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Stephen King's Cell

A book by Stephen King

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Can You Hear Me Now?

  • Mar 7, 2009
Rating:
+4
In Stephen King's Cell the world ends with a phone call.  In 2006 after taking a break from writing horror stories for a while, King came out with Cell, a return to the horror roots after he'd been away from them finishing up The Dark Tower series.  The book itself, while not haunting by any means, does present a scary and unique premise.  King, who has always been able to craft a good story with good characters, gives a techno horror novel that is both absorbing and fun.

Clayton Riddell is bouncing down the streets of Boston when the world is suddenly hit by an invent only known as "The Pulse".  Anyone talking on a Cell Phone when "The Pulse" hits becomes a mindless and brainless Zombie.  Clayton, all the way in Boston, is not too far from his native Maine.  And as the rest of the world crumbles around him he teams up with a few survivors and sets out to Maine in hopes of finding his son, in hopes that he's still alive, that is.  And not one of the walking undead.

King has, for the most part, always been able to craft a story.  Here it is no different.  The characters we encounter are well developed and are well described.  Each has a unique personality.  The story itself is also quite an enjoyable one.  At least for a while.  As you read onward and uncover the underlying premise of the it all, it feels a lot like The Stand at times.  The world coming to an end... a group of survivors setting out on a journey.  Yet it does manage to hold its own on top of everything.  It's certainly not as riveting as The Stand, but it should be noted that it is very nice to see King getting back to his horror roots which he has been absent from for a while.

However, it's hard to keep from mentioning that King leaves us hanging, and not in very good ways.  The Pulse is a horrific event, yet King never feels compelled to tell us just what caused it or what the origin of it was.  The characters talk and speculate but we never really learn anything. 

Another thing that may not please everyone is the ambiguity of the ending.  It's bad enough not finding out where The Pulse came from, but the ambiguity in the ending makes what was otherwise an exciting read unfulfilling.  It is definitely a novel worth picking up for the Stephen King fan, but not everyone will be satisfied by the ambiguous ending and unanswered questions.

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More Cell (book) reviews
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
I love King, but this latter novel shows his increasing tendency to create a situation, play around in it for a bit, then leave it hanging without any reconciliation of any kind. The premise is scary enough, and the story he weaves is, as always, creepy beyond belief. But how did it start? Whodunit? Why? What happens next? More trouble that it's worth, I'm VERY sorry to say.
Quick Tip by . June 25, 2010
Very cool take on the zombie/apocalypse genre, and will definitely make you think twice about how often you find yourself on your cell.
Quick Tip by . June 19, 2010
In the same string as everything else King has written. If you like that sort of thing, then go ahead and read. If you're like me, why haven't you given up on King yet?
review by . November 08, 2008
Cell by Stephen King
Clay Riddell has just left his publisher, celebrating his first big sale of his graphic novel Dark Wanderer. As he heads back towards his hotel, he stops for an ice cream. Waiting in line behind two women with cell phones, Clay witnesses the beginning of the end. Within seconds, the women have gone utterly crazy, and all heck breaks out on busy Boylston street in Boston.     In shock, Clay bumps into the only other sane person, Tom McCourt. Together, they flee through the bloody …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #6
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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ISBN-10: 0739464337 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780743292337 (hbk.)
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Scribner; Large Print edition (January 24, 2006)
Date Published: (January 24, 2006)
Format: Hardcover: 384 pages, Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
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