Fans seem less convinced that the novel's conceit – a town discovers that it is encased in a giant dome, put there by an unknown force – is so terrific. Many took to the internet to point out that a similar plot was the basis for The Simpsons Movie. King took to his website to respond that he had never seen the movie and that the similarity came as a complete surprise. Fans reacted with incredulity, pointing out that not only is King a pop- culture omnivore, but has played on stage with The Simpsons creator Matt Groening in his Rock Bottom Remainders band. King then gave a different account of the book's origins, this time saying he started it in 1978 or thereabouts, and wrote a second, unpublished version called The Cannibals in 1985. In order to silence any accusations of plagiarism, he published the first 60 pages on his website (in the original IBM typescript to prove its age).
But the problem is not who had the idea first. King may argue that "stories can be no more alike than snowflakes" as "no two human imaginations are exactly alike", but Stephen King novels and Simpsons movies are similar in that they are big pop-culture events aimed at roughly the same sort of audience – and with such events, the concept is as important as the execution. Also, both film and novel use their conceit to give dramatic focus to tales of the interconnected lives of a large cast of everyday small-town Americans. It doesn't matter whether King has seen the film; his readers have, and this takes some of the shine off his novel.
If you've seen the movies and read the book, let us know what you think. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/under-the-dome-by-stephen-king-1818801.html -via The Litter Box