Sunday, 11 August 2013
Book Review: Cell by Stephen King
In one instant the world changes. Known as The Pulse, everyone using a mobile phone is infected with a virus. At first they're violent but later on begin to change and adapt to the world they're in. Clayton Riddell realises what's happening and he. and a group of uninfected "normies", travel across country to discover the fate of his estranged wife and son.
This starts fast and throws you straight into the gore. There's no build up: one minute the world makes sense, the next someone is eating their dog (seriously). Clayton Riddell watches as the world around him goes mad before realising what's happening and meeting up with other people without mobile phones.
I'm not a fan of the "hero travels across country to discover the fate of his family" stories, it always seems a little to convenient. Of course, this being Stephen King, the outcome is not what you'd expect. Clayton wasn't the most sympathetic character for me, I didn't actually care if he was killed or turned in the meantime or not. The psychological games played against him by the leader of the "zombies" were far more interesting than his traveling moments.
I thought conclusions were reached far too quickly at times. It doesn't take Clayton very long at all to realise that the phones were the source of the problem, despite no real evidence to show they were. People using phones has become so much a part of life that I'm pretty sure only someone utterly paranoid about mobile phones would come to that conclusion.
I don't think this was one of Stephen King's best stories. The characters lacked some of the complexity and depth that I'd seen in The Stand and Misery. Plus, the zombie plot line just got really, really silly.