What a hectic few weeks these past ones have been, but I have emerged unscathed at last from the horrors of a christmas-yet-to-be. I think working in a school must be one of the most busiest, stressful, time-consuming places to be at this time of year.
My head is still buzzing with the Nativity, carols, cards to make and glue, wall displays to create, and noisy classroom parties; all sprinkled heavily with a dusting of excited, hyper-active children! For four weeks I have barely had time to open my emails, let alone do anything productive in the writing field.
I did however manage to finish Under The Dome, so here - as promised - is my thoughts on Stephen King's latest offering:
The story is set in Maine, in a small township called Chester's Mill. One morning the residents of Chester's Mill wake up to find the town - and immediate surrounding countryside - trapped beneath an invisible barrier; a dome which rises thousands of feet up into the sky, and sinks thousands of feet down below the ground. No-one can get in, and no-one can get out. Before many hours have passed the residents of the town have already started to divide into Good and Bad. As the story trundles on it seems as if the Bad may very well take over the town, for their numbers are many; the Good have maybe two dozen in their ranks...but the Good have something the Bad do not: they believe they know what is causing their town to be held captive beneath this huge invisible barrier. The question is this - can they free the town from the confines of The Dome before the Bad rule the town with cruel dictatorship?
You will have to find that out for yourself.
I am not going to give away the ending here!
I will say this however: I did not think this one of King's finest novels; I am an avid reader of all SK's work, but found Under The Dome lacking the sparkle of his other books. There was something missing. The book itself boasts almost 900 pages and the story never falters from page to page, there is never a dull moment, but still I found myself able to put the book down - especially during the first 300 pages or so. It seemed to take me a good third of my way through the book before I started to care about the people in it.
Stephen King is well known for his tongue-in-cheek approach to horror, but here he seemed to take that a tad too far. I didn't like the way that nearly everybody in the story had a nickname - this started to annoy me after a while, and having read - and loved - The Stand, Under The Dome seemed like a distant relative of that epic tome: even The Chef, the villain of the piece, was a poor man's version of Trashcan Man from The Stand.
But. Having said all that I did enjoy the journey it took me on. The ending was a tiny bit lame, but the story came to a conclusion that I'm sure many of us have pondered on at some stage in our lives.
I would like to know your views on Under The Dome if I've not put you off reading it!