I've read a lot of the reviews of Under The Dome. To me a review says more about the one reviewing it than the work itself..
Some time back King compared himself to the literary equivalent of a "big mac." Unfortunately, many people took him serious. But King doesn't dish out Big Mac's, he gives four course meals these days. But reviewers continue to come to King expecting their Big Mac's..
Have you noticed that a lot of people aren't reading King for the joy of reading King -- they're reading to dish out their reviews. Big Mac's are easy to review -- gormet meals are not so easy..
Too Much Of A Good Thing?
Without citing any specific review, though I could give a lot of links, there is a lot of complaining about the length of Under The Dome. Many people suggesting that it doesn't need to be this long to tell the story..
I propose a literary diet. Stop gulping down fastfood and learn to enjoy a carefully paced, long novel. It's not about how fast you can read it -- the journey is part of the joy. Some readers would do well to learn to enjoy what they read. Why try to read a book as quick as possible? Take in. Taste it. Enjoy being there..
Some in my family complained that Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Anne Burns was too long. But it wasn't just driven by plot, it was exciting just to see the situation unfold..
By the way, in his time Charles Dickens got the same complaint. That he was padding his novels. But, may I ask: Does anyone really want to just read a barebones outline? Try H.G. Wells if that's the kind of writing you like..
Long books I took time to enjoy:.
Pillars of the Earth.
World Without End.
Gone With The Wind (Well, I didn't read it, but my wife did. And I plan to spend my life mooching off of her wisdom. So I count it as one I've read.)
War and Peace
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (okay, not a novel, but I read it).
Enjoy What You Read
There is only a problem with length when the book gets boaring. But sometimes it is enjoyable to allow a writer to "get" you somewhere, and then allow you to linger. To be clear, my literary diet is not to read less, it's to enjoy what you read. As the doctor would tell you, chew your food slowly..
So go ahead, take the diet plan. Stop reading just to gulp, and enjoy the flavor. No need to hunt for big mac's, come to the table ready to have a nice, long, enjoyable dinner.