Under The Dome by Stephen King

So. The Dome. To his literal readers, the Dome which King created could be likened to an invisible shield covering Chester’s Mill which when rapped with one’s fingers resonates with the same sound one would hear when rapping on an upside down Pyrex bowl.

Or, it could be a symbol for anything which traps a community, a people, a nation. It could be, for example, a dictatorship. Poverty. Prejudice. Sin. (I realize I’m taking it to an esoteric level here, but listen; I could never be content with an interpretation of the Dome as some bowl from my kitchen. Besides, I don’t even own anything made of Pyrex.)

The people under the Dome are trapped. They are caught with limited resources, an evil selectman who longs for power, and their own base tendencies. For some, this means resorting to suicide. Others will turn to violence. Only a few emerge as true leaders who are capable of thinking of others, finding a solution, exercising extreme courage and brilliance in solving the problem.

When I was a little girl, I remember lying in bed at night and thinking, “What if…? What if our world is not the only world? What if I am only one small child in some small corner of an endless array of planets? What if I’m not nearly as important, if no one I know is really as important, as we all suppose we are? And, what if we are at the mercy of an even greater world which spins much more powerfully than our own?” I can’t explain how helpless, how insignificant, I felt when I mentally meandered down that path. But, it’s a place that King takes us, and in so doing causes us to consider the power of kindness. Not doing wrong to one another. Or, at the very least, taking pity.

At the end of the day? I’m glad I read this book. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, you’ll probably love this book.

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20 thoughts on “Under The Dome by Stephen King

  1. I am a fan of a lot of King's stuff. Matt has been trying to get me to read this as he's reading it and really enjoying it! You may have just convinced me :p

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  2. I absolutely loved this book….even as big as it is I just couldn't put it down…not much got done the week I bought it. Don't want to spoil it for anyone who has not read it yet….it actually deserves a second read now that I know the ending…it will certainly put a whole different spin on the story. It was great…very thought provoking actually.

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  3. Glad to know that 'Under the Dome' won you over in the end. I loved your review, and your interpretation of the Dome. I normally avoid Stephen King's mammoth books – and this one at around 1000 pages is one of them – but after reading your review, I want to go and get it and read it. Thanks for this short and beautiful review.

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  4. Glad you weren't disappointed in this one! All in all, I don't consider it King's best, but it's certainly a very solid novel. Personally, I was a bit let down by the ending from a storytelling point of view – it all seemed too easy. But, the beginning and middle of the book, where King turns up the heat and watches the characters react to themselves and each other, that was what made this book special.

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  5. Great review Bellezza! I know that even if I lived under a dome and the world within was amazing I would feel that urge to see and know what was outside the dome. I just would.

    A great book to read now, if you haven't read it, would be We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It is a much more slight book but also deals with living under a dome. It is really good, and terrifying it its own right.

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  6. I'm glad you were able to endure with this one because it sounded like you were gettin' ready to jump ship. It's an interesting metaphor, and I hope to read this book one of these days!

    And today is the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week — and I appreciated you on my blog today. 🙂

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  7. Good to know. I'll read mine if I ever find it. The only King book I've read is The Green Mile. I read half of his book on writing. Just half. Not sure why I stopped.

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  8. Great review, I like the way you think of the Dome not just for the pyrex bowl image but for metaphorical meanings. I loved this book – it really defined about a month of my life when it came out – though what I liked was more how King handled his characters, showing the minor (and major) cruelties people inflict on one another when under stress and, as you put it, who emerges as leaders. Not always the ones we'd expect, than…well, you know, the reason for the Dome. I found what happened once King put the Dome into play more interesting than the idea of the Dome itself.

    Oh, and thanks for the reminder to read some King for the rip challenge. It's been about a year since I've read any of his novels and I'd forgotten how much I love some of them.

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  9. Guess I better move it to my nightstand. I love King's writing, but it's been over four years since I read Dreamcatcher.Two of my other favorites are The Stand and Bag of Bones. It was good, but it scared the daylights out of me, as did The Shining.

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  10. I'm glad you liked this one! I didn't love every little thing in this one (the language and violence weren't exactly to my taste) but I found it quite an addicting read. Once I started it, I knew I'd just HAVE to finish it no matter what direction it went in.

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  11. Becky, the language and the violnce were a bit much for me, too. I don't mind some, I know he had to express the culture as well as the fact that civilization crumbles under evil leadership, but he went a bit far in some instances. Overall, I'm glad I read it, too, and I had to know what one reviewer termed “the nugget of truth at the end.” Now, to me? That nugget of truth is also in the Bible, the other nugget than believe on Him and you shall be saved called, “Can't you people just be kind to one another?”

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  12. I definitely agree with petekarnas in that I actually felt a little let down by the ending, but really think that the brilliance is in the human interaction under the dome – placing an uncurated group of people in a situation of geographic and spatial boundaries, and see what happens. A bit like Lord of the Flies, I think. But I definitely know what you mean about letting your mind wander and finding that feeling of insignificance.

    Great review! Happy reading to you!

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