Advance-reader copies of Under the Dome are making the rounds; Google brings up a couple blog reviews. And here are excerpts from the first two professional assessments that I've come across.
• King keeps a huge cast very busy in his third-biggest novel ever, but most of its members are flimsily realized. However, his explanation for the dome has a prestigious pedigree (Shakespeare’s King Lear), and his way with mayhem remains nonpareil. - Ray Olson, Booklist
• The frequent accusation that King writes too long is sometimes deserved. However, when he works in an epic mode, depicting dozens of characters and all their interrelationships, he can produce great work. He did it with The Stand and with It, and he has done it again here. - Karl G. Siewert, Library Journal
Aside from the seven-book Dark Tower series, I've never been hugely taken with King's "epic mode," but have responded more positively to his more intimate, personal works (to say nothing of his corpus of short stories, particularly Night Shift, a seminal collection of modern horror). My favorite of his novels include 'Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Dead Zone, The Green Mile, Bag of Bones, Hearts in Atlantis (actually, five interconnected stories), and Lisey's Story. I must confess, though, that I've missed out on a few of his major works, notably Pet Sematary, Misery, and The Stand.
So, there you have it. Under the Dome: To read or not to read?