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 one hundred and ninety-three 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)
Campbell Scott did a masterful job of keeping me on the edge of whatever seat I happened to be sitting while listening to King's thriller. It had me from the first word to the last. If Mr. Scott wasn't available for this book, Scott Brick is the only other voice I'd have loved to hear.
King takes one of today's icons, the cell phone, and turns cell phone owners into what many of us sometimes think of them (even if we own one). Methinks that King stuck his tongue into one of his cheeks and had fun with people who have turned the world upside down: the gal who has to blab her latest intimate news in the grocery store; the guy who is so self-important that he feels that he's the only person in the theater or concert...in other word King casts a spell on cell phone users.
I give this highly entertaining piece of King's mind six stars. It's one of the best listens I've had in the last five years.
Most will agree that new King doesn't stand up to old King. This is a little better than some of his newer stuff, but it begins to feel like other books. After writing so many novels and short stories, it's impossible to avoid that though. Personally, I enjoyed this book probably because I was in the mood for some violence and zombies. As far as the audiobook itself, I enjoyed the quality of it. I think the reader is perfect for it and has just the right tone for listening. Listen to a sample and judge for yourself though. Either way, a mildly entertaining Stephen King book is better than a lot of the mediocre crap out there.
Started listening to this last night. On one hand, I do have to recognize the similarity (on the surface, at least) to The Stand, The Langoliers, The Mist -- other King stories along the same general plotline. As the clock rolled by; 11pm, midnight, 1am, 2am, I was just facinated by this story. I don't know if it is the different world we live in at this time as opposed to the last time I visited the aforementioned stories (pre-9/11, I mean) or what, but I was unable to turn away from this story. The characters are very well fleshed-out (if a bit derivative) and interesting, the pacing is great, and I sat alone in the living room with moments of goosebumps, hoping my husband would not choose 2:00 in the morning to sneak up and say "Boo!" thereby giving me a heart failure. I'm not quite half-done, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.
The narration is superb -- a bit of voice interpretation for different characters, but just enough to differentiate, not aggravating in the least. I may be alone here, but I would have sworn (!!) the narrator was REM's Michael Stipe. I know it is not, but the cadence, accent and tone are dead-on. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for my college days.... :)
If you are a King fan or not, this is a great choice. Bear in mind this would be a NC-17 rated movie, though -- not for the fainthearted or squeamish.
I'm not always a fan of King but this one does the trick. This is zombie done right. Realistic plot and characters. Worth your time.
the truth is this book was excellet. it took something that has been overdone(zombies) and puts a refreshing angle on it. like focusing on the individual, how they cope, how the fight, how they behave around other uninfected. and in some cases, how truly zombie-like humanity can be. and for those horror and gore fans out there, you won't be disappointed. very well rounded book in a typically square genre. listen and be scared, and heart broken, and angry, and in the end satisfied with a great audiobook.
I want to be the man my dog thinks I am!
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.
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.
The Cell is an excellent idea, well written with great character development but unfortunately lacks an ending. The book ends at the perfect point for the sequel to begin, however there is no sequel. King sets us up with many different story threads and then just walks away. There were just too many unanswered questions. Maybe next time...
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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