Firstly, as this is a Stephen King story do not reject this novel out of hand. This isn't a book populated with monsters, giant spiders or rabid dogs. All the monsters in this book are very much human – if you can call them that! I have to admit that I haven't read Mr. King's work for some time as I have been disappointed by recent works of his. However, this epic which runs to 877 pages intrigued me – and had me gripped from page one right through to the end!
I would say that this is King's version of 'Lord of the Flies', a terrifying tale of what can happen when panic sets in - and how through desperation people lose their inhibitions and become animals. Again, like the aforementioned classic, people strive to dominate the others and install a staunch hierarchy which wasn't there before the dome arrived. King's villain of the piece, Big Jim Rennie, is a master manipulator and a man with many secrets he will go to any length to keep hidden. When the new 'police state' is initiated there becomes a definite divide between the community. With admirable stealth, King slowly unravels this epic story without losing any of its inherent energy or dramatic tension.
I could write reams of copy about this novel but I won't. I will let you decide. But for me, it was an epic tale that I couldn't put down and when life interrupted, I would race back to it to find out what happened to the good (and bad) people of Chester's Mill. King is ruthless and has no problems despatching main characters – about forty people die by page 50! This is a novel only an author of King's standing could have produced – and he has written a blinder. A truly brilliant book of epic proportions (and I don't just mean the size of the book!) that will stay with me for a long time and is already one of the best books I have read this year! Phenomenal!