Under the Dome by Stephen King
My rating: 3/5 cats
in brief, because i am about to start my first day of readers advisory class (yay!) and i have to prepare mentally for the schoolplace after the long break, plus i’m not really in the mood to write this review what with salinger and all casting a pall over my day, but book report compulsion gets the best of me, so.
this book … whole lotta length, not much depth. and as any lady will tell you…etc etc… i don’t have a problem with stephen king. i stopped reading him when i was a teenager not because i felt “better” than him or was too snobby for mass market fiction, but because gerald’s game was so so so laughably bad that i could not carry on. oh, god even thinking about it now makes me chuckle a little bit. go, read it – it is dreadful. but the stand i think is a bunch of fun, and i have read that one a number of times. king is also the only author to terrify me to this day with a story i read when i was about 7 or 8 on my way to the fair (yeah, i know, but what better to read trapped in a car on the way to some fair?) and even thinking about it now (the boogeyman) gives me delicious shivers.
this one started off pretty good – engaging plot, fast-paced, numerous characters to keep straight in the head. but then…it just goes nowhere while going everywhere, you know? much of it seems tacked-on, in a way. he attempts to give the characters more dimensions than they deserve and he somehow fails to follow through with this promise. by trying to complicate them, he makes their shallowness stand out even more. bad guys melt in the face of abandoned children, good guys have secret shady pasts… but i’m not buying it.
all the action takes place in about a week, even though this thing is the size of the bible (which is much more willing to sacrifice some details in the interest of economy; learn from god, s.k; we like a little mystery….) i am a huge fan of the “aftermath” novel, but i think i prefer a little more time to have passed before the story begins… when we had the blackout here in nyc, and we allll had to walk home to our respective boroughs, vendors were handing out bottled water along the way and the atmosphere was actually kind of fun. if this had lasted longer than it did, those vendors would probably be huddled in their bodegas, guarding their chips and gum like gold… and that’s when it gets interesting. it’s true there is some bad behavior in this book. some hugely antisocial behavior. but no one seems panic-stricken, until provoked. come on, maine, act like survivors!! stop making pancakes for everyone and hoard some shit.
there are cool moments – how the dome affects pacemakers is pretty awesome, there is some nice description in places of sunsets, meteors, nightgowns – also a shout-out to librarians (smart stephen king, smart…) and i like it when authors name-drop themselves in their books. if stephen king were on goodreads.com he would be a total votewhore, say these two facts.
the resolution is just awful. truly. i was hoping for something really cool, or at least plausible/comprehensible. it was like the happening in my epic disappointment, only this took longer than 2 hours to get through. ON MY VACATION!
i am scattered right now – i will probably tidy up my thinking on this book later, but i wanted to get a start while it was mostly fresh in my head. it was overlong, and i hated the ending, but fun enough for me to not hate it overall. but i have no desire to reread it ever, the way i did with the stand, several times over. schooltime now!
okay – school is over – i had one other thing to say I AM NOT FLOATING!! but here is the good librarian comment: “who better to recruit than a librarian when you’re dealing with a fledgling dictatorship?” yes sir!
but so this is about language, and i might be nitpicking a huge book’s tiny problem, but while i love (and will in the future use) king’s word “joyshit,” it troubles me that he uses “debark” instead of “disembark,” which is just more elegant and honestly, i have never heard the word “debark,” and i thought he made it up. he hadn’t. and also, he should know the difference between “unbelievingly” and “disbelievingly.” just things that stuck out in my jerky mind that i felt would be exciting to share. was it?