Just finished reading Stephen King's recent epic, Under the Dome. It's the first novel of his I've been able to finish for several years. I gave up on Cell after two tries, getting as far as 100 pages into it. Under the Dome, though, was a rollicking ride from beginning to end, with characters that really engaged me, the good, the bad and the changeable. It's a long book, but unlike Dream-Catcher, never for one page seemed to have been padded out. There's a lot of detail in it, and character backgrounds, but they all seem relevant to the story and create a rounded, filled-in novel that is epic in feel, even though it takes place over only a few days in a very small locality. King really excelled himself, in particular, with the darker characters - and with the quirkier ones. Indeed, one of the quirkiest, The Chef, is responsible for perhaps the worst act in the entire book, even though he doesn't do it out of malice strangely enough. A complex, fascinating book.
King often puts references in his book to characters or events in others he has written. In this, though, I noticed one character referred to (though he never appears in it) from the novels of Lee Child: the formidable Jack Reacher. (I love Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels and usually take one away with me each year as one of my main holiday reads.)
I won't say any more about this book, as I don't want to let slip any spoilers (all too easy!), except to add that this is King back on top form.
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