To many fans, Stephen King’s 1978 novel The Stand—a mega-fable about the survivors of an apocalyptic plague—is his masterpiece. Shortly after its publication, King started working on an equally ambitious project that he abandoned, twice. Now he’s finally finished Under the Dome, which could be a return to form: 1,088 pages, giant crowds of characters, and a ripsnorting premise. Without warning, a mysterious invisible dome suddenly descends over a small Maine town, trapping residents in a kind of supernatural quarantine. The Stand built much of its power by roaming across the country; we’ll see whether King can sustain that sweeping momentum bottled up in his little narrative biosphere.
Scribner, Nov. 10