Book Review: Under The Dome by Stephen King

Under The Dome by Stephen KingIf I were ever to be given the opportunity to meet and interview just one contemporary author, it would probably be Stephen King.  His writing output and his creative mind are incredibly inspiring, and I’ve read and become caught up in many of his novels.  I’m always struck by the way he manages to avoid clichés and instead crafts inventively apt metaphors and similes time and time again.

Under The Dome is epic.  Just in terms of size, it’s nearly 900 pages long.  I picked up a paperback copy in a charity shop for 50p (an absolute bargain for such a monster!) but I’d recommend getting it in eBook form if you can as it’s pretty heavy.

It’s also epic in terms of scale.  The novel tells the story of a town suddenly trapped under a mysterious invisible force field, nicknamed The Dome.  In true King style, it doesn’t take long for law and order to start to disintegrate and for the dark sides of ordinary people to start to show.  The ever-increasing body count keeps you wondering who will be next to drop; King has no compunction about encouraging you to become attached to a character before brutally killing him or her off.  No-one is safe from the writer’s axe. More

Book review: Not So Stupid! by Malorie Blackman

“The Devil seethed with fury; to be summoned in this way was galling but he had no choice.  The Book of Old had been found and the invocation spell had been executed correctly.

‘Your wish?’ he roared.

Mrs Engell, who stood before him, did not flinch.  The sight and sound and smell of the Devil was nothing compared to what she had been through in the last twenty-three years of marriage …”

(From ‘Detail’)

As a child and then as a teenager I read a lot of books by Malorie Blackman and enjoyed them all.  Her stories are exciting, her characters are genuine, and I always felt that her writing voice was speaking to me as to another adult, rather than talking down to a child.

This collection of short stories is one which will never leave my book shelf.  I’ve re-read them many times and they never get dull.  The first story – ‘Skin Tones’ – begins as an imagining of life after death in a sort of hate-filled Purgatory, and the second –‘Dad, Can I Come Home?’ – is set at the end of a futuristic outer-space war, so you quickly become accustomed to expecting the unexpected and opening your mind to the increasingly inventive stories thrown your way.

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