Phew. Well, I finally finished my book Wednesday night, then had to face the world that I'd neglected for eight days straight on Thursday. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Praise the Lord that my husband doesn't mind picking up the slack. You should have seen him the weekend Harry Potter seven came out. I literally read for forty eight hours straight, stopping only to shower and sleep a few hours. And as soon as I finished, I flipped it over to read it again! Although the second time around I slowed down considerably.
While Under the Dome was no Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it was still superb. Stephen King is absolutely, positively, my totally undoubtedly favorite author. Without a single doubt. Yes, when I was in the thick of the Harry Potter phenomenon, I really really appreciated JK Rowling. I mean, no one can deny that she's so so super talented. But, then I found out that Stephen King loves her too! And that sealed the deal for me, Stephen King wins. Maybe if she writes something else totally different from Harry Potter and it's still fantastic, she can be back in the running, but right now, if I had the opportunity to meet anyone in the whole entire world, it would be Stephen King.
I always wanted to be a writer, for as long as I can remember. It never dawned on me, and it wouldn't have worked anyway because I had to join the Navy to pay for college so I really had to go the nursing route, but it never dawned on me to get into the publishing world. I never want anyone to read my own stuff, but I could have tried editing, or any of the thousands of things that they do in a publishing firm. Duh! Oh well, maybe when I'm done staying home with all these kiddos.
But, back to the book. Fantastic. Tons of characters (just like the Stand), tons of action, tons of things that make you think...it was so good! I mean, hello, it was 1072 pages and I got through it in eight days. That should tell you it was pretty good. The basic plot is that this magical barrier has slammed (yes, slammed, quickly and harshly and with consequences) down over this entire town, all along the man made borders (making you think it's a man made barrier). Sounds pretty stupid, yes, but it's not! The whole book takes place over nine days, and this small town goes from a bunch of normal people to a bunch of animals. I mean, ANIMALS! It doesn't help that the guy who's sort of like the mayor is a power hungry drug lord, but hey, the regular people voted for him and put up with him all these years, right?
As usual, I wish I hadn't read the end first. I really slowed down at the end, because I already knew who was gonna make it and how. I don't know why I do that, but I always do! When HP7 came, I had Nick staple the last hundred pages together so I literally couldn't read the ending first. But, I did sneak a few peaks, so I knew Harry was gonna make it, and that Snape (my favorite fictional character of all time) wasn't. Ugh, why? WHY DO I DO THAT?!?!?! But I always do.
I know a lot of people think that Stephen King only writes blood and gore horror, but for those of you who've never read any of his stuff, there's more too it than that. And a LOT of it isn't like that at all! I mean, yes, there's blood and guts and horror, but not every book is all Carrie and Cujo. Although, I read Cujo and it was probably the most terrifying thing I've ever done. The horror though, is in the psychological suspense. His shorts stories now, that's a whole different ballgame. Those suckers are SCARY and I don't usually even glance at the pages. (shivers in discomfort)
Anyway, there's this one character who just really grabbed my heart in the book, Sammy Bushey and her baby Little Walter. That would be first name Little, middle name Walter. Geeze. Sammy is a skanky slut, sort of a lesbian, and smokes a lot of weed, but for some reason I just fell in love with her! He doesn't get too deep in her back story, but he's such a great writer that you know it anyway. She's had a rough life, but she's pretty happy in her trailer outside of town. She's got this baby, she's only like twenty, I think, and her husband left her a while back to live in the meth lab that the 'mayor' runs. She's just out there minding her own business, seriously.
The first time you meet her, I didn't really like her because she seems to dislike her baby. But then you see her again, at this big town picnic type deal, and she's wearing her baby in a front carrier, and that just about did it for me. Sammy is minding her own business, and this rent a cop type pushes her down-all the way down!- while she's wearing her baby! But the way she responds is how you know that she's sort of used to being kicked around. Poor Sammy Bushey. When Dobby dies in Harry Potter, I literally sobbed for almost an hour, I was just devastated. I was almost as upset when Sammy Bushey dies, but she makes sure Little Walter is okay before she does it, so it was sort of sweet. Bittersweet. I don't know why I identified with this girl so much, but I really did. And if Little Walter hadn't made it out of the Dome, I probably wouldn't be singing SK's praises so much.
He's not above letting kids die in his stories you know, in fact, another lady wearing her baby in a front carrier is, in fact, mowed down by her neighbor in this very book, and they both die. But we don't know them, so it's not very upsetting. And everyone saw the movie Cujo, right? Happy ending, boy's okay? Well, shocker- he dies in the book. The mom finally does in the dog and makes it to the front door (it was unlocked the whole time, ain't that a kick in the head) but the kid dies from dehydration. Anyway, if SK had let Little Walter die, I would not think he's so amazing. Alas, he IS so amazing, hence, Little Walter makes it out by the skin of his teeth. Actually, I made that up. The book specifically says that Little Walter is not affected at all like everyone else when they run out of air. Huh, what are you gonna do.
Anyway, point being- fantastic book. Check it out if you get a chance, but it's super heavy, so be sure to lift with your legs. I'm off the reread Insomnia, my previous Favorite SK Book. Or the Stand, also my previous Favorite SK Book. Poor Nick.
Update: I just googled some book reviews (I know, that's what you all do on Friday nights too!) and I just loved what one of them said! I was starting to think that it was sort of weird how much I fell in love with skanky Sammy Bushey and this guy up and says "King also admires women, particularly mothers, and there are numerous examples of maternal love here- from a white-trash girl's heartbreaking relationship with her little boy..." So I guess that takes care of my second life in editing. How come those words never came to my mind when I was trying to explain Sammy and Little Walter to you? This guy also mentioned that people compare SK to Charles Dickens. I just love him! And I love it when other people love him too! It's a pretty good review, here's the link if you're interested. He also agreed with me that King's last few books- The Cell, Duma Key, and Lisey's Story- weren't too Kingish. Enjoyable, but not really what you're looking for when you pick up an SK. He also put into better words than I could that the ending, while totally fine in itself, is sort of a bummer when you find out that little kid aliens dropped the dome because they were bored and wanted to see what would happen. But still, as stupid as that must sound, just read it! It's so good!
Another update: I hope this is the last one, because even I myself am starting to think I'm a loser. Here's the NYTimes review and he says it a lot better than me too.