For some ludicrous reason, 2nd week into a new job, I decided that buying a second-hand Stephen King that I hadn’t read before was a good idea. Yes that’s right – all 1024 pages of a Stephen King, I thought that I could quite happily read a couple of chapters and put down.
3 near sleepless nights later, and I was done.
Probably one of the better build ups to any Stephen King book, and feeling quite similar in context to ‘The Stand’ I was done. It was a relief – Stephen King books are stressful. They’re violent, horrifying, have the darkest characters you wouldn’t even be able to imagine in your nightmares, because they’re often the worst side of real people, and scenery that sounds so familiar from sleepless nights in your teens (Castle Rock, Maine) that you can’t bear to put it down.
Several characters (smart kids, slight outcast male, odd yet smart female) with the usual plots that intertwine left and right (like any small town really) make this into a novel like the old style Stephen King.
The Dome is like an invisible forcefield that descends on the town, that noone can get in, or out of. Cue scenes of how you know the dome is there, from pacemakers exploding through to in air accidents and car crashes. Then of course, fancy man of the town has to take over. Cue rage and anger as he puts stupid young people in with guns out to manage and become the police force.
I would be lying if I didn’t say that the style is slightly formulaic, but it was still an incredible read.
I didn’t quite ‘get’ the conclusion – the idea of who causes the dome felt lest realistic than his other novels, but in saying that ‘Needful Things’ was a vampire and ‘It’ was a giant spider (or being the manifestation of all your worst nightmares) nothing is as unreal as that?
The dark side of the town really is dark, and I’m asking myself if I found it believable or not – I’m not really sure. some of it yes, some of it no, but together it amounts to such as sense of impending dread that you cannot stop reading, or at least you can only stop reading when you see it’s light and you’re going to be safe…
I’m not sure if I’ll read it again in a hurry – as always the plots are so spoilt in these books, it’s like you go back to read certain parts and skip the rest, I know I’ve read ‘The Stand’ about 4 times, and I think that’s one of the few books I can read from cover to cover without getting bored or wanting to skip sections.
All and all a great read, while it may not have made me think, it definitely kept me entertained for a few nights…