Saturday, November 14, 2009

Under the Dome

Before beginning today's entry, just a quick note. Eagle Eyed Marlene comments that TG misspelled the word “judgement” in the entry below. Au contraire, Marlene, you are applying the American spelling (AE) whereas TG has inadvertently slipped into the British spelling (BE). That is because TG spent several years training in England with the Royal Marines in their Special Boat Service (SBS) ((motto” “Not By Strength, By Guile”)) and occasionally applies the BE spelling to certain words. Sorry about that. God, those were the days. TG would really love to talk about that period of his life, but modesty and the Military Secrecy Act (MSA) forbid.

Today, (Sat., Nov. 14th) the Washington Post gave Stephen King's Under the Dome pretty much a rave review. Publishers Weekly did as well. TG wishes King and his book only the best, but a sigh of relief was heard in these environs when it was clear that there would be no review required from TG. A thousand pages? Spare me.

When TG was a young man, he eagerly awaited each year's new King novel. He and his mates in the Marines would hang around the barracks, oops, sorry, can't talk about that. Suffice it so say that each book, Misery, etc. would get passed from hand to hand among the lads until it became tattered beyond repair. But as TG grew older, there seemed to be less and less time for King, and, really, the books just didn't seem as interesting. Then there came a point when TG would find one in the library, attempt to read it and just couldn't get through to the end. The last attempt was with Cell. After that, TG quit.

Can someone out there give TG a good reason to try again? All other books, books for which TG is paid American dollars to read and review, would have to go on hold, so it's going to have to be a pretty good reason. Oh, how he loved, so many years ago, reading The Stand. Will Under the Dome return him to those days of yesteryear?

And finally, a Stephen King story. About a decade ago, TG, who lives in a small hamlet just outside Washington, DC, was getting his hair cut. In the next chair a woman was asked by the stylist how her son was doing. She replied he was doing very well because he had come up with the money to attend the local college. Where did he get the money? It turns out that he's a very distant relative of Stephen King, who has a special fund set up to pay for the college education of even his farest flung relations. Good for the kid. Good for Stephen King. The man deserves his gazillion dollars.

And here's a recent video of the master speaking at a signing for Under the Dome. And how he keeps from going berserk when he's asked, probably for the millionth time, “Where do you get your inspiration?” I'll never know.


  1. Sigh. I may be one of the few who weren't impressed with Dome. (I read it in three days)
    While it had many, many good parts, my problem with it was that I had to read through the slower parts to find the better portions. But, that's me.

    These days, the reading public in general, doesn't have the time to read regular sized novels, let alone these house-sized stories by King.

    Naturally, the hard core fanbase that buys everything King writes will have already bought a copy. But just how many new readers to the King universe will actually take the plunge and dive into a thousand page plus epic these days? Particularly seeing the multiple distractions and alternatives to reading that there are. I'm sure this question is giving several Scribner execs some sleepless nights.

    But truth be told (for me), the story actually got really interesting in the final 6 pages of the book.

    *** Fear not-- I won't spoil a thing. ***

    BUT......I was hoping for a few chapters that might have showed us the aftermath of the Dome.
    After the revealing portion of the what and the why of the Dome...I was pretty dissappointed that King didn't explore the feelings of some of the townspeople who had lived through this adventure.

    How did they feel afterwards?
    How had this changed them?
    Did it all make sense to them?

    Of course, King was more interested in the tensions and horrors DURING the Dome's time at Chester's Mill than what happened after.

    And that's his right as the author.
    But I'll always wonder what might have been.

    Anyway-- I am already eagerly awaiting his next novel. Something he is rumored to be already working on.

    Uhhhh, Mr. TG. If your still curious about King but hesitant to try a full length novel, why not try the last three short story collections?
    Hearts In Atlantis
    Everything's Eventual
    Just Past Sunset
    There are bound to be a handful of those short stories (within one of those three books) that would peak your interest.
    Frank Zubek

  2. One might look up "peak," and see it's the wrong word in your last sentence.