My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I felt as if I were under a dome as I was reading this novel by Mr. Stephen King. I began as an optimistic reader, curious, and ready for the ride to start. As I neared the end, I felt like I was running out of oxygen and my taste buds were gummed up with poisonous soot that I couldn't wait to spit out and be done with. While I admire anyone who records their creative effort, I regret having ever gotten the idea to read this book. A fine story perhaps to some, but not to this reader.
My S.K. past:
I have watched the first few intriguing episodes of the first season of the television show of the same name that was based on this book. I won't make any comparisons between the two, but the show is what inspired me to read the book.
I have not read many of Mr. King's novels, but it seems the couple I recall, The Tommyknockers and Lisey's Story , gave me the same empty feeling at the end. I had endured so much, invested so much time and imagination and wondering; Under the Dome's conclusion reflected the same disappointment I felt with those other titles. I actually felt a twinge of apprehension as I read and began seeing the similarities between the set-up in Under the Dome and The Tommyknockers in particular.
Reading this book made me feel as though I were going to a theme park:
Seeing it on TV made me want to go. I excitedly waited in line for my turn on the roller coaster, watching other people go ahead of me. I boarded the coaster car and felt a bit nervous, but secure...millions of people before me had ridden, and there were lots of roller coasters designed by the same architect. I was excited, and a bit apprehensive, for the ride to start. The coaster climbed, slowly at first, then picking up speed it clacked up the track at an increasing pace. It seemed like it took forever to reach the top! When I thought I couldn't stand it any longer, the bottom dropped out from under me...but only for a second. It was just that first little dip you hit after the climax of the roller coaster before it goes speeding down. You know the good part is coming; you're expecting a great whoosh! and your tummy to do flips while you smile and scream all the way down.
But all that happened was a flat-line. A complete disappointment. The coaster chugs along, almost unnoticeably descending, until you are back on Terra Firma. I'm so disappointed that I may never want to ride another roller coaster again.
My final thought that I will share about this novel is that I was irritated by its pessimism. A line repeated often in the book is,"Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst." and I feel that is a stunning statement to summarize my feelings about this tale. Every good I hoped for was dashed against a senselessly invisible barrier. Every chapter held disappointment after disappointment, and while the basic premise and moral of the story was interesting to explore and ponder, the lack of goodness of the characters seemed unrealistic (at least in my, perhaps naive, existence). To live in a world populated by such evil beings as those in this book, would be a torturous existence.
Dear prospective readers, the nearly 1,000 pages of wind-up ends with Mr. King's change-up pitch. If you're a fan of his writing, that will be okay because,
"It's a small town, you know what I mean. It's a small town, son, and we all support the team."
But as for me, I hope to read something wondrous next so as to wash this acrid taste out of my mouth.
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