Under The Dome
I've read most of Stephen King's book, and "Under the Dome" is clearly one of his best. It's the story of a small city suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by a transparent barrier, the "Dome." On the one hand it's one of these stories that show how many things we take for granted are quite fragile achievements of civilization, like water, electricity, or food supply. On the other hand, King masterly tells how the small-town leaders abuse their power and manipulate the town folks, while ordinary people find their inner hero. Of course the book also has a significant yuck-factor, King-style. The end leaves the scientist somewhat unsatisfied as to explanation, but then King isn't known as a sci-fi author.
One long Saturday in the life of a neurosurgeon. It's an extremely well-told story with very carefully worked out and authentic characters. While there isn't actually much plot in this book, the reader gets to share the mind of the main character, his thoughts about current events, terrorism, the war in Iraq as well as aging and happiness in his own life. I found the book in parts quite annoying because of side-long detailed explanations about every move in a squash match or how to cook a bouillabaisse for dinner, but if you occasionally like to see the world through somebody else's eyes, this book is for you.
The main character of this novel is Michael Beard, a Nobelprize winner, now in his late 50s, with a long history of marriages and affairs. He doesn't see how he can make further contributions to physics, so he sets out getting famous in the flourishing business of clean energy and climate change. The story is a mixture of his private life with his attempt to leave a mark in history by not-so noble means The physics is sufficiently plausible, the author has clearly done his homework, and I found the story highly amusing and entertaining. As with "Saturday," by reading this book you'll get to see the world through somebody else's eyes. Very recommendable.
The main character of this book is Edgar who, after a work-accident that leaves him one-armed, loses also his wife and moves to Florida for a new start. There, he finds he has acquired a new talent, painting. And not only does he suddenly come to fame by his new talent, his paintings also have an eerie influence on his and other people's lives and bring him in contact with scary powers that awake from a long sleep. Together with newfound friends, Edgar sets out to battle these powers and put them back to sleep. It's a well-written story and an easy read, though there are repeated remarks about some good power watching over our heroes, so they "just know" what to do, which is never explained. The reader is left to wonder what this is all about, definitely not a feature I've encountered in earlier Stephen King novels.
King tell's the story of Lisey, the wife of a recently deceased famous who had, one could say, access to a parallel world. King being King, besides the writer's inspiration there's monsters and dangers lurking in that world. The story of that other world is woven together very nicely with Scott's family history and his marriage. The story is told after Scott's death, when Lisey has to deal with a mentally distorted person who is threatening her. However, the plot takes several hundred pages to actually start, and then lots of it doesn't make very much sense. Lisey is constantly following some intuitions for doing this or that which are never explained (similar to "Duma Key"), but she "just knows" it's the right thing to do. It's very unsatisfactory.