Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Under the Dome by Stephen King

image from LibraryThing
This is the first Stephen King book I've read. I HATE horror and tension in books and movies - so I have stayed far away.  Then I caught just a part of one episode of this on TV and thought it looked intriguing.

As soon as I started reading I was hooked.  It is the kind of book I really enjoy - tons of story lines criss-crossing and weaving to create a story.  I kept waiting for the tension and gore and all that I hated.  But, when it came I was so deeply invested in the story that I just kept reading.

The story is a week in the life of a small Maine town after a dome has fallen cutting it off from the world. Life inside the dome could have been fine - but the town is run by Big Jim Rennie - a megomaniac leader who believes that he can do anything in the name of Christianity and National pride.  He runs over anyone who tries to actually improve the town because he was not the one to plan it. And he does have a plan - to line his pockets with money from his hidden industry - one that is completely and totally illegal  - and needs the towns resources to make it work.

The other main character is Barbie - a retired Marine, drifter and short order cook who was on his way out of town when the dome came down. Barbie was leaving town after a run in with Big Jim's completely insane son, Junior and his croonies.  Then the dome came down. Barbie is the voice of reason and reality so of course he is Big Jim's arch enemy. It doesn't help that Barbie's connections on the other side of the dome have delivered a letter from the President naming him the leader of the town.
This is a story of what could happen and what doesn't need to happen.

But that is what is happening inside the dome.  But there is also the story of the dome itself...That is a story of the potential of cruelty and callousness of all of us.

It isn't all grim. There are moments of great love and caring.  There are people who are willing to give up everything for the good of others.

And that is what makes a great story - the good and the bad in all of us and how it comes together.

Wow!  King can tell  a story!

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