Sunday, March 06, 2011
Under the Dome by Stephen King (audio)
Protagonist: Dale Barbara (and others)
Setting: Chester’s Mill, Maine
At 11:44 a.m. on a beautiful Autumn day, an invisible dome clamps down over the town of Chester’s Mill, cutting it off from the rest of the country. Law and order in the small town rapidly deteriorates, with police and town officials being the first lawbreakers. And we know something -- just not what -- is going to happen on or near Halloween. Diner chef Dale Barbara, who has a shadowy past with the military, is put in charge by the “outside” -- the president and military officials. But town officials aren’t going to give up control that easily, and Dale’s very life is in danger.
This is vintage King, with great characters, including the out-of-his-mind killer and children with premonitions. In essence, it's a novel about good versus evil. And the things that spring from King’s mind -- well, no one else can write like him. It is a massive piece of work (30 audio CDs), and I do think this could have been cut down -- very much so. But King keeps us hooked, as we wonder who will survive and who won’t. On audiobook, Raul Esparza narrates wonderfully, really creeping us out at times. A tip for audiobook users: there’s a map in the print book; you can get it online at amazon.com.