Under the Dome is the biggest Stephen King novel in years and a great value read.
You get 866 pages for a price similar to may 300 page novels. you get Stephen King's high density writing where every word carries value. There is almost no puffery. Many 300 page novels read like a 250 page novel where an author was asked at the last minute to add stuff so they repeat phrases and descriptions from the same characters. When Stephen King repeats a section, it is not the same, it is the incident shown from the viewpoint of another character. You get to see the murder from both the murderer and the victim.
Where other authors use two or three long sentences to convey one idea, Stephen puts two in each sentence. A 200 page novel by mr King contains more than most 300 page novels. that makes an 800+ pager worth four novels by plebeian writers.
Despite the efficient writing, the book, at half way, is a touch boring. A lot of people are dying through their own stupidity.
Well worth the read when you are on holidays and want to relax in the sun. Those people continually doing stupid things is a drag when you are in a rush to finish the book.
There are parallels with Lord of the Flies and Animal farm, two great books about people suddenly isolated for their normal environment. Lord of the Flies was controversial when released and was banned for a while. The Dome has as much gore and violence but seems tame by today's standards.
Dale Babara is the run down war vet working as a cook in Chester's Mill, Maine, plus a bunch of other stereotypical characters plus some interesting ones, mostly kids. The town is suddenly isolated and the townspeople unravel. They are isolated by a dome. Doh! The characteristics of the dome lead to interesting effects on the town.
Big Jim Rennie is one of the bad people in town and emerges as the dictator who does bad things
for the good of the town. There are lots of others who turn bad and some who were bad then turn good.
Joe McClatchy, Norrie Calvert, and Benny Drake kids who pitch in and... Read the book.
Julia Shumway is one of the characters that does a lot of things the wrong way round and finds romance after many years without but will she live to enjoy it or even find out if he returns the feeling?
The American Army try to help but cannot and effectively fuel the flames of suspicion and violence inside the town.