Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stephen King's Under the Dome

I am currently reading Stephen King's latest book, Under the Dome. I'm about two or three hundred pages into this 1100+ page book. Normally one would expect a book review only after completion of a book, but I feel like writing one now. Part of the reason for that is I'm really enjoying the book and when I'm really enjoying a book, deep in the midst of it, that is when the enjoyment is best. An ending, even a really good one, means the story ends. I want this one to continue.

In a way, it reminds me of his earlier book The Stand - not because there are any similarities in story - I don't think there are - but because it is a community survival situation, and I find such situations fascinating. What happens when normal society is destroyed and how do people deal with it? I must admit I didn't think the ending of The Stand was that great, though it was ok. But despite that, it is still one of my favorite books - maybe in part because it is so long, you can be immersed in the world and the characters for many hours, allowing much time to savor it all. Under the Dome seems poised to give me a similar immersion experience. I write about it now because I'm in the moment of that experience.

The basic premise of Under the Dome is simple - a small town is suddenly, and without explanation, encased in what is essentially a dome-shaped force field that cuts it completely off from the outside world. Maybe there will be an explanation later - though I'm hoping there really isn't one - some mysteries are best left unexplained - your imagination will generally trump anything a writer can come up with. There are exceptions to this - Lost, the ultimate TV mystery show, has explained much and it has done so in a very interesting, sometimes twisted way, that is enjoyable in its own right. (As an aside, Stephen King is a big fan of Lost). But back to the Dome...

Once things are cut off, you get small town life with a massive twist. You see how things start to break down, how people deal with it, and it is almost like you are watching a somewhat twisted social science experiment, one with very interesting characters.

I won't spoil anything in the book - I recommend it highly, if you like this sort of tale. I actually haven't read much of King's work - just The Stand, The Dark Tower Series (also excellent), and maybe one or two other books. I also read his book on writing called, appropriately enough, On Writing, and found it excellent. I aspire to be a writer someday - maybe I'll eventually get around to it. I suppose getting back to writing on this blog is a start. I have been away too long - I miss writing. It seems like a chore, but now that I'm back doing it, I find I have a lot to say and I've already written more posts in a day than I have in months. Practice practice practice. That's what makes for a good writer. (Amongst other things).

And so I have resumed my regular schedule - at least one post a day on a list of regular topics (see my post about my regular blogging schedule for the topics - today, for instance, is entertainment, so I'm writing about a book). Beyond that, I'll write on other topics that suit my fancy, whenever I feel like it.


tina FCD said...

Book sounds interesting. I like Stephen King books.
Glad to have you back posting.

DBB said...

Glad to know someone's still reading... thank you! I'm a little further into the book now and still enjoying it immensely.