: Under the dome: a novel (9781439192399) : Cassandra Clare : Books
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Under The Dome: A Novel

by Cassandra Clare
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Export
  • Publishing date: 06/07/2010
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9781439192399
  • ISBN: 1439192391


Amazon Exclusive: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan Reviews Under the Dome

Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan share their enthusiasm for Stephen King's thriller, Under the Dome. This pair of reviewers knows a thing or two about the art of crafting a great thriller. Del Toro is the Oscar-nominated director of international blockbuster films, including Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy. Hogan is the author of several acclaimed novels, including The Standoff and Prince of Thieves, which won the International Association of Crime Writer's Dashiell Hammett Award in 2005. The two recently collaborated to write the bestselling horror novel, The Strain, the first of a proposed trilogy. Read their exclusive Amazon guest review of Under the Dome:

The first thing readers might find scary about Stephen King's Under The Dome is its length. The second is the elaborate town map and list of characters at the front of the book (including "Dogs of Note"), which sometimes portends, you know, heavy lifting. Don't you believe it. Breathless pacing and effortless characterization are the hallmarks of King's best books, and here the writing is immersive, the suspense unrelenting. The pages turn so fast that your hand--or Kindle-clicking thumb--will barely be able to keep up.

You Are Here.

Nobody yarns a “What if?” like Stephen King. Nobody. The implausibility of a dome sealing off an entire city--a motif seen before in pulp magazines and on comic book covers--is given the most elaborate real-life alibi by crafting details, observations, and insights that make us nod silently while we read. Promotional materials reference The Stand in comparison, but we liken Under The Dome more to King's excellent novella, The Mist: another locked-door situation on an epic scale, a tour-de-force in which external stressors bake off the civility of a small town full of dark secrets, exposing souls both very good...and very, very bad.

Yes, "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," but there is so much more this time. The expansion of King’s diorama does not simply take a one-street fable and turn it into a town, but finds new life for old archetypes, making them morally complex and attuned to our world today. It makes them relevant and affecting once again. And the beauty of it all is that the final lesson, the great insight that is gained at the end of this draining journey, is not a righteous 1950’s sermon but an incredibly moving and simple truth. A nugget of wisdom you'll be using as soon as you turn the last page.

This Is Now.

Along the way, you get bravura writing, especially featuring the town kids, and a delicious death aria involving one of the most nefarious characters--who dies alone, but not really--as well as a few laugh-out-loud moments, and a cameo (of sorts) by none other than Jack Reacher. Indeed--whether during a much-needed comfort break, or a therapeutic hand-flexing--you may find yourself wondering, "Is this a horror novel? Or is it a thriller?" The answer, of course, is: Yes, yes, yes.

"...the blood hits the wall like it always hits the wall."

It seems impossible that, as he enters his sixth decade of publishing, the dean of dark fiction could add to his vast readership. But that is precisely what will happen...when the Dome drops.

Now Go Read It. --Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Story Behind the Cover
Click on image to enlarge

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 3-D rendering. This is a departure from the direction of King's most recent illustrated covers.

In order to achieve the arresting image for this jacket, Scribner art director Rex Bonomelli had to seek out artists who could do a convincing job of creating a realistic portrayal of the town of Chester's Mill, the setting of the novel. Bonomelli found the perfect team of digital artists, based in South America and New York, whose cutting edge work had previously been devoted to advertisement campaigns. This was their first book jacket and an exciting venture for them. "They are used to working with the demands of corporate clients," says Bonomelli. "We gave them freedom and are thrilled with what they came up with."

The CGI (computer generated imagery) enhanced image looks more like something made for the big screen than for the page and is sure to make a lasting impact on King fans.

Meet the Characters

Dale Barbara
Barbie, a drifter, ex-army, walks with a burden of guilt from the time he spent in Iraq. Working as a short-order cook at Sweetbriar Rose is the closest thing he’s had to a family life. When his old commander, Colonel Cox, calls from outside, Barbie's burden becomes the town itself.

Julia Shumway
The attractive Editor and Publisher of the local town newspaper, The Chester's Mill Democrat, Julia is self-assured and Republican to the core, but she is drawn to Barbie and discovers, when it matters most, that her most vulnerable moment might be her most liberating.

Jim Rennie, Sr.
"Big Jim." A used car dealer with a fierce smile and no warmth, he'd given his heart to Jesus at age sixteen and had little left for his customers, his neighbors, or his dying wife and deteriorating son. The town's Second Selectman, he’s used to having things his way. He walks like a man who has spent his life kicking ass.

Joseph McClatchey
Scarecrow Joe, a 13-year-old also known as "King of the Geeks" and "Skeletor, a bona fide brain whose backpack bears the legend "fight the powers that be." He’s smarter than anyone, and proves it in a crisis.

Chester's Mill, Maine (click on image to enlarge)

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  • Another great one!
    From Amazon

    Great story. Ending was ok, but I will be reading this one over and over.

  • Below my page grade
    From Amazon

    1069 pages of the usual. I started to think about the stamina this guy has had, for so many years and across so many novels. I don't mean the actual work, the tens of thousands of pages, the millions of words. No, I just mean the stamina to stay engaged with these character types and plots, day after day, when they are all just shadows of the same ur-characters and ur-story in King's mind, the story about the monster under his bed that's, I mean, REALLY under his bed. I don't know how he stays the course. I think he might do it by just writing, just keeping the fingers playing over the keyboard, from one scene to the next, like a bricklayer piling brick upon brick on wall after wall. Lunch-bucket writing, you could say. I can imagine him thinking, "ok, 600 more words then the crossword" or "I'll kill this guy off then walk the dog." It's fun to track some of the the little grooves that worm across that capacious mind of his. For instance, in this book he must have used the same phrase ("above my pay grade") at least ten times. It was first enunciated by this military character, who begat four other military characters, and hip military types, apparently, like to say, by way of offloading responsibility for something, that "that's above my pay grade." You know what I mean: you've heard them mum that line all over tv and the movies these days. Well, anyway, this character, Dale Barbara, really didn't do much but toy with the heroic centre of the novel and then get tossed in the clink for, oh, 500 pages. I guess being a real hero was above his pay grade. He made room for new heroic types by allowing himself to go into said clink, but these other types also encountered situations that were above their pay grades, and said so, the phrase replicating itself across the heaving bulk of this novel like yeast in a warm breadpan. The whole novel, in effect, was above any single person's pay grade, I suppose, except for the best entity in the book, the crazy mayor who formed the evil centre of it all and who thought nothing above his pay grade. (I bet he's sitting down for dinner with Jesus, btw, as a reward for enlivening an otherwise dull stock of standard King personae: the feisty older broad, lioness mom, Shane-like outsider, super-smart youth, dumb-ass youth, psychotic youth, pastor of little faith.) I think Under the Dome might have been below my own pay grade, but sad--or proud?-- to say I read it anyway, as I have all his other novels.

  • My Kinda King!
    From Amazon

    I know I shouldn't even be writing this review yet because I am not quite done the book, but I have wanted to share my thoughts since the first 100 pages. I am a huge King fan. It is not because I like horror stories, because typically I don't. I just love the way King tells a story. No matter how bizarre or horrific the tale is, you understand if not connect with the characters...they become very real. King is one of the few really amazing authors out there that can pull this off. This book is no different. It is right up there as one of the best of his work. I think as I read, how HBO could make a killer series out of this. It's fascinating. King delves into the psyche of his characters...none are ever shallow. We see well into their depths. We get to know how they tick and why they tick the way they do. And no matter how sick or twisted these characters are, we can understand them or even worse, we may know someone like them. I love King's writing that involves kids. Under The Dome has a few great kid characters. King understands childhood fears and he also understands the intelligence, strength and awesomeness that kids possess. In many of his books, the kids are very much the characters with the common sense and great instincts despite their fears. King's respect for kids is pretty obvious in his writing. Some people look at the size of a book like this and just move along the aisle in the store to something else. I am the opposite. Even though holding a book (I have the hardback version...I buy all my King books in Hardback and have kept every one of them) is cumbersome, a book this size makes me happy...especially a King book because to be honest, the day I read the last sentence is usually a bad one. I hate finishing a good book. I like them to go on and on. With Under The Dome, I get everything I love in a book....a LOT of story, written so well that at times I totally lose myself in the pages and a deep and wonderful respect and awe for the talent that put those words on the pages. I'm about 4/5 of the way through this book and I am dreading when it comes to an end. It is excellent King work!

  • Not Bad!
    From Amazon

    Pretty darn good piece of work. I've read most of King's stuff. This one has his usual highs and lows. He has too many characters (as almost always) but this time that hurts a bit as after a while I was forgetting who was who. Still, the writing was excellent as usual. I did get put off, right at the start, by how impossible some of the accidents running into the dome seemed. Physics simply didn't apply, people were regularly struck half-dead from bumping their noses at fairly low speed. I know he was going for the blood for the sake of horror, but it became repetitive. I thought it would have been better if he had more subplots, like the guy killing his sister (sorry, but not really a spoiler) rather than endless car wrecks and deadly nose-bumping. Toward the end it got windy, but really, still better than most books.

  • Under the Done Rocks
    From Amazon

    Wow I loved this book. It kept me turning the pages and some sleepless nights. I had to see what happened next and to whom. Thank you Mr. King for writing for us. I have to say the best part was that my mother whose 78 read it. only her 2nd SK book. The first one was Dragons Eye and she Loved under the dome and has read 7 of his other books.

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