“The fact is, we all live under the dome…”
- Stephen King on Under The Dome
Reading Stephen King, in publication order, from the beginning.
Just to square it up, I’m posting about Under The Dome - Stephen King’s latest novel, released in November 2009 - first, because I read it first and that was what started this whole shebang. I’ve labelled it as book zero because I’ll read it again when I get to it in the proper order, just to see if my views on it (and King’s work in general) have changed.
I’ve actually talked about Under The Dome here and here, so I don’t want to repeat myself. Suffice to say it was a revelation - to create a compelling book that kept the attention of this reader consistently across 1100 pages is no mean feat, and as my first ever King novel read, I think it was a brilliant place to start. Some people have complained about the ending (one of King’s weaknesses, allegedly, although I can’t comment yet as I have yet to come across a weak ending), but not me. I loved it from beginning to end.
It’s actually very similar in feel and setting to ‘Salem’s Lot, and even (to a lesser extent) Rage, with his use of selectmen and town whistles, which I assume are both features of small-town New England, as I’d never encountered them before (and no, I haven’t looked up ‘selectman’ in Wikipedia yet, either). I believe Under The Dome is King’s longest book since The Stand, and has been compared favourable to that earlier classic. Again, I don’t know that yet.
Under The Dome was the best book I read last year, just edging out Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker. And while I’m pleased to see Boneshaker on the shortlist for both the Hugo and Locus awards this year, I’m a little perplexed that Under The Dome didn’t get in. Is this a sign of Stephen King-snobbery? I’m not sure.
Ah well. I liked it! For the purposes of this blog, I will be ranking King’s novels as I read them, so for book #0, it has to go top of the list. While that’s a given, I’m actually very interested to see if any of his books can beat it to the number one spot. If they can, then King is a master indeed.
Copyright (c) 2010 Adam Christopher.