King returns to form with ‘Dome’

  Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” features more than 50 characters, runs more than 1,000 pages and weighs almost 4 pounds.
  Though that might sound intimidating, this lengthy tome’s a fast read, and in King’s capable hands, the characters are easy enough to follow that readers won’t get lost or confused along the way.
  Life abruptly changes for the folks of Chester’s Mill, Maine, when a mysterious dome appears over the town (depicted on the full dust jacket).
  In a flash, people and animals are cut in half, birds and planes fly into an invisible wall, and the residents and visitors in Chester’s Mill are cut off from the outside world.
  It might not be surprising that it doesn’t take long for the town to go all “Lord of the Flies.” And while the residents’ panic and blind faith in a power-hungry leader are the main plot points, King also delves into the environmental and psychological effects caused by the dome.
  King has long been praised for his ability to juggle a large cast of characters — in that aspect, “Under the Dome” does not disappoint. For such a large book, I was surprised there wasn’t at least one character whose story tired me.
  King also has long been criticized for not being able to bring his stories to a satisfying conclusion — “It” and “Cell” come to mind — and some readers no doubt will have that same reaction to “Dome.”
  However, this Constant Reader enjoyed the novel from beginning to end.
  The plot had me racing through this tree trunk of a book. Though I had the source of the dome figured out fairly early, I didn’t know who would survive — or if anyone would survive — until the end.
  “Dome” surely will bring some straying King fans back to the fold. I like when he gives me a long story I can savor for a while, and “Under the Dome” is one of those books as well as being among King’s better efforts. Even if some readers don’t like the ending, the novel as a whole should keep them entertained.

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