I'm just going to come straight out with it. I loved this book and, still warm with the glow of belting through it a fair old pace and finishing it yesterday, I'm going to declare it my favourite book of King's so far.
A small part of me feels inclined to answer the obvious criticisms that can be levelled against it, but I'm not in the mood for negativity. Instead, I'll just briefly ramble about what I liked about it.
I loved the scale; both the big (the length of the book, the expansive cast of characters) and the small (the enclosed, pressure cooker setting). For me, this is the King I envisioned when I decided to read his from beginning to end. Rich characters you can't help but love or hate. You inwardly cheer when they triumph and even shed a tear at their demise. And when a bad guy gets his comeuppance...it's a fist in the air moment. I know they're often painted in broad strokes, and stereotypes are used to save dozens of pages of additional character exposition, but they work for the story and pacing.
Yes the ending is a bit silly, but I don't care. I'm not going to write off 900 pages of thrilling journey to moan about the destination.
In the early days of this reading project, in each blog post I would ask myself whether the book had scared me at all. In a lot of cases, it was really a question of whether it had successfully suspended my disbelief enough to render the supernatural elements in any way affecting. With Under the Dome, the nature and cause of the dome weren't important. It's the people we have to be scared of. In this respect, the book was terrifying.
I said before reading the book that I planned to watch the TV series. I watched the pilot last night with my wife. I'm doing my best to avoid being a massive cock and constantly pointing out divergences between the book and series. I know it's too soon and the natural inclination to make these comparisons will be hard to suppress, but I'm going to do my best. There are already enough differences in the pilot to encourage me to just sit back and watch the show on its own merits.