UNDER THE DOME by Stephen King

I am a long-time fan of Stephen King.  I remember reading  The Shining on a daily train commute, and being astonished every time the train came to the end of its journey that it was still daytime, the world was still normal, and I wasn’t about the be hacked to pieces.  The only other time I can recall be so totally swept away by a story was when I read Lord of the Rings, at age of about eleven or twelve, lying on a beach near Brighton in the height of summer.
   So did Under the Dome have the same effect?  No, not quite.  It’s a good read, though., and seems to mark a shift in King’s style and material.  He is famous for writing out and out horror, much of which has no basis in reality and disbelief has to be willingly suspended in order to make the stories work.  This is different.  Once you get over the idea that a transparent but impenetrable dome suddenly and inexplicably appears to cut off a small town from the rest of the world, what follows is an exposition of human character – those that want to seize control, those that want to oppose a tyranny, those with dreadful secrets to keep – all exposed under the merciless microscope provided by the dome.
   I won’t go into details of the plot, for fear of spoiling it for you.  Suffice it to say that it is many-faceted, keeps the pages turning, and only occasionally slips into the type of horror that made King a household name.  I don’t think it’s the best think King has ever written, but neither is it the worst, and by definition that makes it a whole lot better than many other books.  I recommend it.
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