Dystopian novels are extremely popular with “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games” being made into major motion pictures. So when I found Stephen King’s “Cell,” which is about the world’s descent into a dystopian society, I knew it was perfect for the last novel in my King series.
“Cell” is different from the other two novels I have read by King. It isn’t quite as crude as “Gerald’s Game,” and it isn’t a literary masterpiece like “The Green Mile.”
“Cell” focuses on Clayton Riddell, an aspiring com- ic book writer with a bad marriage and a small son. The first few issues for his fledgling comic book series just got picked up by a publishing company, he bought his wife a gift that he knows she’s going to love and he’s heading back to the hotel with a spring in his step. Life is good.
Standing in line for an ice cream truck, The Pulse happens. People on their cell phones begin to go crazy. Like attacking each other and ripping out each other’s throats crazy. No one is really sure what The Pulse is. All they know is that it comes from cell phones.
As the world descends into chaos, Clayton teams up with Tom, a man Clay’s age whose cell phone was bro- ken at the time of The Pulse, and Alice, a teenage girl who had to fight her Pulse affect- ed mother to survive.
The trio, with nowhere else to go, decide to head to Maine to help Clay find his family. But the road is long and hard and these “phone crazies” may not be as crazy as they seem.
“Cell” is different. It’s interesting, gory and a little scary. It isn’t quite as bone chilling as “Gerald’s Game,” but it’s freaky in its own way. What story about people who basically turn into zombies wouldn’t be a little freaky?
What makes this novel great is King’s ability to paint a picture. It’s also what makes the novel freaky. King paints scenes for his reader. Scenes that don’t seem so scary at first (usually they just seem weird), but just when you’re falling asleep at night, those scenes play back in your mind. That’s when you realize that this scene has burrowed its way into your brain and stuck there simply to raise its projector screen and play it back to you.
I would recommend “Cell” if you like dystopian novels or Stephen King. If you’re looking for a scary book, I would skip this one because it isn’t a scare-you-in- the-moment kind of novel.
I don’t know that I will read King regularly, but if I am ever in the mood for some crudeness and freakiness, then I know where to look.