Under the Quandary

A couple of new books for Christmas - including Steven King's new novel Under the Dome. The book is a mystery - and I'm not talking about genre. No short description on the back cover or the inside flap like most book consumers have come to expect. Nothing. The contents of the book are a complete mystery until you read it (or someone tells you).

I'm just getting it started, but it's intimidating. It's a beast.* If I average 3 pages a day (starting today) I'll finish the book on Christmas. (of 2010)

Luckily I've all ready delved into the first handful of pages. I'm a slow reader, so it will take me a while. And I have ADD so I can't just read one book at a time. I'm also working my way through A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn - the Last Great Battle of the American West (another book of equally epic proportions), Jules Verne's classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the third book in Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series. (I hope to finish one of them soon)

Back to the king of horror. In the first few pages, a plane crashes into an invisible wall - bursting into flames and a woodchuck is chopped in half. A few more pages in and an old man breaks his nose after sprinting into the same invisible wall, a gardener loses her hand while her husband listens to LCD Soundsystem, a deer's head is separated from it's body, and a logging truck slams into the invisible barrier at highway speeds - spewing it's load of logs (one of which almost lands on the old guy who broke his nose). So much carnage in such a short amount of time. And I still have no idea what is going on.

I'm sure Mr. King intended it to be like that.

* Even Steven King admits it's a beast. In the author's note** he writes that his editor helped trim "the book down from the original dinosaur to a beast of slightly more manageable size."

** Also in the author's note, King admits that part of why it took him so long to finish writing this book (he started in 1976) was that he was "terrified of screwing it up." As an aspiring writer, I find that encouraging. As the fear of screwing up my own story is my greatest hindrance in writing fiction. Thanks Mr. King for the motivating kick in the pants. Hopefully it doesn't take me 33 years to write my first book.

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