Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Cell by Stephen King

Cell by Stephen King (Paperback, Copyright 2006)

Some people like Stephen King's writing, others hate it.

Cell, however, is not your typical King fare.

It is seemingly his homage to the zombie horror genre, going so far as to dedicate the book to George Romero. Within a few pages, King flings you right into the action as you view the unfolding devastation through the eyes of graphic novelist Clayton Riddell. A technological horror is unleashed upon an unwary populace through the use of the ubiquitous cell phone. Clay and his small band of non-cell using survivors navigate their way through a landscape of terror as those affected by the "Pulse" become little more than mindless, ravaging beasts. Civilization begins to rapidly crumble, and Clay searches for his estranged wife and son in a Stand-like journey.

Cell by Stephen King (Paperback Copyright 2006)There are some likable characters in the book, and King avoids delving as deep as he typically does into their psyche. The pacing and story will keep you turning pages long into the night, eagerly following along with Clay and the other "normies" struggle to survive. There are more than a fair share of gruesome scenes, and King does not spare the gore in this apocalyptic tale. A twist in the novel brings a touch of paranormal as the "phone crazies" begin to develop telepathic abilities and form a collective consciousness, bringing a new level of interaction between they and the non-affected survivors.

The reason behind the "Pulse" is never definitively given, though allusions to terrorist technological warfare abound. Nor are the reasons of how and why the "phone crazies" gained their new abilities of telepathy, levitation, and other psionic phenomena explored in depth. And, while the book is an exciting read and rushes you to the rather predictable ending, it leaves much open and unexplored. In all, the ending was rather disappointing when compared to the frenetic pace and highly interesting mysteries King gives us.

Cell is not billed as a multi-part series, though I could see King revisiting this strange new world and continuing the tale.

Were it not for the anemic ending, I would rate this book as a Must Read. Instead, it's merely Recommended it to those who enjoy a decent horror or zombie survival story, and to the fans of Mr. King.


Bruiser said...

I used to read his stuff all the time. Delores Claiborn (or whatever it was) was the last one I tried to get through. It was brutal. My favorite of his books is The Talisman. I tore through that one in a very short time (for me). I'm not an avid reader, but this looks like an interesting book. I might consider getting it.

How'd you find me,Raivynn?

Raivynn said...

When last you visited, I snuck up behind you and painted the soles of your shoes radioactive green. After that it was a simple process to stealthily trail you back to you blog. Muahahahaha Or, I typed (Bruiser Wordpress Bruce) in Google/ I forget which. =/

Cerya said...

Have not had a change to read this one yet. Knowing king I am sure that someone will explain everything in an off hand comment in a book he will write 5 years from now.

Raivynn said...

Actually, this is likely very loosely connected to the Dark Tower universe in some fashion. If you have a little knowledge of it, you will see a few things in the books which show what I mean. (Mainly Clayton Riddell's Dark Wanderer comic).