Under the Dome by Stephen King
What’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 audio book a miss. I have no such complaints, however, and highly recommend the audio book. As I write this it is rated 4.10 after 3,000+ reviews so it seems most listeners enjoyed it.