Under The Dome

Posted in Books, Reviews by Suganth on August 18, 2010

At a whopping 1,100-odd pages, Stephen King’s mystery novel is at times tiring but is never boring

Mention Stephen King and at once you think about the horrors, thrillers and mysteries that one of the popular fiction writers of our day has spun out. Under The Dome belongs to the mystery genre but it is also more a take on a society at its wit’s end, which has also been a feature of some of King’s works. It begins with the town of Chester’s Mill getting cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious dome and my mind went to the fairly recent, The Simpsons Movie, which featured a similar plot device (In the foreword, King mentions that he has been toying with this concept since 1976). But unlike the movie, King milks this situation to kill one character after another with remarkable glee, starting with a woodchuck which gets cut into two to spectacular (if one might use the word) disasters of which a cop with a pacemaker getting blown into pieces seems the wildest. King takes almost half the book to set up characters, kill quite a few and play with the local politics. At the same time, he doesn’t miss taking a swing or two at current American politics. Meanwhile, even as the town reels under the crises, the town’s most corrupt politician, an evil incarnate, decides to play up the situation to his advantage. What happens in the end, I will not reveal; what I will is that you’ll never be bored reading through the whopping 1,100-odd pages. And that is a mark of the great storyteller that King is.

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