Author: Stephen King
Publishing Date: January 24, 2006
Source: Borrowed at the library
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There is a reason cell rhymes with hell.
On October 1, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and Clayton Riddell, an artist from Maine, is almost bouncing up Boylston Street in Boston. He’s just landed a comic book deal that might finally enable him to support his family by making art instead of teaching it. He’s already picked up a small (but expensive!) gift for his long-suffering wife, and he knows just what he will get for his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay is feeling good about the future.
That changes in a hurry. The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone’s cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization’s darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature…and then begins to evolve.
There is really no escaping this nightmare. But for Clay, an arrow points home to Maine, and as he and his fellow refugees make their harrowing journey north they begin to see crude signs confirming their direction. A promise, perhaps. Or a threat… (source: Goodreads)
This is the fourth King novel I’ve read, after reading Joyland, On Writing and Carrie. I must say I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did the others, unfortunately. This doesn’t mean Cell is an awful book, on the contrary.
The main focus of this story is on the fact that people use their cellphones so much they get totally brainwashed by it, literally. When The Pulse starts, everyone who happens to be making a call through a cellphone becomes a ‘phone crazy’. They turn into what we would see as your usual zombies. The only difference with common zombie stories is that these zombies are telepathic and they seem to be rebooting through music.
I’m not that big of a fan of zombie stories. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like this novel as much as I liked the other King novels. I did like the characters and the way King built the world around the whole zombie apocalypse though. Especially the character of Alice, a fifteen-year-old who lost her mother and father in The Pulse, appealed to me. I think King is a master at describing teenage characters who are slightly more mature than they appear to be, just like he did in Carrie.
I think this is the most gruesome King novel I’ve read until this moment (*knock on wood* I’m not sure what’s more to come). Especially the first hundred pages, where he describes how The Pulse kicks in and how people are turned into ‘phone crazies’ features some heavy and awful descriptions of flying flesh, ripped throats and teared off limbs. I know a zombie story should have those things, but I could have done without those descriptions if you asked me. ;)
If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to this post. All I ask of you is to do the same with mine. This way we can share our thoughts and let other people and ourselves enjoy new perspectives on the things we’re reading. Thanks!