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.
Stephen King really knows how to craft a story. This large novel, populated with all manner of characters, is a fabulous way to spend a few days.
Yes, it did start a bit slower than I expected. Let’s just get that out of the way. But we have to give the guy a bit of a break since he did have to introduce so many characters, building up their storylines so that we could start bonding with them. It’s just a bit slower than his usual beginnings, but the plot soon kicks in and we are thrown into the chaos that is Chester’s Mill under the huge dome that appeared over the town. There are some truly frightening moments. I don’t want to give anything away, but towards the end, the last few chapters, I had trouble catching my breath (those of you who have read it will probably remember why).
As with most, if not all, of King’s books, the interpersonal relationships between the town people stuck under the dome is what makes the story so good. Despite the sci-fi elements, the book is more about human behavior than anything else. The “bad guys” are just as deep and fleshed out characters as the “good guys”, which is always a good way of getting the reader involved because you’re just not sure what you should be feeling and for whom.
Despite the slightly slow beginning, this is one book I highly recommend, especially to those of you who love King.