I have never read a Stephen King book; outside of The Bible I have never even tried to read anything over a 1,000 pages. However neither of these things stopped me when I undertook the 1000+ page (34 1/2 hour audio book) thriller from Stephen King that looks at life in a small town after a dome is placed around the town lines. The book opens up at a snails pace introducing all of the characters, slowly building up their back stories and then continues once the dome covers this town. I have to admit I started this book around six months ago, got a few hours in and gave up. Read a few other books and decided to come back to it and give it a go. So I listened through the first few hours of the book twice, but the second time I got hooked. Once the introductions are taken care of and the dome comes down the book takes off. I am a big fan of movies/books that are based upon Apocalyptic settings. If you read my review of One Second After a book about a town after an EMP you can see that Under the Dome was going up against pretty stiff competition. What is so engaging about this book is the human instinct that overtakes the whole town. Literally the town of Chesters Mill goes from a small hick town to a Nazi regime in the matter of days.
There is a lot of metaphors used throughout the novel that really ring true to the history of the world and how fragile it really is. The slight hitch in normalcy can literally transform the world around you. Although I understand that if everyone got along and worked for the common good it wouldn't make for an interesting read, but a lot of the scare tactics that the leadership of this town use are very similar that of many evil nations over the years. The book portrays this "us vs. the world" and you are either with us or against us and how quickly friends and family can become enemies. Although there is no doubt that the book could have been shorter, the amount of detail into the characters lives truly made you feel like you were part of the story. Without giving away the ending, I will say that it is not all sunshine and rainbows and really holds true to the core flow of the novel. Having spent over a day and half listening to this book I can say without a doubt that if you like these kind of novels then you have to give this a listen. There are some very mature themes (some I think he took a bit over the top) but I would say for the average adult this book does raise some interesting debate.