THERE'S 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'll get for his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay's 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's 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: KASHWAK=NO-FO. A promise, perhaps. Or a threat...
There are one hundred and ninety-three million cell phones in the United States alone. Who doesn't have one? Stephen King's utterly gripping, gory, and fascinating novel doesn't just ask the question "Can you hear me now?" It answers it with a vengeance.
What if a pulse sent out through cell phones turned every person using one of them into a zombie-like killing machine That's what happens on page six of King's latest, a glib, technophobic but compelling look at the end of civilization or at what may turn into a new, extreme, telepathically enforced fascism. Those who are not on a call at the time of the pulse (and who don't reach for their phones to find out what is going on) remain "normies." One such is Clayton Riddell, an illustrator from Kent Pond, Maine, who has just sold some work in Boston when the pulse hits. Clay's single-minded attempt to get back to Maine, where his estranged wife, Sharon, and young son, Johnny-Gee, may or may not have been turned into "phoners" (as those who have had their brains wiped by the pulse come to be called) comprises the rest of the plot. King's imagining of what is more or less post-Armageddon Boston is rich, and the sociological asides made by his characters along the way Clay travels at first with two other refugees are jaunty and witty. The novel's three long set pieces are all pretty gory, but not gratuitously so, and the book holds together in signature King style. Fans will be satisfied and will look forward to the next King release, Lisey's Story, slated for October. (Jan. 24) Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-4 of the 4 most recent reviews
1 . Almost Great
Posted January 31, 2010 by Zombie Dessert , Santa Clarita, CAI love Stephen King. Like most I LOVE the Stand. This book could have been of the quality of The Stand but fell short.
I love Zombies. Big Romero fan. Was very interested in Cell, with it being similar but of KING.
First half of the book was Great. Jumped right into the action and built up characters you cared about. Halfway through I felt like the notion of what was going on seemed... stretched and maybe bold and fierce for tyring a angle that others have not... but maybe there was a reason others had not gone there. By the end I was kind of let down...
I just feel like this book had some great potential and the fuel was all used up by the midpoint...
If I could I would rate this as 3.5 Stars
I don't want to ruin the end or even the middle with examples... but the first half gets 5 Stars, and the middle to end get 3 and potentially 2. Not horrible, but the ending half doesn't stand up well.
2 . A Fine Mix of Horror
Posted December 26, 2009 by Joseph Duncan , MetropolisTake a pinch of The Stand, a cup of Dawn of the Dead, season with a dash of 28 Days Later, and bake in Stephen King's imagination for 666 minutes and you get this fine dish of post-apocalyptic, psycho-violent horror. A very good horror novel that harkens back to the good ole days of Salem's Lot, Firestarter and The Stand. One of his better, more recent horror novels.
3 . another masterpiece from the master
Posted October 12, 2009 by kathy , franklin square nyfans will love it
nonfans will like it
watchout for nofos
4 . Here we go again
Posted December 24, 2008 by Stephane Thinel , Laval, Quebec, CanadaA end-of-the-world book in the same category as The Stand from the same author.
I just love this kind of stories. And written By the King of horror book himslef, What can I ask more? Another one maybe :-)
November 01, 2006
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Excerpt from Cell by Stephen King
The event that came to be known as The Pulse began at 3:03 P.M., eastern standard time, on the afternoon of October 1. The term was a misnomer, of course, but within ten hours of the event, most of the scientists capable of pointing this out were either dead or insane. The name hardly mattered, in any case. What mattered was the effect.
At three o'clock on that day, a young man of no particular importance to history came walking -- almost bouncing -- east along Boylston Street in Boston. His name was Clayton Riddell. There was an expression of undoubted contentment on his face to go along with the spring in his step. From his left hand there swung the handles of an artist's portfolio, the kind that closes and latches to make a traveling case. Twined around the fingers of his right hand was the drawstring of a brown plastic shopping bag with the words small treasures printed on it for anyone who cared to read them.
Inside the bag, swinging back and forth, was a small round object. A present, you might have guessed, and you would have been right. You might further have guessed that this Clayton Riddell was a young man seeking to commemorate some small (or perhaps even not so small) victory with a small treasure, and you would have been right again. The item inside the bag was a rather expensive glass paperweight with a gray haze of dandelion fluff caught in its center. He had bought it on his walk back from the Copley Square Hotel to the much humbler Atlantic Avenue Inn where he was staying, frightened by the ninety-dollar pricetag on the paperweight's base, somehow even more frightened by the realization that he could now afford such a thing.
Handing his credit card over to the clerk had taken almost physical courage. He doubted if he could have done it if the paperweight had been for himself; he would have muttered something about having changed his mind and scuttled out of the shop. But it was for Sharon. Sharon liked such things, and she still liked him -- I'm pulling for you, baby, she'd said the day before he left for Boston. Considering the shit they'd put each other through over the last year, that had touched him. Now he wanted to touch her, if that was still possible. The paperweight was a small thing (a small treasure), but he was sure she'd love that delicate gray haze deep down in the middle of the glass, like a pocket fog.