First of all, I want to thank Rebecca Cantrell for filling in for me last week. I had a Very Bad reaction to an antibiotic and then engendered somes pre-BEA anxiety and, well, the end result was a puddle of oww that nobody needs to hear any more about. Anyway, thanks again, Becky. It was and is much appreciated.
BEA was a great deal of fun. Since I already wrote about it here, I won’t bore you with the rehashed details. What I will do, however, is jump right into answering this week’s provocative question.
It takes a lot to surprise me. Like many Gen-Xers, my brain is fixed in a semi-calcified state of Whatever. Don’t get me wrong. We/I want to be surprised, moved, scared, delighted, amused, etc. but given my generational stoicism, combined with an overexposure to CNN, it just takes a lot to get through to me. Just ask any of my ex-girlfriends.
That said, when I got to the Twilight Zone-esque climax of Stephen King’s Under the Dome, I remember my mind fetus-curling itself and subsequently shivering for its blankie. I’m not going to go into the details, if only to entice those who haven’t read the novel to do so and to save those who have read the novel from a repeated moment of spine-chill.
What worked most about the climax for me was the ego-lacerating fact that I completely did not see it coming. I mean, I had my own ideas as to what caused the dome to form over the town, I never expected King to go there. In my defense, King has a long history of great novels with bad climaxes (yes, I’m talking to you, It). Perhaps my expectations were low. Or maybe I was so delighting in the 300MPH roller coaster ride the novel provided that I was able to just escape into a world of an able, trustworthy storyteller. Whatever the reason, I remember reading that climax – and then reading it again just so I could deconstruct it from a writer’s point-of-view and analyze sentence-to-sentence what made it work so effectively for me.
I think I’ve mentioned Under the Dome as a recent favorite of mine before in these environs, and I’ll probably mention it again because it just sizzles and I love it, and sharing the books we love is a responsibility of ownership, don’t you think?