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Cell: A Novel | [Stephen King]

Cell: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3715 )
5 star
 (1346)
4 star
 (1335)
3 star
 (710)
2 star
 (222)
1 star
 (102)
Overall
4.1 (1432 )
5 star
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4 star
 (497)
3 star
 (264)
2 star
 (64)
1 star
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Story
4.3 (1421 )
5 star
 (703)
4 star
 (486)
3 star
 (188)
2 star
 (34)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
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  •  
    Thomas Derry, NH, USA 02-15-06
    Thomas Derry, NH, USA 02-15-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
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    Overall
    "Excellent story but needs closure"

    I really liked this story. Stephen King has once again spun a tale of bizarre expanses with believable characters and circumstance. This is well worth your time but I do have to say that I was disappointed in the ending....there is so much that is left undone I can only hope that King plans another entry into this saga that will take us to the next level.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Sedro-Woolley, WA, USA 01-03-08
    Pam Sedro-Woolley, WA, USA 01-03-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    "Stephen King at His Scary Best"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leeann Encinitas, CA, USA 10-05-07
    Leeann Encinitas, CA, USA 10-05-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Drawn Out"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    grannysquare MO USA 02-10-06
    grannysquare MO USA 02-10-06 Listener Since 2001

    nldrew2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    5
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    Overall
    "bad ending"

    Terrible ending. Nothing is resolved. Seems like King just got tired of writing and stopped. I didn't need everything wrapped up, but ----nothing????

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lysa Garcia 06-12-12
    Lysa Garcia 06-12-12 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    14
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    Performance
    Story
    "Campy horror"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Beginners of horror


    What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

    Not up to his usually excellent story telling


    What three words best describe Campbell Scott’s voice?

    Dull, bland, uninspired


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    The campy writing


    Any additional comments?

    Not for the typical King fan

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 05-21-12
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 05-21-12

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1187
    ratings
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    286
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    Performance
    Story
    "THE STAND for the CELL phone era"

    Campbell Scott can narrate anything and make it interesting...which is why I gave this a 4 Star Overall.
    For plot, King has written a Readers Digest version of his best novel, THE STAND, and updated it with technology, however, the same type of protagonists and antagonists are in this novel. When I first read CELL-when the novel came out- I didn't realize how similar the plots were but having listened to "THE STAND" a few months ago made me realize how much these two stories are similar.
    If you love every novel King writes and can't find fault with anything, you'll enjoy CELL, otherwise I suggest you just purchase THE STAND...Though Scott isn't the moderator it's still a grand listen and thats not something I can say about CELL.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew MOSCOW, IDAHO, United States 11-14-11
    Matthew MOSCOW, IDAHO, United States 11-14-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
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    28
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    Story
    "Worst King Ever"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philipp Marian Selman Fort Wayne, Indiana 06-17-11
    Philipp Marian Selman Fort Wayne, Indiana 06-17-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    84
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    564
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    "Contrived and Terribly Disappointing"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aldo Pallanza, Italy 05-09-11
    Aldo Pallanza, Italy 05-09-11 Listener Since 2008

    Aldo

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Dull"

    Not a single interesting and original idea, not worth wasting the time to read it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SHEILA FAIRVIEW, TN, United States 09-06-08
    SHEILA FAIRVIEW, TN, United States 09-06-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
    ratings
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    211
    19
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    6
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    Overall
    "Really wanted to love it, but"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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