UNDER THE DOME
by Stephen King
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Iraq veteran Dale (Barbie) Barbara is on his way out of Chester’s Mill when an invisible shield drops down, running along the small town’s boundaries. Planes, cars and birds crash into it, people run into it, and no one can figure out what it is. The US military’s calculations are that a large force field in the shape of a dome has settled over Chester’s Mill, cutting the town off from the rest of the country. Their efforts to destroy the dome are fruitless, as are their attempts to figure out who did this. The president places Barbie in charge of Chester’s Mill but that doesn’t set well with second selectman Big Jim Rennie, who likes being a big fish in a small pond and isn’t about to let anyone else assume control. Besides, Jesus told the sanctimonious Big Jim that he’s the one in charge. In an effort to keep Barbie from taking over, Rennie maneuvers behind the scenes, manipulating the people of Chester’s Mill with the aid of his new police chief and several newly appointed deputies. As the air turns bad and greenery dies, Big Jim’s focus remains on using Barbie as a scapegoat for several unexplained murders, while Barbie and several others, on the run from Big Jim and his minions, try to put an end to the dome.
This lengthy novel is well worth the time, reminding this reviewer of King’s best novel, The Stand, following the same basic concept: good versus evil, although this battle is among humans. The large cast of characters works well; each is well-developed and essential to the storyline. The thrilling plot is fast-paced, filled with suspense and action. Absolutely one of King’s best in recent years.