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)
King used to be one of my favorite authors, but not after this one. What an incredible disapointment. Words without point or direction. Ending is absolutely lame. Makes me wonder if King was a little low on cash this month so he spit this out without any planning or care taken in creating a story. Waste of time and money.
I purchased this audiobook because I was initially attracted to the basic premise of the story: the ubiquitous cell phone as the "key to our undoing." And while I still find the premise compelling, I was not overly impressed with King's story or the quality of the audiobook's production. I tend to look for unabridged audiobooks, but this one was too long; it could stand to be abridged and still maintain the basic plot. Also, I was distracted and very irritated by the dubbed in voice that would appear from time to time throughout the book. I'm surprised at the poor quality of this important technical aspect of audiobook publishing. Overall, the story is based on a good idea (and I consider myself a Stephen King fan from way back), but this audiobook did not do it for me on more than one level.
Usually, if a book or movie or piece of art leaves you with questions, it's a good thing. It's one of the primary functions of art.
This book will leave you with questions, but not for the usual reasons.
The first question is "Why?"...as in, "why did Stephen King feel the need to write this book?" Didn't he retire?
Another question is, "hasn't this been done before? Only better...?" The answer is yes. SK did it a long time ago with The Stand. And he did it right, one of my all-time favorite reads. This story is like The Stand, but without all those really good parts, and without characters you care about.
Typically with a good story, I can't wait to find out what happens next, and this author is traditionally one of the best. He keeps my attention, and I am always in anticipation of the next event. But with this story, I only find myself asking "who cares?".
About the reader, I've listened to other titles, and he's good. He's good here, but the production quality is terrible. There are severe volume shifts, and obvious edits that sound like overdubs. Very disappointing for a "best-seller" release.
I'd recommend this title only for die-hard SK fans that can't get enough. Those fans may find something to appreciate here, but new listeners may be turned off for good. Audible has many really good stories by Stephen King, including the Dark Tower series, The Talisman, The Shining and many others that would be a better investment of time.
Immediately before listening to this title, I downloaded and listened to The Shining. The degree of difference in the quality of the two books is palpable. While The Shining is a superb horror story, Cell can only be said to be entertaining. That being said, though, it is entertaining with "Into the breach", full-blown Stephen King-style, and I won't lie and say I didn't enjoy it in a very visceral sense. And, contrary to other reviewers, I had no problems with the ending at all; a tight wrap-up style ending would have left me dissatified given the apocolyptic nature of the book. Definitely worth the listen.
I bought this one on the basis of King's previous work and was disappointed. Had I read / heard this book without knowing who the author was, I would NOT have guessed it to be Steven King. Either King has lost his touch or he's become lazy and decided to just coast for a while.
I based my purchase of this audiobook on my affection of Mr. King's previous work, and the customer reviews. Bad decision. This book is basically a bad, long winded version of The Stand. I was very unimpressed, and wish I could get a mulligan on this book.
I enjoyed The Stand so I found that I enjoyed the format/theme of this book as well. HOWEVER, I felt cheated and frustrated after nine hours of listening to have the cheap blow of what I would call an"easy-out" ending. Do not expect a comfortable wrap up of the story, just enjoy the progress of it. If you need conclusions, this is not a book for you.
This is the first SK novel I have experienced. I am hesitant to read
any others, because of the way he ended this one. To me, this ends
horribly. Are you kidding me? Either a happy ending or a tragic ending,
but not this way, unless there is a sequel. If not, don't read unless
you can handle a non-ending, ending. Otherwise I was entranced, and
couldn't stop listening, even taking playing it on my laptop on my
home commute. Just next time Mr.King, give more thought to how you
want to end something.
I have read several of King's former novels, but I do not consider myself a fan, at least based on my interpretation of the word.
The book kept my attention, though the obvious narrator switches were distracting.
The ending was very abrupt and made me question the time I spent with the book. I am one of those readers who prefers closure.
Overall, it's a good listen, but it left me hanging.
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