Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome Audio BookWhat’s it about? On a  normal day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. No one knows what this barrier is, where it came from, and when – or if – it will go away. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome’s ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, an obscenely sanctimonious local politician and drug lord who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. Opposing him are Iraq veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara, newspaper editor Julia Shumway, a group of teen skateboarders and others who want to solve the riddle of the dome.

Is the narrator any good? Raul Esparza reads the transitory prose well, but some of the vocal characterizations are strange, in particular for several of the women and children. Despite this minor complaint, I think that overall Raul does a good job.

The verdict? Under the Dome ran for over 34 hours and I still didn’t want it to end. The story is compelling and suspenseful, and the character development is excellent. Warning: some listeners on Audible have complained about vulgar language, gruesome details and political sniping from the left-leaning King, so if you are sensitive to these things you should give the audiobook a miss. I have no such complaints, however, and highly recommend the audiobook. As I write this it is rated 4.10 after 3,000+ reviews so it seems most listeners enjoyed it.

2 thoughts on “Under the Dome by Stephen King”

  1. The voice acting on this recording is terrible. Most of the males sound like redneck caricatures or exaggerated Valley boys (something like “Snake” on “The Simpsons”), and the “female” voices are extremely campy. They only sound like actual Mainers about 1% of the time, probably by accident.

    1. I felt the same way as you did, but only until I got about 20 minutes in and the more he read, the more we realized how great he really was. The voices were memorable…I could hear one speak and know right away which character it was. They all had their own personality and it was very well done.

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