Under the Dome by Stephen King

Hodder & Stoughton (hardback), 2009           

877 Pages


It’s a bright Autumn morning in the small town of Chester’s Mill. Claudette Sanders is having a flying lesson and Dale Barbara is hitching a ride out of town. Neither makes it to their intended destinations.

Inexplicably, an invisible barrier has descended over the town. A woodchuck is chopped right in half; a gardener’s hand is severed at the wrist; the plane explodes with sheets of flame spreading to the ground and Dale Barbara, Iraq war vet turned short-order cook, is forced back to turn back into the town he so desperately needed to leave.

As the resident speculate about what has cut them off from the rest of the world, the Army searches for an inside man. ‘Barbie’ is put in charge. But Big Jim Rennie, the man who holds the town in his powerful grip, has other plans. And the Dome could be just the answer to his political prayers.

As food, electricity and water run short and children start to have premonitions of a terrifying Halloween, ‘Barbie’ is forced to take on Big Jim and his renegade supporters. Now time is running out for those living under the Dome. Can they find out what has created it before it’s too late? 


From two thousand feet where Claudette Sanders was taking a flying lesson, the town of Chester’s Mill gleamed in the morning light like something freshly made and just set down. Cars trundled along Main Street, flashing up winks of sun. The steeple of the Congo Church looked sharp enough to pierce the unblemished sky. The sun raced along the surface of Prestile Stream as the Seneca V overflew it, both plane and water cutting the town on the same diagonal course.


First off, I’ve only watched the first season of the TV mini-series and thought it was a load of shit. I have no intention of watching any more. I feel better now that’s off my chest.

This is only my second read through of Under the Dome. I read it the first time in 2009 when it was released. I enjoyed the second read-through a lot more. Under the Dome is very different than other King novels and one of his few attempts at writing sci-fi. I really enjoyed Under the Dome. Sci-fi is not my favourite genre and it takes something special for me to get into a sci-fi novel. I love King’s concept for Under the Dome. I think King does a great job of creating the world of Chester’s Mills when the dome comes down. The actions and reactions of the characters are completely believable in the circumstances. Under the Dome has a huge cast of characters, possibly even larger than his last epic The Stand. I’m impressed by how King manages to handle such a large cast. Every character is fully formed. I thoroughly enjoyed Under the Dome. I really enjoyed reading how conditions got worse and worse and started to spiral out of control. The riot at Food City is the moment when it hits home to people just how bad the situation they are in is. Under the Dome is a compelling read as Barbie and his friends go up against Big Jim and Junior Rennie, both of whom are insane and his supporters. Under the Dome is a huge beast of a novel. I was impressed by the fact my attention was held from the first page until the last. Under the Dome is a well-written, fast paced, gripping epic sci-fi novel.

I just need to read 11.22.63 and I’m finished my Stephen King re-read.





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