Under The Dome

Cover of "Under the Dome: A Novel"

Cover of Under the Dome: A Novel

Under The Dome is a thick novel created by Stephen King in which it tells a stories of a certain town being surrounded by some kind of force field that rendered the town cut off from the outside world. The novel has 900 pages and cost me Rp 124.000 to buy it at local book store and took me 3 month to finish reading the novel, because I don’t have time to read it extensively. but nonetheless the novel is worth your time to read. here is the excerpt

Shortly before noon on October 21 of an unspecified year after 2012 (evidenced by mention of a faded bumper sticker for Barack Obama’s successful 2012 re-election campaign), the small Maine town of Chester’s Mill is abruptly separated from the outside world by an invisible, semipermeable barrier of unknown origin. The immediate appearance of the barrier causes a number of injuries and fatalities, and traps former Army Captain Dale “Barbie” Barbara—who is trying to leave Chester’s Mill—inside the town. Barbie was involved in altercation with certain young men from Chester’s Mill that make him feel the need to leave the town to prevent another bloodshed.

Police Chief Howard “Duke” Perkins is soon killed when his pacemaker explodes after getting too close to the barrier, this is suspected the dome has some kind of EMP that rendered all electronics equipment to stop functioning. This removes the last significant opposition to James “Big Jim” Rennie, used car salesman and the town’s Second Selectman. Big Jim exerts significant influence within Chester’s Mill, and seizes the opportunity to use the barrier as part of a power play to take over the town. Big Jim is a very smart man and know how to seize opportunity when it came to him

Big Jim appoints one of his cronies, the incompetent Peter Randolph as the new Police Chief. He also begins expanding the ranks of the Chester’s Mill Police with questionable candidates, including his son, Junior Rennie, and his friends. Junior has frequent migraines caused by an as-yet undiscovered brain tumor which has also begun affecting his mental state; unbeknownst to Big Jim, Junior was in the process of beating and strangling a girl to death when the barrier appeared, and has killed another girl by the time Rennie places him on the police force. but as the saying goes, like father like son. then Big Jim also killed Reverend Coggins and Brenda Perkins because both threaten to expose Big Jim’s involvement in drug factory manufactured in Reverend Coggins’s church.

Elsewhere in Chester’s Mill, Julia Shumway, the editor of the local newspaper, is phoned by Colonel James O. Cox, who has her carry a message to Barbie to contact him. When he does, Cox requests that Barbie act as the government’s liaison in an effort to bring down the Dome, as it has come to be known. Because of Barbie’s talents as a former bomb factory hunter, Cox gives him the task of locating the source, which is believed to be inside the Dome.

As Big Jim covertly encourages and orchestrates unease and panic among the town to build up his grab for power, Barbie, Julia and a number of other townspeople attempt to stop things from spiraling out of control. After crossing Rennie’s path on several occasions, Barbie is framed and arrested for Junior’s murders. He is also accused of killing Reverend Lester Coggins, who laundered money for Rennie’s large-scale methamphetamine operation, and Duke’s widow Brenda Perkins, who were both murdered by Big Jim. While Barbie is in jail other residents track the source of the Dome to an abandoned farm, and the device is strongly indicated to be extraterrestrial in origin. The restrictions issued by Rennie become more severe and the police force grows more abusive, galvanizing the town and eventually leading some residents to break Barbie out of jail, killing Junior seconds before he can murder Barbie.

The semi-organized resistance flees to the abandoned farm, where multiple people touch the strange object and experience visions. They not only conclude that the device was put in place by extraterrestrial “leatherheads” (so named for their appearance), but that specifically they are juveniles who have set up the Dome as a cruel form of entertainment, a sort of ant farm used to capture sentient beings and allow their captors to view everything that happens inside.

it should be noted that because the town of Chester’s Mill was cut off from the outside world thus the only electricity they had was from the propane. because all the electrical line was cut off the day the Dome came into existence. and majority of this propane are located in Big Jim’s storage shed for drug manufacturing. also in the storage shed are chemicals properties used to make drugs. so hefty amounts of drug and propane are store in this location.

On an organized “Visitors Day”—when people outside the Dome can meet at its edge with people within—Big Jim sends Randolph and a detachment of police to take back control of his former meth operation from Phil “Chef” Bushey, who is stopping Rennie from covering up the operation as well as hoarding the more than four-hundred tanks of propane stored there. Chef is mortally wounded in the ensuing gunfight, but detonates a plastic explosive device he has placed in the meth production facility, before dying. The ensuing explosion, combined with the propane and meth-making chemicals, unleashes a toxic firestorm.

More than a thousand of the town’s residents are quickly incinerated on national television, leaving alive only the twenty-nine survivors at the abandoned barn, an orphaned farm boy hiding in a potato cellar, and Big Jim and his informal aide-de-camp, Carter Thibodeau, in the town’s fallout shelter. Big Jim and Thibodeau eventually turn on each other; Big Jim stabs and disembowels Thibodeau, only to die several hours later when hallucinations of the dead send him fleeing into the now-toxic environment outside. The survivors at the barn begin to slowly asphyxiate, despite efforts by the Army to force clean air through the walls of the Dome.
Barbie and Julia go to the control device to beg their captors to release them. Julia is able to make contact with a single female leatherhead, no longer accompanied by her friends and thus not caught up in their peer pressure. After repeatedly expressing that they are real sentient beings with real “little lives”, and by sharing a painful childhood incident with the adolescent alien, Julia convinces the leatherhead to have pity on them. The Dome raises up slowly and vanishes, allowing the toxic air to dissipate and finally freeing the town of Chester’s Mill.


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