24. Under The Dome (Novel)
Original publication date: 2009
If the plot of Under The Dome sounds a lot like that of The Simpsons Movie, that’s because, well, the plots are indeed identical. But, in King’s defense, he first started conceptualizing this 1,000-plus-page tome in the late 1970s, meaning that Matt Groening isn’t as ingenious as we all think. At least not in this case.
A claustrophobic masterwork, Under The Dome presents the futuristic Maine town of Chester’s Mill as the epicenter for a possibly supernatural experiment, one in which the entire community is separated from the rest of the world by an impenetrable and invisible blockade. Trapped inside with depleting rations of food and water, the townsfolk slowly come apart, eventually killing one another while the Army attempts to break through.
Once again showing off his ability to juggle dozens of tangible characters in one narrative, King flips the old adage “Don’t trust thy neighbor” into “Don’t let thy neighbor disembowel you,” and the final product is a knockout.