Under the Dome by Stephen King
Hardcover: 1088 pages
From Publisher's Weekly: King's return to supernatural horror is uncomfortably bulky, formidably complex and irresistibly compelling. When the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine, is surrounded by an invisible force field, the people inside must exert themselves to survive. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome's ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, an obscenely sanctimonious local politician and drug lord who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. Opposing him are footloose Iraq veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara, newspaper editor Julia Shumway, a gaggle of teen skateboarders and others who want to solve the riddle of the dome. King handles the huge cast of characters masterfully but ruthlessly, forcing them to live (or not) with the consequences of hasty decisions. Readers will recognize themes and images from King's earlier fiction, and while this novel doesn't have the moral weight of, say, The Stand, nevertheless, it's a nonstop thrill ride as well as a disturbing, moving meditation on our capacity for good and evil.
Famous for writing horror books that contain vampires, ghosts, space aliens, the devil or demonic clowns, King has now given us something that is even more scarier - the human mind. What could be more scary than to have a large group of people confined to one area and shut off from the rest of the world?
The town of Chester's Mill gave me visions of the supermarket from THE MIST, only on a larger scale. Corrupt minds, religious fanatics and a thirst for power are capable of pushing certain people beyond the grip of what is normal. For those of you who thought there could be no one as evil as Randall Flagg (THE STAND), you haven't seen anything until you see 2nd Selectman Jim Rennie. Wrapped up in a religious package with a two-sided agenda, Rennie welcomes the mysterious dome that has enslaved his town. Now he has the opportunity to do the one thing he wants most in the world - control an entire town and have the people worship him as their savior.
Full of political maneuvers and corrupt law enforcement, with a little science fiction thrown in, UNDER THE DOME is a testament to the power of story telling that only King is capable of. Although 'SALEM'S LOT, THE STAND and THE DARK TOWER series will always be my favorite books by the master of horror, this new tome will have a place of honor with my King collection. Worthy of reading more than once, although you may have to fight carpal tunnel syndrome just to hold this book up while reading.
I am, and will always remain, a Constant Reader; and I thank you Mr. King for another great read!