Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Book Review: Under the Dome

My first book review, I'm quivering with excitement here. To kick things off I chose one of my top authors, Stephen King and his latest novel, Under the Dome.

First, the man. What else could be said about Stephen King. He's an offbeat legend with a odd thought process and warped view of the world and its story. That's the only way I can sum him up. I was hooked by the short story Different Seasons and soaked up all that I could find from him after that.

One of the best things I like about him is his ability to create a very realistic, human antagonist that you can still hate. Many authors over dramatize their villain, almost putting them in a surreal existence.

Nope, not Mr. King.

His villain in Under the Dome is any a-hole politician given the right situational ingredients. The fact that he brought down the infrastructure of the town with this character in about a week and got the reader to believe it, is amazing. Before reading Under the Dome, my estimation of societal breakdown would've been...say....several months. Stephen King outlined in his creative way how it could be done in virtually the snap of the fingers.

The protagonist is essentially an imperfect nobody who's dodging the memories of his past life. In any other writers hands, the character's disinterest in leading the hero role would've been ham-ish. Mr. King builds the back story in a smooth, non-info dump sort of way that makes you understand why the character is hesitant. Not only that, he makes you empathetic to him, even with his past misdeeds unravelled before you.

And just when the story is leading you to the inevitable conspiracy theory...he takes the snow globe of your mind and shakes it. The flakes that reign down on you are completely speculative fiction. You are left dumbfounded and in awe of his storytelling talent.

My only qualm, if it could be counted that, is in regards to the main female character. I felt, especially with her involvement of the conclusion, she should've been given something more. She was three dimensional but a tiny bit too stereotypical liberal press woman for me.

Stephen King, I know you'd never reach a small blog like mine to see it, but I bow to you and your writing gift.

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