I finished Under the Dome today, and I have to say that I’m really very disappointed that I didn’t like it more. It wasn’t horrible by any means, but I just didn’t love it like I was expecting to.
On the positive side, it didn’t feel like a nearly 1100 page book. Most of the characters were at least mildly interesting, and the first several hundred pages flew by.
But that’s really the only positive spin I can think of to say about it. It was good reading for most of the book, but as a whole, it was unfulfilling.
One of my first high level complaints is that it tried to be two separate stories at once. We had the mystery of the the dome and who caused it or where it came from, and then there was the small town politician turned dictator. Those plot lines never crossed, and both ended on very weak notes, with one just kind of petering out, and the other just lame, or at least very obvious.
Imagine reading The Stand, and in addition to Randall Flag, there’s a separate story line about trying to figure out where the super flu came from. If it turned out that one created the other, and all the plot lines tied together, that would be fine, but if they’re unrelated it’s like reading two different books that just happen to be taking place in the same setting at the same time.
I think my enjoyment of the book was also tempered by the fact that I went into it thinking it was post-apocalyptic, when really it’s not. It’s not like The Mist, where the people are all alone. The people not under the dome are just fine, and the townspeople that are under the dome are only cut off physically but still watch CNN and browse the internet. As a character mentioned in the book, it’s like they’re all survivors trapped in a caved-in mine. Everyone knows they’re there, they just can’t get out.
Reading other reviews, I know that some people really liked it, so your mileage may vary. If you’re a fan of King’s writing, and don’t go into it with high expectations, you might find you’ll enjoy it more than I did.