THE AIRPLANE AND THE WOODCHUCK
From two thousand feet, where Claudette Sanders was taking a flying
lesson, the town of Chester's Mill gleamed in the morning light like something
freshly made and just set down. Cars trundled along Main Street, flashing up
winks of sun. The steeple of the Congo Church looked sharp enough to pierce
the unblemished sky. The sun raced along the surface of Prestile Stream as the Seneca V overflew it, both plane and water cutting the town on the same diagonal course.
"Chuck, I think I see two boys beside the Peace Bridge! Fishing!" Her very
delight made her laugh. The flying lessons were courtesy of her husband, who was the town's First Selectman. Although of the opinion that if God had wanted man to fly, He would have given him wings, Andy was an extremely coaxable man, and eventually Claudette had gotten her way. She had enjoyed the experience from the first. But this wasn't mere enjoyment; it was exhilaration. Today was the first time she had really understood what made flying great.What made it cool.
Chuck Thompson, her instructor, touched the control yoke gently, then
pointed at the instrument panel. "I'm sure," he said, "but let's keep the shiny
side up, Claudie, okay?"
"Not at all." He had been teaching people to do this for years, and he
liked students like Claudie, the ones who were eager to learn something new.
She might cost Andy Sanders some real money before long; she loved the
Seneca, and had expressed a desire to have one just like it, only new. That
would run somewhere in the neighborhood of a million dollars. Although not
exactly spoiled, Claudie Sanders had undeniably expensive tastes which, lucky man, Andy seemed to have no trouble satisfying.
Chuck also liked days like this: unlimited visibility, no wind, perfect
teaching conditions. Nevertheless, the Seneca rocked slightly as she overcorrected.
"You're losing your happy thoughts. Don't do that. Come to one-twenty.
Let's go out Route 119. And drop on down to nine hundred."
She did, the Seneca's trim once more perfect. Chuck relaxed.
They passed above Jim Rennie's Used Cars, and then the town was
behind them. There were fields on either side of 119, and trees burning with
color. The Seneca's cruciform shadow fled up the blacktop, one dark wing
briefly brushing over an ant-man with a pack on his back. The ant-man looked
up and waved. Chuck waved back, although he knew the guy couldn't see him.
"Beautiful goddam day!" Claudie exclaimed. Chuck laughed.
Their lives had another forty seconds to run.
From Under the Dome by Stephen King. Copyright (c) 2009 by Stephen King. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Stephen King ups his own considerable ante once again in Under the Dome, the chilling tale of a small Maine town inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field.
Planes crash into it and fall from the sky. A gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it. Cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, and when—or if—it will go away.
Iraq vet and short-order cook Dale Barbara joins forces with a few intrepid citizens to get to the bottom of the mystery. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing—even murder—to hold the reins of power. But their main adversary is the dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.
Hardcover Book : 1088 pages
Publisher: Scribner/Simon & Schuster ( November 10, 2009 )
Item #: 12-750213
Product Dimensions: 6.125 x 9.25 x 1.575inches
Product Weight: 51.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
King is (as usual) at his best while going into dark depths of human's self-motivation. The scariest part is not a monstrosity of leaders, but the willingness for acceptance from followers. The book deserves its 5 stars for reading despite the gigantic size (which should be expected for King's fans) and some loose ends (e.g. 'visions', geography of Dome, etc.).
Now, the disappointing part: I'd expect in afterword from one of my favorite writers words of thanks to other my favorite author - late Clifford Simak, who wrote 'All flesh is grass' in 1965 (well earlier that first try on 'Under the Dome' in 1976 according to King). The mentioned novel was obviously so important for Simak that he put his 'dome' on his native Millville, Wisconsin (compare to Chester's Mill in Maine). The number of other parallels with Simak's writings including irresponsibility of 'alien children' (e.g. Immigration, 1954) is striking and deserves at least 'thanks' to old master of SF.
The last thing: I went through (last) half of Reviews on SFBC and didn't find any mention of Simak's novel, which made writing of this review a 'must' for me.
This was a great book, I couldn't put it down. I was very much into the characters. I felt like I was with them under the dome. Can't wait to see the series on television next month and who plays each character!!
Read this book last summer. Couldn't put it down. Completely captivating and made me feel I was actually there "under the dome". Full of sinister characters who take full advantage of being shut off from the rest of the world. It's on it's way the small screen as a mini-series this June 2013. Can't wait to see how they portray some of the horrific deeds of these dastardly, sinister, and very sick bad guys. One of King's best since the Stand and a MUST read for King fans.
Enjoyed it, but it can't touch THE STAND, nor more recently, DUMA KEY. King seemed to have left some issues unresolved. However, I am still a faithful lover of his books.
Its a wonderful novel , a must read!