Earlier on this year we went to a ‘bring and buy sale’ at someone’s house in Makrigialos. I purchased various plants whilst Caroline picked up a copy of Stephen King’s Duma Key for 50 cents. A couple of weeks ago I picked up that book and started reading, wondering how long it would be before I put it aside again. King has been a disappointment in recent years; his books steadily suffering from an increasing case of bloat. The last I struggled through was Dreamcatcher, which I finished in the sure knowledge that a Peter Lavery pencil would have excised about a third of it. Yet I remember my enjoyment of those earlier books, like The Dead Zone, and how, in my opinion, some of his short stories are the best I’ve ever read.
Duma Key grabbed me and held on, right to the end. Apart from a bit of unclearly visualized monster silliness I enjoyed it very much and felt that King had returned to doing well the stuff he does. The book had that creepy feel with its ‘heart in the mouth’ moments, its ‘laugh out loud’ moments and its moments of ‘now that would make me cry if I wasn’t so macho – sniffle’. After I’d finished it I therefore picked up a book Caroline had bought on the strength of a recommendation from Amazon, and because she hadn’t read something from him in a while. I had been tending to avoid it, seeing as it was the size of a breeze block.
Under the Dome started well and I liked the idea behind it of a small town being cut off from the rest of the world by a force-field. I was also quite surprised when reading the the high praise from various critics to find only one ‘serious ecological undertow’ comment and nary a reference to global warming. Quite refreshing. I then roared through the first hundred or so pages hoping for a stonking good story like The Stand, which this had been compared to, but started to lose headway through the next hundred pages. Reading the hundred pages after that I began to get that ‘oh get on with it’ feeling, and these pages took me only a third of the way in. Another six hundred pages of this to go.