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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Under the Dome: Part One by Stephen King

There's a few reason why I wanted to read this book. First, I attempted to read a library copy of UNDER THE DOME when it first came out as hardcover but because it was so large, I gave up on it because it was so intimidating. I think the publisher did the right choice in reprinting them as two parts when it came to releasing them as paperback. 640 pages is a little less intimidating than 1074. Another reason I wanted to read it is because I'm hooked on the TV series based on the book, and season 2 will be airing in about a week. I figured I would review the books before the new season began in anticipation for the TV show.

Within the first few pages of the book, you immediately realize that despite some similarities, the stories are quite different. Some of the characters are recognizable, but not quite the same, while others are completely different or are non existent in the TV show. Also the woodchuck in the book is replaced by a cow in the TV series. While there's a murder in the beginning of the book, there is one in the book too, but committed by someone else, killing someone else. One thing that is definitely the same is the confusion created by the dome and the tense atmosphere in the small Maine town. People are frightened and when people are scared, they can act defensively or in some cases, can turn aggressive and hungry for power.

The idea of the dome is quite original but the fact that everything goes crazy once people realize what's happening is typical of human nature. A sociopathic cars salesman turned politician, Big Jim Rennie becomes obsessed in controlling everything and holding the power in the small town of Chester's Mill. Everything under the dome turns upside down, and rules of civilization aren't really followed anymore. An Iraq soldier doesn't want to be a hero, but under the circumstances, the town needs one and he is more or less dragged into the role of protagonist. Dale Barbara's military training comes in handy for controlling unique situations and I find it interesting to see his military and analytical thinking coming into play. Julia Shumway, the town's newspaper publisher is another character that takes a leadership role in trying to figure out the mystery of the dome. There are so many different characters that sometimes it's hard to follow, but the book wouldn't be what it is without the town, and the town wouldn't be anything without its townspeople.

Overall, I really enjoyed part one but I must warn you, reader, it's a very slow novel. The first 30 min after the dome hits takes about 100 pages to describe. I guess that's the magic of literacy. It can take so many words to describe a short amount of time. It also allows you to be omnipresent in so many different places all at the same time. The author takes the time to describe what happens to many different characters when the dome hits. The chaos of dome day arrises from the many crashes into the invisible wall, whether it be by plane, car or tractor. If you want a fast read, this is definitely not the book for you, but if you have the time to take it all in, and the concept intrigues you, I say go for it.

This long but detailed thriller is worth it, if you have the time to absorb all the details. Personally I don't read many Stephen King novel because his writing is unique and detailed but now I feel like I should be reading more of his novels, even if they aren't my usual genre. Since it's available, I'm diving right into part two. I don't want to forget any details, especially because there's so many characters to follow. I'm also very happy the new season of the TV show will be airing soon so I can keep comparing the two very different, yet similar stories.

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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