Dome Along: We’re Half Way There!

June 24, 2013 Book Club, Contemporary Fiction, Frightening, Psychological, Supernatural 44

Hidey Ho, Bookworms!

Remember how I said I’d joined a read along for Stephen King’s Under the Dome through Coffee and a Book Chick? I’m about half way through the book right now and I thought I’d give you a little synopsis of my feelings…

Under the Dome lengthwise

So. There’s this town called Chester’s Mill. It’s in Maine because that is Stephen King’s thing. One day these invisible walls go up all over town. People crash their cars into it. Planes crash. Limbs are severed. Woodchucks are bisected… And Katie reveals spoilers, probably. (Skip this bad boy if you want to know nothing.)

I was pretty upset about the woodchuck, I've got to admit. (Image Source)

I was pretty upset about the woodchuck, I’ve got to admit. (Image Source)

So this dome thing goes down. Nobody can get in, nobody can get out. Chester’s Mill is completely cut off from the world, save cell phones and sporadic internet coverage. Maybe this isolation wouldn’t be so bad if anybody had any idea who or what caused it. It’s a big fat mystery and people inside that bubble? They’re kind of freaking out. Not that I blame them.

Also, the town is full of big evil meanies. Big Jim Rennie is the bad dude in chief, and he’s so freaking evil he’s practically a cartoon character. I don’t know how he’s not constantly twirling a mustache and/or petting a cat. His son, creatively named Junior isn’t any prize either. He has violent tendencies and an undiagnosed brain tumor. Given his parentage, I doubt the brain tumor is responsible for the homicidal tendencies so much as his father’s super wicked DNA.

Sort of like these two... only less amusing. Source

Sort of like these two… only less amusing. Source

So Big Jim is rotten to the core and he’s in power. He assembles a gang of Junior’s douchey friends to be police officers. Big Jim is ALSO a “devout” Christian (you know, if you ignore the whole Ten Commandments bit…) There are a lot of dirty dealings going on in Chester’s Mill, and now that the Dome has fallen, the threat that they’ll come to light has increased… Not in the least because he has STOLEN all the propane tanks in town to power the METH LAB he’s been running because he’s so damn evil. His pastor was totally in on it too. Not making Christianity look good, these two.

You know when you’re reading Stephen King there are going to be bad guys. I’m a little frustrated with this because the bad guys have NO DIMENSION. Like… In The Stand. Yes, Randall Flagg was basically the devil incarnate… At least he was actually supernatural. But his minions? It’s hard to blame the Trashcan Man for being all crazy… I mean, his brain is broken. And the guy Flagg rescued from the prison? Sure he’s no saint, but his badness had layers. None of these people have layers. They’re all just rotten to the core and horrible and GAH!

Oh and the good guys? They are dropping like flies. False arrests and murders and douchebaggery of all sorts. The good guys better catch a break soon, or I don’t know if I’m going to be able to hang in there for the last 500-600 pages. Oh yeah. So the government thinks that there’s probably aliens involved. Maybe that’s why Big Jim is so evil? And his gang of jerks? Pod people? Can I hope for that? Because I’m LOSING FAITH IN HUMANITY here, people!

Who am I kidding? We ALL know it's gonna be Aliens.

Who am I kidding? We ALL know it’s gonna be Aliens.

I need a pep talk, here, fellow Dome Along-ers! Will the good guys ever get anywhere? Will an alien show up and LASER Big Jim Rennie? Will people stop being stupid? Will they break the damn dome? I am to the point where I can only read this on the treadmill because I get so grouchy at it. Someone tell me there’s something good on the horizon. Pretty please?

44 Responses to “Dome Along: We’re Half Way There!”

  1. Charleen

    Well… I wish I could leave a more supporting comment, but I didn’t love this book. And I honestly don’t remember much of what happens between here and the end. What I can tell you is that the climax is pretty cool, in a “holy hell, THAT wasn’t good” kind of way, although the actual conclusion is a bit anticlimactic. If that makes any sense.

    Anyway. I did like it, it just didn’t blow me away. I won’t say quit, but I will say it’s definitely not King’s best work.

      • kristinshafel

        I like it! Perfect entertaining summer reading. I just find the “bad guys” all ridiculous and cheesy. I’m with you, though—how many more crap things can possibly happen?? I guess now that I’m thinking about it, I was expecting more creepy, horror-y-ish stuff (like, more of what Junior is doing) than just like, people being asses to each other.

        I had to take a break from the book for a bit because I was on a road trip all last week and didn’t bring it (too big), and then it was due back at the library anyway so I had to find time to go procure another copy. Back at it this week!

  2. Daddio

    Well the Marines are ineffective, SEAL Team 6 gets lost off the freeway, new Englanders still talk with a charming yet unintelligible accent, and I’m betting Captain Kirk and company can’t figure it out either. Then the camera pulls WAAAAAYYYY back and all the marbles go back in the bag. If I were writing it but I’m guess that’s not the point here …

  3. lostinliterature108

    Not reading this one. Sorry.
    Starting The Stand in July. I can only handle one 1000+ page book this summer.
    I am planning on watching the TV show premiering tonight though. I thought it would be a mini-series but it looks like a regular show. Hmmm….

  4. Cindy

    I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right. The bad guys are just evil, no layers, at least for the most part. And then the stupid people that just go along with the the bad guys – I hate them so much too! With every person that they killed, I just got more and more angry. Thankfully, they do get what they deserve.

  5. Megan

    Keep going! You can doooo it! While the ending wasn’t what I expected, I still think it was worth reading. I give it 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads. I agree with you that there are just so many hateable (is this a word?) characters.

    • Words for Worms

      LOL thanks for the pep talk! It helps! So much evil is overwhelming, but I’m trying to trust in the promise that they’ll get what they deserve!

  6. Lauren@FilingJointly

    I am pretty sure you already know my thoughts on this book from all the times I sent you angry thoughts about this book on gchat but I just want to reinforce my point that Big Jim is pretty much The Sheriff of Nottingham come to life.

    • Words for Worms

      LOL I seriously had to stop myself from putting in an image of the Disney Sherrif of Nottingham after you popped that gem into my head. Big Jim would soooo steal the last pennies of cute bunny children.

      • Lyssapants

        I like them and I think they’re worth it….but they aren’t very well written, and they start to get “out there” (think the TV series LOST).
        I am still waiting for the last book to come out to see how they all turn out….

  7. Laura Lynn

    Yeah, it was not a fav of mine and I like King for the most part. You are spot on about the Mr. Evil, though. Just TOO evil, c’mon. I am going to watch the show tonight so I don’t worry about spoiling it for you. You can watch it and spoil it yourself.
    Hah!

    • Words for Worms

      Hahaha! I might just spoil it for myself. Spoilers don’t bother me too much typically, then at least I’ll see the bad guys getting their due!

  8. Wayne

    Of course Big Jim had to be a “devout Christian” running a meth lab along with his pastor. I’m surprised that King didn’t throw in an evil corporate ceo running a sweatshop with underage Chinese girls he has smuggled in so he can “have his way” with them. King should have moved to Berkeley a long time ago. He’d fit in swell! Don’t think I’ll be reading this one.

  9. Ilene (BinkyBecky)

    I was wondering about this book. I’ve read his earlier books many times over, and will again, and again I’m sure. Although I’m not as drawn into his more science-fiction stories, my husband is. Dome looks like one he’d enjoy. Thanks for writing about it :-) Ilene

  10. justJen

    Once again, you’ve saved me! ( SO glad I stumbled across you. Thank the Bloggess!). I loved almost all things Stephen King as a teen (except Apt Pupil. TOO truly horrifying and ew, ew) and have read almost everything he’s written — almost, because I got tired of the way all his endings streeeeeeetched out. Just as you mentioned, most of his baddies had interesting layers at least, and Dome was on my list of to-reads, but not anymore. I hope the rest is less depressing faith-in-humanity- wise for you!

    • Words for Worms

      I thank the Bloggess for many things, not the least of which is her AWESOME community of readers! <3 I hate to be the great dismisser, but so far I'm just… Meh. If things change I'll be sure to shout it loud enough for you to hear. Deal?

  11. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    I will tell you NOTHING, muahahahahaha! Keep plugging away, you’ll get some answers. AND you’ll get more grumpy about things that happen or don’t happen. But it’s a fun ride! I watched the first episode of Under the Dome last night. Interesting.

  12. Kelly

    As others have said, I WILL REVEAL NOTHING!!! But I think you will love it anyway. Your thoughts along the way did make me LOL though. Makes me want to re-read this one soon!

  13. Angie

    I just finished up this readathon. I wish there was a better linky so I could find all the blogs participating. I actually found you through 101 books, NOT through the Under the Dome readathon! WHA????? Yea that’s right. Anywho…. I loved this book. LOVE IT.

    Angie
    Angela’s Anxious Life

    • Words for Worms

      Crazy! I know there was a linky for the initial linkup, I’m not sure if there’s a place to put followup posts… I’m glad you’re here no matter how you arrived! Good to hear that you’re loving the Dome!

  14. Coffee & a BookChick (@CoffeeBookChick)

    I love your write-up! The funny thing is that I can completely understand the frustration, but for some reason, this book is clicking for me and I’m loving it. You are right that at this point, there are absolutely no redeeming qualities to any of the villains. They are just B-A-D bad. But for some reason, that isolation from the rest of the world seems more believable for me because I can accept that without consequences or punishers from the “real” society or law enforcement outside of the Dome, than people might get a little wack-a-doo with their thought processes. Maybe? Not sure, but it seems to be working for me right now, but I TOTALLY get your fott-stamping annoyances with the tale told thus far!! :) I can’t wait to see how it all ends!

  15. Word Hits

    What a FUN post! As to the pep talk, it gets better … but it gets a lot worse first. Haha! I felt the same way as you at this point, but I did like the book overall. I’m not going to sugarcoat it (or spoil it) but hang in there!

  16. litandlife

    I think the fact that the characters really are so black and white is part of what I enjoyed in this book. Truth be told, as much as we readers like to read about characters with layers, there really are some people in this world that are strictly evil or truly good to the core.

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