Friday, April 07, 2006

Book Review - Stephen King's Cell

There is going to be moment while reading Stephen King's new novel, Cell where your cell phone is going to ring. This will be the moment of decision. Do you risk it? Pick it up and take the chance that the zombie making Pulse will hit your brain, or do you pitch the small devise across the room.

King revisits familiar territory in his new novel, apocalypse: A topic that he addressed in his Gunslinger series, The Stand, and some other works. Yet, King induces Cell with enough cynicism about our technology obsessed culture that this work stands out from the rest. It makes the reader look warily and fearfully at modern life's little conveniences.

The hero of the novel, Clayton Riddell, a comic book creator who wants nothing more than to celebrate the best day of his career with an ice cream cone when the world is thrown into turmoil by a pulse that turns every one listening into a raving lunatic.

If the story stopped there, Cell would be nothing more than an inventive Zombie story, but King, a master at taking the tropes of horror and turning them on their head, takes us into the new territory. Riddell must get home to Maine and his son, he meets people on the way, some good, some bad, but it is fully his journey. He also notices that the zombies who were mindless and violent right after the pulse are changing, evolving into something new, something more terrifying than the shambling hordes of Romero's Night of the Living Dead or the running rage freaks of Boyle's 28 Day's Later.

I loved every page of the novel. A long time Stephen King fan (my favorite is Desperation), I went in expecting the story to grip me by the throat and it did. King has always been good at fleshing out characters with a few words or deeds, but with Cell he shows the best and worst that humanity has to offer.

Read an Excerpt HERE.


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