Under the Dome gravely threatens Stephen King's status as a mere chart-busting pop cultural phenomenon. It has the scope and flavor of literary Americana, even if Mr. King's particular patch of American turf is located smack in the middle of the Twilight Zone. It dispenses with his usual scatology and trippy fantasy to deliver a spectrum of credible people with real family ties, health crises, self-destructive habits and political passions. Even its broad caricatures prompt real emotion, if only via the damage they can inflict on others. Though the book's broad conspiratorial strokes become farfetched, its ordinary souls become ever more able to break hearts. This book has the heft of a brick…Hard as this thing is to hoist, it's even harder to put down.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
King has always produced at pulp speed. "Nov. 22, 2007 - March 14, 2009" proclaims the final page of Under the Dome: that's 1,100 pages in 480 days. We shouldn't be too squeamish about the odd half-baked simile or lapse into B-movie dialogue, is my point. Writing flat-out keeps him close to his story, close to his source. It seems to magnetize his imagination: by the final third of this novel King is effortlessly drawing in T. S. Eliot and the Book of Revelation, the patient etherized upon a table and the Star Wormwood.
James Parker - New York Times Book Review
In 2002 Stephen King announced that he'd given up writing.... [But] writing isn't done with King, not by a long shot....the result is one of his most powerful novels ever.... Although he's an undisputed master of suspense and terror, what gives King's work heft is his moral clarity. The harrowing climax of Under the Dome stems from a humane vision. It's another work in an oeuvre that identifies compassion as the antidote to evil, whether that evil be human or supernatural. And our stock of literature in the great American Gothic tradition is brilliantly replenished because of it.
Graham Joyce - Washington Post
[U]ncomfortably bulky, formidably complex and irresistibly compelling....[yet] King handles the huge cast of characters masterfully.... [W]hile this novel doesn't have the moral weight of, say, The Stand, nevertheless, it's a nonstop thrill ride as well as a disturbing, moving meditation on our capacity for good and evil.
The frequent accusation that King writes too long is sometimes deserved. However, when he works in an epic mode, depicting dozens of characters and all their interrelationships, he can produce great work. He did it with The Stand and with It, and he has done it again here.... Some will balk at the page count, but a fast pace and compelling narrative make the reader's time fly. —Karl G. Siewert, Tulsa City-Cty. Lib., OK
Maine. Check. Strange doings. Check. Alien/demon presence. Check. Unlikely heroes. Check.... Evil is omnipresent here, but organized religion is suspect, useful only for those who would bleat, "The Dome is God's will." The woods are full of malevolent possibilities.... It hardly matters that, after 1,000-plus pages, the yarn doesn't quite add up. It's vintage King: wonderfully written, good, creepy, old-school fun.
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