused on a different group of people. This made all the characters much more organized because you could associate the name with a different cliques.
This novel was a long treacherous climb to the end, but the top of the mountain revealed a beautiful view. Despite the heaviness and the length, I truly enjoyed this book. Now that I have officially completed a Stephen King book, I’ve decided it is high time I read his ever so famous book, The Shining. First, I have to catch up with the rest of my books that have been piling up! And I still have yet to post the book festival adventures. It’ll be coming soon.