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)
Very linear, mediocre narration, really enjoyed the Dark Tower series on audio, but this one just laid there. Dissapointed in the ending, 'fofo fo u u' c'mon. I would not spend any credits or cash on this one.
I read a lot of Stephen King in high school many years ago (the Stand being a particular favorite) but I got tired of the gore and moved on to other authors and genres. This is only the second King book I have listened to in audio format (Duma Key was the other). Overall it is a very enjoyable read and for me was just on the verge of the "can't get out of the car because I have to keep listening" category - perhaps not great, but very good.
In spite of the excellent storytelling, I actually almost stopped listening to it about 30% of the way through because the gore angle got a bit tiresome, but I persevered and was certainly rewarded when the story really got its footing. The bottom line is that nobody can tell a story like Stephen King and while certainly it was implausible, it was told so well you feel compelled to listen.
Unlike some other reviewers, I thought the ending was very good and appropriate. There aren't many ways to end an apocolyptic story and I thought it was quite satisfactory.
Like some of the other reviews I will agree that the editing of the audiobook was jarring at times - I have not heard anything like it with the other books I have listened to from Audible. It is not horrible, just annoying in about a half a dozen places.
Bottom line is that if you have liked other King books I think you will enjoy this one.
Being new to audio books, this was a new experience for me, and I wasn't sure I could get into listening to a book, rather than actually holding one in my hand. With this Stephen King book, however, I shouldn't have had any worries, and the narration with the various accents was great. My only regret was that I had to power down during take-off and descent on the plane while we were on vacation. The characters were incredibly real, and I cared about them very much. I felt much of their anguish. The geography was so real that even though I don't live in the Northeast, I felt as though I knew exactly where the "Normies" were heading, and when there would be a trap laying for them. As usual, King picked the perfect setting for this situation. Several times I actually reached for my cell phone to be sure it was turned off. I'm looking forward to finding another book as totally engrossing as this one. Stephen King lovers (or simply lovers of this genre) must definitely read this book.
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.
Beginners of horror
Not up to his usually excellent story telling
Dull, bland, uninspired
The campy writing
Not for the typical King fan
I usually like Stephen King books, but this one just failed. The story was weak with huge holes in it, the characters had no depth, and the story was entirely too predictable. Scott Campbell read the story in a mind-numbing monotonous voice also. I think he was trying to capture some emotion of despair, but it fell flat and sounded more like he was bored.
The older I get, the less I care for King. His works fascinated me as a teen, but either I am getting wiser, or King is getting less and less able to tell a story without turning it into a platform to push his political views on others.
Mr. King should also at least try to modernize his knowledge of weapons. It is clearly obvious from reading his books that he doesn't like firearms or firearms owners, and that is fine if he feels that way. But it doesn't excuse his ridiculously poor research when it comes to firearms. His continual use of "45 Colt revolvers" and "dum-dum" rounds in his books makes me wonder if his research into firearms ever extended past a childhood reading of Louis L'Amour.
No "right wing gun nut" as portrayed in the book, would ever equip his wife's kitchen with a revolver as old and unwieldy as a 45 Colt Revolver. A snub nosed .357 would have been more realistic, instead of a 6-8 inch barreled monstrosity whose cylinder must be loaded a single bullet at a time (he got the method of loading wrong also). Revolvers of that type also don't come with a safety catch. (Nor do most any revolvers).
Also, hollow point bullets are not 'dum-dum' bullets, and neither type are illegal in any state except New Jersey. Either type of expanding bullet would also not be "cop killer" bullets. In fact, expansion type bullets like these are stopped faster than regular ones by the body armor police wear.
Last, it would be a very rare gun-owner indeed who kept a fully automatic Kalishnikov (AK47) hiding in their garage. I really don't even see what King's purpose was for the introduction of that gun into the story was, other than to propagate the idea that every legally gun-owning American secretly has a stash of impossible to obtain military hardware that if caught with (unlicensed) they would spend over a decade behind bars.
If Stephen King really dislikes guns so much, he should leave them out of his stories. Arm his characters with strongly worded legislation to drive away the ghouls and bandits. That should work, right?
I have been a King fan for years, but this was just terrible. The story line was interesting, but it seemed like this was written in a hurry, and for market only. If you were expecting typical King, forget it - and don't waste your money or time.
The story carried along ok, but it seemed that SK didn't have a real ending here and just truncated the whole thing. Extremely disappointing to say the least.
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.
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