Title: Under the Dome
Author: Stephen King
Year of Publication: 2009
Genre Keywords: environment, horror, politics, science fiction, survival, suspense.
Plot Summary: Like many Stephen King novels, this story follows a large cast of characters trapped in an unlikely situation. The central figure in this story is Dale Barbara – “Barbie” to his friends – an ex-military drifter on his way out of Chester’s Mill when a mysterious force field descends upon the small Maine town. Nobody inside the Dome can get out; no one on the outside can get in; and no one can figure out how to make the Dome go away. That’s terrifying enough, but the real problem for Chester’s Mill is the town’s corrupt Second Selectman, Big Jim Rennie, who is trying to manipulate the crisis into an opportunity to increase his own power at any cost.
Who’ll Love It: Anybody fascinated by the politics and interpersonal relationships involved in survival situations and major crises. The one faced by the people in Chester’s Mill is political, social, and environmental. As with most Stephen King novels, this one can involve some pretty gruesome mangling of human flesh, so it’s not recommended for anyone who’s squeamish about that sort of thing.
Fun Trivia: This novel features a Barack Obama cameo: a fictionalized memo from the White House to the Chester’s Mill Board of Selectmen, which the President signs “using all three of his names, including the terrorist one in the middle”.