Published by Scribner Genres: Horror
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
Under the Dome
by Stephen King
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.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.
This was my second time in Chester Mills, and I found just as awesomely effed up as the first time. I absolutely love when King shows the underbelly of a small town- he does it so well! From Needful Things to ‘Salem’s Lot, King has a way of bringing a town to life. Like in past novels, there are the good, the bad and the in-between in Chester’s Mill. When the dome comes down, it’s amazing how quickly things unravel. It might have seemed to quick if King wasn’t so good at explaining how a few crazy apples can spoil the whole bunch.
Despite the huge size of the book, events are unfolded fairly quickly. The dome goes down and the town heats up, partly due to panic, but mostly due to the machinations of evil men. Or are they evil? Because even though characters like Big Jim Rennie and his son Junior are monstrous, they also have their good sides. Big Jim is great at bringing people together, only he chooses to use his powers for ill. Junior is bat shiz crazy, but the scene with him helping those dome orphans? Adorable! Sure, he’s a serial killer, but he’s good with kids. 😉
I know a lot of people are put off by the size of this book, I get that. But it’s a shame, because King is at his best when writing about small towns and the people who dwell in them. His characters, their flaws and strengths, are always so realistic, and although people die (especially in this book) King never cheats. It may be sad, sudden or tragic, but King does not kill of characters just to move the story along (unlike some authors who we won’t mention but you know who you are!), rather he presents us with the real take on stupid, senseless deaths that happen everyday, even amongst such huge events.
Under the Dome was narrated by Raul Esparza. This was my first audiobook that I’ve heard him narrate, but I think he did a good job. Despite the fact that Big Jim had a southern accent (even though he was born and raised in Maine), I loved how he brought Big Jim to life. The oily, southern preacher accent was perfect for Rennie, and Esparza did a wonderful job acting out Big Jim’s line. Everything else was great too, and I would definitely listen to future books that he narrates!