Beware Of Severed Woodchucks

Under The Dome Book CoverI have been a Stephen King fan since I first read Salem’s Lot when I was 14 years old.  I think that I have read every one of his books, although to be honest, I’m not 100% sure because there are just so damn many of them! ( lists over 1,000 titles)

So, of course, I was ecstatic to get his newest novel Under The Dome for Christmas.  I started it the very next day, December 26th and finished it 2 days later on December 28th.  All 1,074 pages.

Without giving anything away, the story is about a small town (in Maine, of course!) that inexplicably and suddenly finds itself under glass, cut off from the rest of the world.  The story is immediately recognizable as classic King: a large cast of characters, a small town, the struggle between good and evil.  Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying it is predictable.  It’s Stephen King after all, so you know there is something dark and evil lurking in the shadows.  You just don’t know what it is.  You know who the good guys are but King has no problem killing off good guys, and you never know which ones – really, noone is safe.  He’ll kill off women, children, beloved pets.  The Dark Tower series demonstrated perfectly how King will not sacrifice story for a “Hollywood” ending.  You can also be pretty certain that the bad guys get theirs, but you won’t know how until it happens, and even then, you’re not quite sure.  Sometimes, the bad guys get theirs and still come back.

Some of the issues I had with this book:  there were a couple of print errors that did mess me up, only for a few seconds until I realized they were errors, but then my compulsiveness kicked in and they annoyed me like a fly buzzing in your ear even as I turned the page and continued on.  On page 694, 2 women walk into a room…except that one of them is dead.  And on page 974, a key character thinks about his ex-wife Sandy…except her name is Sammy.  Apart from the typos, I admit, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of final confrontation between hero and villain, but the truth is, those kind of confrontations rarely happen in real life so it was more realistic this way – I guess there is a part of me that still wants at least a partial “Hollywood” ending.

More than 25 years and 1,000 titles later, I’m still a fan (although there is still a resounding WTF when I think of The Tommyknockers!)

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