Under the Dome called out from the bookshelf to me for some reason I can't quite clarify. Maybe it was the similarity of the plot to The Simpsons movie, maybe it was the beautiful cover (which, since I read the book on my Kindle, I didn't get to enjoy). Or maybe it was that it seemed like such a perfect idea for a Stephen King novel.

It was just so him.

In fact, you've kind of read this novel if you've read much Stephen King. In terms of plot and theme, it's right there with the novella The Mist. Isolated, a small group of people from a small town in Maine divide and start their own private war against each other. Some are manipulating the situation for their own ends, often cynically using religion to do so. Like The Stand, it's full of characters, many of them memorable with the eye for detail Stephen King has mastered.

And yet, Under the Dome was pretty darn good. It's breathlessly paced. I started it Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, I can't remember, but I finished it yesterday in the car. The book just doesn't let up.

There are weaknesses, surely. Big Jim Rennie might be the most diabolically evil and yet non-supernatural villain King has painted, and he stretches the bounds of credulity. But it all still works. Good fun.