Took me two days to read this behemoth, of which I am proud, and crowing about. You could say four days—after I got it from the library, I was too shocked at the size of it to read anything for a whole day, and then the second day of reading bled past midnight by a few minutes. But I’m calling it two, if only to give others who are also afraid of 1000+ page books some hope. You can do it!
Let’s just go ahead and call Stephen King the Tolstoy of Horror. He takes dozens of characters and finds a way to balance them out, from the main characters all the way down to those little snapshots of minor characters. King realty does write like what you’re reading is a movie transcript.
Or the Tolstoy of Maine, if you want. Which is to say, I don’t know that I’d call this novel a horror novel. Certainly horror is King’s bailiwick, but then this novel is mostly people dealing with people (you know like what, for example, most zombie or disaster novels are about).
Or even the Tolstoy of King, if you want. (Can you tell I’ve not read much Tolstoy?). He’s written, what, like, 60 novels so far? And even retired a few times? He’s created a universe through his 40+ years of writing, with different icons and bits and pieces running thematically through much of his work. For Stephen King fans, Under The Dome is right where they want to be.
Under The Dome is a mixture of The Tommyknockers, The Regulators/ Desperation, and Needful Things. It’s got bits of It and The Dark Tower and The Talisman / Black House. It will remind you of The Stand. If you want to go out on a limb, you could make that case that Under the Dome does for many other Stephen King novels what The Cabin in the Woods did for many other slasher films. It explains them.
Taken alone, I have to say, though, the novel was a bit thin. The ending a bit of a let down. The plot a bit predictable. The characters a bit one-dimensional. But placed in the King multiverse? Under The Dome is exquisite, essential King.