Getting into ‘Under the Dome’

there will be a $75 collectors edition of Under the Dome

Scribner will publish a $75 collectors edition. They will also sell 1500 signed, limited editions priced at $200.

As a child I stole my mom’s Stephen King novels from her bedside table (nothing like the lure of the forbidden!) and continued to read him through my teens. Over the last few years I’ve been a more sporadic King reader—skipping pretty much everything except Lisey’s Story since Bag of Bones—but when I heard Under the Dome was along the lines of one of my favorites, The Stand, I was ready to dive in.

Then I opened our galley and found out it started on . . . page 73. Oops. Gives a whole new meaning to the term in media res, doesn’t it?

Apparently we were the only unlucky ones, and Scribner got us a complete copy within a week. I’ve been working my way through the book ever since and can say that the Stand comparison is not too much of a stretch. After the jump, more on my impressions of the book so far (no real spoilers or plot details beyond those given in the published summary, but if you don’t want to know anything about this one before you buy, stop here).

Since Under the Dome takes place in a small town sealed off from the world, it lacks the epic feel of The Stand. However, as in The Stand King uses his characters’ predicament to address some major questions about human nature. The Stand asks if humans can avoid repeating their mistakes, and King’s answer is ambiguous. In Under the Dome, the emphasis here is on compassion—or, sparing that, pity. What could force us to feel these emotions for the people we hurt, or see being hurt? What makes us stop seeing people as people, and why? The world watches as the situation in Chester’s Mill goes downhill fast, and then turns away once the novelty of a town sealed off from the rest of the world fades and other news stories take top billing, recalling tragedies like Hurricane Katrina.

Under the Dome also contains signature King moments—images you’ll remember, for better or for worse. And though the cast is huge, the characters manage to stand out as individuals. King fans should definitely mark November 10 on their calendar.

10 Responses to Getting into ‘Under the Dome’

  1. Paula Chase says:

    Consider it marked!!!

  2. WitchyEditor says:

    So excited for this one. I’m a big King fan, but only recently started reading his stuff in chronological order. Just finished Salem’s Lot for the first time. Can’t wait for the release.

  3. rdjahn says:

    I’m looking forward to this one. King might write enormous books, but he’s very good at pulling you through them quickly.

  4. Ti says:

    Someone on Facebook asked what we were all looking forward to as far as Fall reads and I said “Under the Dome”.

    I do not care for the newer King books. I, much like yourself, spent hour upon hour reading his books during my teen years. My ab fave was The Stand and since this one is being compared to it, I am going to give it a shot.

    What I didn’t know, is that Under The Dome has been rewritten by him many, many times before it was published. The article I read said he “struggled” with it. I can see why. The pressure to live up to The Stand must be great.

    • Trisha says:

      It’s definitely closer to his old stuff than the new (at least, the new ones I’ve read). As you said, he’s had it in the back of his mind for 25 years so it makes sense that it would be!

  5. I read that it took King 25 years to write this one. I can’t wait to read it! He’s one of my all-time favorite authors, even when he’s totally grossing me out! I’m counting the days until this one’s release. And I won’t come up for air until it’s finished!

  6. Brett says:

    Anyone here read Duma Key (his previous novel)? I picked it up on a whim to read at the beach and was completely sucked in. It’s vintage King and is probably one of his top 5 books. I really think he’s returned to form.

  7. […] ago, Trisha wrote about the cover release of Stephen King’s latest, Under the Dome (previewed here on our blog). The cover image was “revealed” in four images over a two-week […]

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