What I Am: Reading, Watching This Week

Under the Dome, Stephen King

My husband knows me very well. I hadn’t even mentioned this book, and he bought it for me for Christmas. I just started it (and it’s massive) last week. I’m probably about a quarter of the way through, and wishing I had more time to read!

So far: King starts things off with (literally) a bang. Within the first three pages, he kills two people (and a woodchuck), and over the next 10 to 20 pages, slaughters a bunch more. Spectacularly. Come to think of it, all of the people biting it so far in the book aren’t going out with whimpers: car accidents, plane crashes, murder, a ricocheted bullet — you get the idea.

It’s, uh, pretty violent.

I want to read it all of the time, which is impossible what with the job and the kids and so on. The massive question in the middle of it all: what is causing the Dome?

I do have one complaint: King clearly sets us up with protagonists and antagonists. The good guys, the bad guys (and girls in both cases). It seems to me, unlike in the King classic The Stand (my all-time favorite King novel), the nuance is gone. Jim Rennie is a corrupt politician, and cold-hearted to boot. There is nothing to like about him. So you don’t like him. Dale Barbara is probably more complicated a character (short-order cook, drifter, Iraq War veteran), but he is clearly a Good Guy. The bad guys (and girls) are caricatures, in other words (thugs, dummies, corrupt politicians, a crazy preacher, etc.), and the good guys (and girls) are more fully realized.

If you’re a King reader, think back to The Stand. Think about Larry Underwood: musician, ladies’ man, quite a self-centered prick when we meet him (and through a pretty good part of the book). How about Flagg’s right-hand man in Vegas — his name is escaping me? Not exactly the most sympathetic of characters, and he does side with the ultimate of King’s bad guys, The Walkin’ Dude, but you end up having sympathy for him anyway. (Or I did at least.)

Now, as I’ve said, I’m only a quarter of the way through. My desire to see Jim Rennie or his son Junior get comeuppance may be mitigated by the end (or even the middle) of the book. King can do that to you.

Lost, Season 5 on DVD

Are you excited, boys and girls? The last season of Lost is on the horizon, and I better get cracking on the DVDs I gave to myself (and Dan) for Christmas. So far, I’m only two episodes in (I think Dan is at least six in).

How do I forget what an awesome show this is? All I can say is: Watching Juliet gives me chills. Ben Linus is the baddest bad guy on TV ever. I’m over Kate. Sun is insane! And I’m usually not hot for Sawyer, but it was fun to watch him walk around without his shirt off.

I have to get caught up, and quick.