The Return of the King? Has King rediscovered his older, tighter, scarier style again?
Nov 8, 2008
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 melee to Clay's hotel. Outside they meet young Alice Maxwell, a fifteen-year-old girl suddenly thrust into adulthood. The three form an unlikely bond, and decide to head north, out of the city before it burns to the ground. All Clay wants is to get back to his home in Kent Pond, where his son John lives with his estranged wife Sharon. Clay remembers the little red cell phone he and Sharon gave to their son.
'The Cell' follows Clay, Tom, and Alice's journey through the devastation left by "The Pulse", as they call it. Maniacs are loose, at first running like wild dogs and then bizarrely starting to "flock", developing a strange hive-mind behavior. And the Hive doesn't like "Normals". Their journey is bizarre, frightening, exhilarating, and even touching at times, as they are drawn towards Kashwak, the only area without cell phone service.
I stopped reading King a long time ago, after being heavily disappointed in 'The Dark Half' and bored to tears with 'Gerald's Game' and 'Insomnia'. Long, rambling, unedited diatribes were not what I considered to be horror. Horror can creep, but it can also drag you into tedium as you wade through waves of pointless, straggling prose.
'The Cell' is a strong return to King's "pins and needles" storylines, along with fully fleshed characters. He even, to my delight, included one of his "old lady religious fanatic doomsayer" characters that we love to be irritated by. The King is back! Enjoy!
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.
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. Clay … more
I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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