Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Book review : Under The Dome - Stephen King 8*
As with so much of King's work, it isn't so much the horror and the situation that endears the author to his legion of fans, it is the way King builds characters and human tensions. In both The Stand and Under The Dome there is the factional split into good and evil, but whereas The Stand's split was much more light and darkness, UTD's factions are much more reminiscent of a facist style power grab. The bad guys here, who have a dark secret to keep hidden, behave like fascist politicians, especially in their implementation of a police state soon after the dome has appeared.
King also has a go at environmental issues here, the atmosphere in the dome rapidly deteriorates as the town's citizens continue to drive cars and use their generators, trees and plants begin to die and the sunsets change colour as the sun is viewed through the smog building up inside the dome.
The hero of the piece is ex-Army captain Dale Barbara, who has timed his moment to leave the town just a fraction too late. Already having has a brush with the powers that be, Barbara is left almost powerless when the chief of police dies and all round bad guy Big Jim Rennie seizes the reigns of power.