‘Under the Dome’ to go to TV

November 23, 2009

On Friday, we heard that Stephen King’s Under the Dome had been optioned by DreamWorks TV as an “event series.” I think the new novel is extremely well-suited to a miniseries format and can’t wait to see how it turns out (if you haven’t seen my review of Under the Dome, it’s here).


Of course, this news can only mean one thing—coming up with casting ideas! I could see Elizabeth Mitchell of “Lost” doing a good job as Julia.

Murphy in 'Batman Begins'

She’s about the right age and could play the role of a relentless reporter without batting an eye.

Actor Cillian Murphy has a talent for being creepy without becoming a caricature (Red Eye, anyone?), so he’d be a great Junior. But at 33, is he too old for the role?

As for Big Jim and Barbie—I’m stumped! And what about the endearing Joe McClatchy and his teen cohorts? Other Under the Dome readers, share your ideas in the comments.

Book price war: sweet or sour?

October 19, 2009

Ford County by John GrishamUnder the Dome by Stephen KingThe Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Depending on how you look at it, last week was a great week for bargain-hunting book buyers or a disheartening one for authors, booksellers and publishers.

Wal-Mart and Amazon have engaged in a price war for the holiday season’s hardcover bestsellers.

On Thursday, Wal-Mart announced that it would pre-sell 10 hardcovers for $10. Amazon matched the price on the same day, then Friday Wal-Mart lowered to $9 – then again to $8.99 (where the price currently stands).

The price of Stephen King’s Under the Dome is a whopping 74% off the $35 cover price. Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna can be bought for a 67% discount. Wal-Mart also offers free shipping for the 10 titles on their list.

In the New York Times, John Grisham’s agent David Gernert expressed his concerns with the low prices:

If readers come to believe that the value of a new book is $10, publishing as we know it is over. If you can buy Stephen King’s new novel or John Grisham’s Ford County for $10, why would you buy a brilliant first novel for $25? I think we underestimate the effect to which extremely discounted best sellers take the consumer’s attention away from emerging writers.

What do The Book Case readers think of the price war? Will you be ordering multiple copies of The Lacuna to give away as gifts, or do you plan on sticking to your local bookseller for a more memorable book-buying experience? Do price cuts like the ones offered by Wal-Mart and Amazon encourage you to buy more books? Would you rather buy a $9 hardcover or a $9.99 e-book?

Son of King

October 12, 2009

horns5-copy1While the anticipation grows for Stephen King’s Under the Dome, buzz is also building for the latest project from his son, who writes as Joe Hill. Hill’s debut, Heart-Shaped Box, was an uber-creepy tale of a haunted rock star that demonstrated that a talent for tapping into the dark side of human nature just might be genetic.

In February, Morrow will publish Hill’s second novel, Horns, a book the author describes as “another heart-warmer.” It’s already been optioned for film by Mandalay entertainment. The premise: a man wakes up after a wild night to find horns growing out of his head—and like Pinocchio’s nose, they keep growing every day. Turns out his girlfriend’s murder might have something to do with his strange condition.

Like King’s Under the Dome, Horns will also be released (in the UK, at least) in a limited edition by PS Publishing. The limited edition of 500 will include art by Vincent Chong and be signed by the author. Full details on the special edition can be found here.

What do you think of this special edition trend? Are there any books you’d like to have a $300 deluxe version of?

“Under the Dome” cover is here

October 5, 2009

A couple weeks 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 period.

Well, King fans can rejoice because  the wait is over; Scribner released the complete cover image today:


According to King’s publisher:

“The jacket concept for Under the Dome originated as an ambitious idea from the mind of Stephen King. The artwork is a combination of photographs, illustration, and a 3-D rendering. This is a departure form the direction of King’s most recent, illustrated covers.”

Thoughts on the cover? No doubt Scribner wanted something spectacular to pair with King’s 1,088-page novel.  In May, Abby posted about the plot of Under the Dome: “Featuring more than 100 characters facing a menacing supernatural element in their small Maine town, early reads are comparing Under the Dome to King’s classic epic, The Stand.”

Click here for a listing of BookPage’s Stephen King coverage through the years, and happy reading on Nov. 10 — when Under the Dome hits bookstores!

Stephen King’s return: cover revealed

September 23, 2009

there will be a $75 collectors edition of Under the DomeWhile embargoes and strictly enforced publication dates are nothing new in the book world, Stephen King is trying something a little less common to generate excitement about his next novel, Under the Dome (which I gave a sneak preview of here). Note the “cover to be unveiled” notation on the current jacket. They weren’t kidding. The actual cover for Under the Dome is going to be revealed in four stages over the next two weeks. The first element was released on Monday by Scribner and can be found here.

Scribner art director Rex Bonomelli says they found just the right designers to bring Chester’s Mill to life on the cover: artists who had previously worked in commercial advertising. Watch their page for two more reveals on Sept. 25 and Sept. 28, culminating with the release of the One True Cover on October 5.

Early Word traced the origins of the “cover release” as a publishing event in a post today (the Harry Potter franchise was the first to blaze this particular trail, I think), wondering if the whole thing is just “silly.” I suppose the announcement got Under the Dome another blog post or two…but overall it’s the inside that counts for me.

Do you think this is a successful strategy for building excitement?

Getting into ‘Under the Dome’

August 12, 2009
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).

Read the rest of this entry »

Stephen King’s most ambitious work yet

May 20, 2009

Legions of Stephen King fans are in for a treat November 10th, when Scribner will release Under the Dome—an 1,136 page “tour de force” from the master storyteller.

From the Scribner catalog:dome
“On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if—it will go away.”

Featuring more than 100 characters facing a menacing supernatural element in their small Maine town, early reads are comparing Under the Dome to King’s classic epic, The Stand. We haven’t gotten an advanced copy yet, but I’m certainly on the look out!

What is your favorite Stephen King novel?