On October 1st, 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 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 are 193 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.
©2006 Stephen King. All rights reserved.; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. Audioworks is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division.
"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...are jaunty and witty." (Publishers Weekly)
I've been a King fan for many years; I read "Carrie" in hardback. Yes, before the dinosaurs. But as much as I wanted to be totally into this audiobook, I couldn't manage it. There were sections that seemed to go on forever. And the ending left me flat. Sorry, Stephen.
Terrible ending. Nothing is resolved. Seems like King just got tired of writing and stopped. I didn't need everything wrapped up, but ----nothing????
This book has the feel of a King and George Romero collaboration. The author re-visits the apocalypse in classic King style. Campbell Scott does a marvelous job with the narration. He paces it so well, the dread he creates will make you feel like a very large hand is squeezing your chest, -just a little. (If you liked Atwood's Oryx and Crake, you will enjoy this as well and vice versa) I literally could not pull the earphones out last night until I was done with this one.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I had seen this book for years and for some reason never read it. It is very similar to his other books, but with a unique premise. Once you give up on some basic reality (the cellphone being able to turn you into a zombie), it's really quite entreating. It's very similar to earlier books such as The Stand, but different enough to be a good listen. I suppose I liked it even more because it starts off in Boston where I live so I could better imagine the scenes. Stephen King has better books, but if your are a King addict this will work quite fine. Ringing off now.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
Like all good Stephen King books, the combination of strong storytelling and intriguing characters are the main ingredients that make Cell a must read/listen. Although the premise of the story is quite ridiculous, examining how these characters respond and adapt to their changing environment keeps the reader locked into the story. Unlike many writers, Stephen King truly allows the reader to know his characters. We are feed small portions of character revealing information scattered throughout the book rather than outright biographies. The dynamics of how an initial team of strangers develop a shared and agreed upon mission is my favorite take away from the book. Cell is much more than a pseudo zombie book (although all the killing and survival keeps you engaged) but the development of friendships within the ultimate good versus evil backdrop.
Kudos to Campbell Scott! As the narrator he delivers a even pace and more character voice range than I anticipated.
Beginners of horror
Not up to his usually excellent story telling
Dull, bland, uninspired
The campy writing
Not for the typical King fan
I like Steven King. A lot. That's why I regret having to pan this book. Although the story starts out strong, with the detailed narration and initial character development that King is so well known for, the plot arch quickly peters out. What, at first, promised to be a unique zombie story turns into a drab and un-engaging treck through thick prose. What's worse, King has obviously stopped caring about investing even the smallest modicum of research into his fiction. Virtually every reverence to modern technology and pop culture read with the sincerity of an aging parent trying to appeal to a hip teenager.
Although the beginning of the story promises deep character development, it doesn't deliver, and the characters (aside from the main character) remain cardboard cutouts. After the initial excitement of the zombie story fades away, this weird, nebulous psychic nonsense tangent ensues, which could have been a fun twist, but never develops. [Spoiler alert] Then this kid comes up with a far-flung hypothesis that only an old man who knows nothing at all about computers could come up with, and there you have it: instant denouement.
The climax of the action doesn't really make sense either, but even that would have been forgivable if the end of the story had been rewarding. It isn't. Instead, King pulls a poorly-veiled version of the ending of IT out of his bag of tricks and grafts it on. I'd recommend King to any reader, but not this book.
Just couldn't be drawn into it as I'd hoped. Not scary enough, not shocking enough, which is what I expect from King. Husband read hard copy and really liked it, maybe I was a bit distracted while I listened, but, still don't think I'll listen a second time. Cool concept, though. Very imaginative.
King has a tenancy to build up his stories and fail to deliver a satisfying climax. This book was by no means bad, but it simply left me unsatisfied by the end.
The narration was good and the characters were alright, but the way King chose to represent, for the lack of a better word, the 'Adversaries' of this story was a huge letdown.
But that's just me and I hope you enjoy the book better than I did!
I still remain a huge King fan.
Once you've read enough Stephen King, you start to get deja vu with every new novel. The narrative techniques, the characters, the plot twists... everything seems like a rehash of something before. But can you blame the guy? He's written, what, a gazillion novels? Of course you will get some repetition.
But even so, I am amazed at his ability to grab hold of your imagination and keep you enthralled for hours upon hours. Most 12 hour audio books would take me at least a week to get through - I listened to this in about a day! And even though the book reminded me about so much King I've already read (Dreamcatcher and Dark Tower stand out for me, and I'm sure if I thought about it I could find several more), I still couldn't stop listening.
Some of the scientific explanation was a little hokey, but hey, when you're talking about a book from a horror novelist where cell phones create a world of zombies, you can't expect Azimov-level sci-fi.
The ending is fine. King does more than enough foreshadowing in the pages leading up to the end, and if you think about it hard enough you KNOW what happens next even if King doesn't say it.
The narrator was great. There were a few production issues (the tone of the voice changed suddenly on a few occasions) but it was minor. I'd listen to this narrator again.
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