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3.9 671
by Stephen King

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Civilization doesn't end with a bang or a whimper. It ends with a call on your cell phone.

What happens on the afternoon of October 1 came to be known as the Pulse, a signal sent though every operating cell phone that turns its user into something...well, something less than human. Savage, murderous, unthinking-and on a wanton rampage. Terrorist act? Cyber prank


Civilization doesn't end with a bang or a whimper. It ends with a call on your cell phone.

What happens on the afternoon of October 1 came to be known as the Pulse, a signal sent though every operating cell phone that turns its user into something...well, something less than human. Savage, murderous, unthinking-and on a wanton rampage. Terrorist act? Cyber prank gone haywire? It really doesn't matter, not to the people who avoided the technological attack. What matters to them is surviving the aftermath. Before long a band of them-"normies" is how they think of themselves-have gathered on the grounds of Gaiten Academy, where the headmaster and one remaining student have something awesome and terrifying to show them on the school's moonlit soccer field. Clearly there can be no escape. The only option is to take them on.

CELL is classic Stephen King, a story of gory horror and white-knuckling suspense that makes the unimaginable entirely plausible and totally fascinating.

Join the Stephen King VIP Club at www.celllthebook.com.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
The cell phone users in Stephen King's tale of horror are plagued by problems much bigger than poor reception, costly roaming charges, or dropped calls: Some unspeakably malevolent force has turned them into raging, bloodthirsty zombies!

It's a sunny afternoon in Boston, and as far as Clayton Riddell is concerned, life couldn't be any better. The Maine-based artist has just inked a lucrative contract for his first graphic novel. But in an instant, his life -- and human civilization -- is turned upside down by an event known as the Pulse, a brain-zapping burst of energy that turns the millions of people with cell phones pressed against the sides of their heads into mindless killing machines. Those lucky enough not to be using a cell phone at the time are spared from the gruesome transformation but must somehow survive the nightmarish aftereffects: cars crashing, planes falling from the sky, hungry gangs of zombies, etc.

It's fitting that King dedicates Cell to Richard Matheson (author of 1954's mutant masterwork I Am Legend) and George Romero (director of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead) -- two pioneering giants in the "zombie" genre. This post-apocalyptic exploration of the dark side of humanity ("we came to rule the earth because we have always been the craziest, most murderous [expletive]s in the jungle") is chock-full of King's refreshingly sardonic commentary and wit. His newest, a cautionary tale of sorts, brings disturbing new meaning to the popular catchphrase "Can you hear me now?" Paul Goat Allen
Dave Itzkoff
As you may recall from Aristotle's discussion of the form in the Poetics, an effective zombie apocalypse story should satisfy two conditions. First, it should fulfill an audience's desire to see aberrant acts of violence triggered by civilization's collapse, and in this respect Cell does not disappoint: there's still no other writer who takes as much delight as King does in rendering the sight of a soccer field's worth of zombies being charbroiled out of existence, or a poodle getting run over by a car…Second, a good zombie tale should offer some fresh insights about basic human nature, if only to pass the time between episodes of cannibalism, and it's in this capacity that Cell turns out to be a bit brain-dead.
—The New York Times Book Review
George R. R. Martin
Cell is hard to put down once you've picked it up. There is no shortage of harrowing scenes…and ascends to the level of horror more than once, but it never reaches true terror, let alone the heights achieved by King's best work. While it is a solid, entertaining read, I'm afraid we will need to wait a bit longer for that Great American Zombie Novel.
—The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
When the book's overview begins to emerge, though, it justifies the dawdling. The zombies evolve in interesting ways. Midway through the book, Mr. King takes the story to a private school that has become a post-Pulse campground and reveals the telepathic patterns that have begun to shape collective behavior. It is the author's little joke that these messages are delivered via the worst easy-listening songs he can name, to the point where Lawrence Welk and "You Light Up My Life" become part of the apocalypse.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
It's probably a good idea not to use your cell phone while you listen to Scott's beautifully understated reading of terrormeister King's latest take on technology run amok: you might just toss it down the nearest storm drain. The excellent film actor (who catches the power of his late father George C. Scott's voice but smooths off the rough edges) adds an important element-quiet believability-to King's bloody, occasionally over-the-top story of a short but lethal electronic signal that seriously damages everyone in the world using a cell phone at that moment. The Pulse, as it comes to be known, turns idle chatterers into weirdly rewired killing machines. Scott makes the lead character-a comic book artist from Maine (where else?) named Clayton Riddell, who is in Boston with his phone off and in his pocket-a touching and surprisingly tough survivor, much like the nonpods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also resists the temptation to make the "phoners" (those affected by the Pulse) sound unusually strange or dangerous-until their real motives become obvious. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 2). (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
King (The Colorado Kid) has an ax to grind and he employs the tools of his trade to accomplish the task. Clayton Riddell is in Boston to meet with publishers in hopes of selling his graphic novel series. Portfolio in hand, success within reach, Clay stops to watch the people flocking around a Mister Softee truck. Within moments the world is changed as a mysterious signal reaches cell phone users, turning them into zombies. Clay, who is cell-less (like King himself), soon teams up with others who have eluded the evil transmission. They embark on a quest to save themselves from the violence and destruction wrought by the changed beings who once owned cell phones. Using the familiar streets of Boston and introducing Riddell minutes before the catastrophe occurs circumvents the need for the strong setting and character development found in the bulk of King's work. Though the lack of these elements weakens the less-than-subtle message woven into the tale, King fans will, no doubt, want to read for themselves.-Nancy McNicol, Ora Mason Branch Lib., West Haven, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
King's apocalyptic cautionary tale suggests that cellular communication could be as pernicious as it is pervasive. Artist Clay Riddell has just traveled from his native Maine to Boston to sell his first graphic novel when all hell breaks loose. Vehicles crash at random. Language turns to gibberish. Bystanders devour the flesh of strangers. As King (From a Buick 8, 2002, etc.) describes this urban meltdown in gory, graphic detail, it becomes increasingly obvious to Riddell that all who have suddenly become crazy were talking on their cell phones. Some sort of simultaneous transmission has transformed the city's citizenry into mindless zombies. The author taps into the collective dread of a society battered by 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina as he depicts a battle for survival that pits "normies" such as Clay, the few who didn't have cellular access, against hordes of "phoners," who quickly develop a flocking instinct and telepathic communication. The plot can't sustain the sizzle of its sensational opening: More concerned with the effects of this cell-phone terrorism than its cause, the author never indicates what's happening beyond Clay's immediate vicinity. Yet the hero's odyssey remains compelling as he attempts to return home to estranged wife Sharon and beloved son Johnny, and the surrogate family of refugees he attracts along the way adds a human dimension. Clay doesn't have a cell phone, but his son does, and he has no idea in what form he might find Johnny if he manages to find the boy at all. As King acknowledges in his dedication, he owes a debt to zombie-flick director George Romero and horror/fantasy author Richard Matheson. The revenge of a cellphone-hater.
From the Publisher
"A marvel....you're utterly at the mercy of a master storyteller."

Chicago Tribune

"Stephen King has your number...."

USA Today

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Thorndike Basic Series
Edition description:
Large Print Edition
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt


A Novel
By Stephen King


Copyright © 2006 Stephen King
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7432-9233-2

Chapter One

Clay's attention was attracted by the tinkle of an ice cream truck. It was parked across from the Four Seasons Hotel (which was even grander than the Copley Square) and next to the Boston Common, which ran along Boylston for two or three blocks on this side of the street. The words mister softee were printed in rainbow colors over a pair of dancing ice cream cones. Three kids were clustered around the window, bookbags at their feet, waiting to receive goodies. Behind them stood a woman in a pants suit with a poodle on a leash and a couple of teenage girls in lowrider jeans with iPods and earphones that were currently slung around their necks so they could murmur together - earnestly, no giggles.

Clay stood behind them, turning what had been a little group into a short line. He had bought his estranged wife a present; he would stop at Comix Supreme on the way home and buy his son the new issue of Spider-Man; he might as well treat himself, as well. He was bursting to tell Sharon his news, but she'd be out of reach until she got home, three forty-five or so. He thought he would hang around the Inn at least until he talked to her, mostly pacing the confines of his small room and looking at his latched-up portfolio. In the meantime, Mister Softee made an acceptable diversion.

The guy in the truck served the three kids at the window, two Dilly Bars and a monster chocolate-and-vanilla swirl sof'-serve cone for the big spender in the middle, who was apparently paying for all of them. While he fumbled a rat's nest of dollar bills from the pocket of his fashionably baggy jeans, the woman with the poodle and the power suit dipped into her shoulder bag, came out with her cell phone - women in power suits would no more leave home without their cell phones than without their AmEx cards - and flipped it open. Behind them, in the park, a dog barked and someone shouted. It did not sound to Clay like a happy shout, but when he looked over his shoulder all he could see were a few strollers, a dog trotting with a Frisbee in its mouth (weren't they supposed to be on leashes in there, he wondered), acres of sunny green and inviting shade. It looked like a good place for a man who had just sold his first graphic novel - and its sequel, both for an amazing amount of money - to sit and eat a chocolate ice cream cone.

When he looked back, the three kids in the baggies were gone and the woman in the power suit was ordering a sundae. One of the two girls behind her had a peppermint-colored phone clipped to her hip, and the woman in the power suit had hers screwed into her ear. Clay thought, as he almost always did on one level of his mind or another when he saw a variation of this behavior, that he was watching an act which would once have been considered almost insufferably rude - yes, even while engaging in a small bit of commerce with a total stranger - becoming a part of accepted everyday behavior.

Put it in Dark Wanderer, sweetheart, Sharon said. The version of her he kept in his mind spoke often and was bound to have her say. This was true of the real-world Sharon as well, separation or no separation. Although not on his cell phone. Clay didn't own one.

The peppermint-colored phone played the opening notes of that Crazy Frog tune that Johnny loved - was it called "Axel F"? Clay couldn't remember, perhaps because he had blocked it out. The girl to whom the phone belonged snatched it off her hip and said, "Beth?" She listened, smiled, then said to her companion, "It's Beth." Now the other girl bent forward and they both listened, nearly identical pixie haircuts (to Clay they looked almost like Saturday-morning cartoon characters, the Powerpuff Girls, maybe) blowing together in the afternoon breeze.

"Maddy?" said the woman in the power suit at almost exactly the same time. Her poodle was now sitting contemplatively at the end of its leash (the leash was red, and dusted with glittery stuff), looking at the traffic on Boylston Street. Across the way, at the Four Seasons, a doorman in a brown uniform - they always seemed to be brown or blue - was waving, probably for a taxi. A Duck Boat crammed with tourists sailed by, looking high and out of place on dry land, the driver bawling into his loudhailer about something historic. The two girls listening to the peppermint-colored phone looked at each other and smiled at something they were hearing, but still did not giggle.

"Maddy? Can you hear me? Can you -"

The woman in the power suit raised the hand holding the leash and plugged a long-nailed finger into her free ear. Clay winced, fearing for her eardrum. He imagined drawing her: the dog on the leash, the power suit, the fashionably short hair ... and one small trickle of blood from around the finger in her ear. The Duck Boat just exiting the frame and the doorman in the background, those things somehow lending the sketch its verisimilitude. They would; it was just a thing you knew.

"Maddy, you're breaking up! I just wanted to tell you I got my hair done at that new ... my hair? ... MY ..."

The guy in the Mister Softee truck bent down and held out a sundae cup. From it rose a white Alp with chocolate and strawberry sauce coursing down its sides. His beard-stubbly face was impassive. It said he'd seen it all before. Clay was sure he had, most of it twice. In the park, someone screamed. Clay looked over his shoulder again, telling himself that had to be a scream of joy. At three o'clock in the afternoon, a sunny afternoon on the Boston Common, it pretty much had to be a scream of joy. Right?

The woman said something unintelligible to Maddy and flipped her cell phone closed with a practiced flip of the wrist. She dropped it back into her purse, then just stood there, as if she had forgotten what she was doing or maybe even where she was.

"That's four-fifty," said the Mister Softee guy, still patiently holding out the ice cream sundae. Clay had time to think how fucking expensive everything was in the city. Perhaps the woman in the power suit thought so, too - that, at least, was his first surmise - because for a moment more she still did nothing, merely looked at the cup with its mound of ice cream and sliding sauce as if she had never seen such a thing before.

Then there came another cry from the Common, not a human one this time but something between a surprised yelp and a hurt yowl. Clay turned to look and saw the dog that had been trotting with the Frisbee in its mouth. It was a good-sized brown dog, maybe a Labrador, he didn't really know dogs, when he needed to draw one he got a book and copied a picture. A man in a business suit was down on his knees beside this one and had it in a necklock and appeared to be - surely I'm not seeing what I think I'm seeing, Clay thought - chewing on its ear. Then the dog howled again and tried to spurt away. The man in the business suit held it firm, and yes, that was the dog's ear in the man's mouth, and as Clay continued to watch, the man tore it off the side of the dog's head. This time the dog uttered an almost human scream, and a number of ducks which had been floating on a nearby pond took flight, squawking.

"Rast!" someone cried from behind Clay. It sounded like rast. It might have been rat or roast, but later experience made him lean toward rast: not a word at all but merely an inarticulate sound of aggression.

He turned back toward the ice cream truck in time to see Power Suit Woman lunge through the serving window in an effort to grab Mister Softee Guy. She managed to snag the loose folds at the front of his white tunic, but his single startle-step backward was enough to break her hold. Her high heels briefly left the sidewalk, and he heard the rasp of cloth and the clink of buttons as the front of her jacket ran first up the little jut of the serving window's counter and then back down. The sundae tumbled from view. Clay saw a smear of ice cream and sauce on Power Suit Woman's left wrist and forearm as her high heels clacked back to the sidewalk. She staggered, knees bent. The closed-off, well-bred, out-in-public look on her face - what Clay thought of as your basic on-the-street-no-face look - had been replaced by a convulsive snarl that shrank her eyes to slits and exposed both sets of teeth. Her upper lip had turned completely inside out, revealing a pink velvet lining as intimate as a vulva. Her poodle ran into the street, trailing its red leash with the hand-loop in the end. A black limo came along and ran the poodle down before it got halfway across. Fluff at one moment; guts at the next.

Poor damn thing was probably yapping in doggy heaven before it knew it was dead, Clay thought. He understood in some clinical way he was in shock, but that in no way changed the depth of his amazement. He stood there with his portfolio hanging from one hand and his brown shopping bag hanging from the other and his mouth hanging open.

Somewhere - it sounded like maybe around the corner on Newbury Street - something exploded.

The two girls had exactly the same haircut above their iPod headphones, but the one with the peppermint-colored cell phone was blond and her friend was brunette; they were Pixie Light and Pixie Dark. Now Pixie Light dropped her phone on the sidewalk, where it shattered, and seized Power Suit Woman around the waist. Clay assumed (so far as he was capable of assuming anything in those moments) that she meant to restrain Power Suit Woman either from going after Mister Softee Guy again or from running into the street after her dog. There was even a part of his mind that applauded the girl's presence of mind. Her friend, Pixie Dark, was backing away from the whole deal, small white hands clasped between her breasts, eyes wide.

Clay dropped his own items, one on each side, and stepped forward to help Pixie Light. On the other side of the street - he saw this only in his peripheral vision - a car swerved and bolted across the sidewalk in front of the Four Seasons, causing the doorman to dart out of the way. There were screams from the hotel's forecourt. And before Clay could begin helping Pixie Light with Power Suit Woman, Pixie Light had darted her pretty little face forward with snakelike speed, bared her undoubtedly strong young teeth, and battened on Power Suit Woman's neck. There was an enormous jet of blood. The pixie-girl stuck her face in it, appeared to bathe in it, perhaps even drank from it (Clay was almost sure she did), then shook Power Suit Woman back and forth like a doll. The woman was taller and had to outweigh the girl by at least forty pounds, but the girl shook her hard enough to make the woman's head flop back and forth and send more blood flying. At the same time the girl cocked her own blood-smeared face up to the bright blue October sky and howled in what sounded like triumph.

She's mad, Clay thought. Totally mad.

Pixie Dark cried out, "Who are you? What's happening?"

At the sound of her friend's voice, Pixie Light whipped her bloody head around. Blood dripped from the short dagger-points of hair overhanging her forehead. Eyes like white lamps peered from blood-dappled sockets.

Pixie Dark looked at Clay, her eyes wide. "Who are you?" she repeated ... and then: "Who am I?"

Pixie Light dropped Power Suit Woman, who collapsed to the sidewalk with her chewed-open carotid artery still spurting, then leaped at the girl with whom she had been chummily sharing a phone only a few moments before.

Clay didn't think. If he had thought, Pixie Dark might have had her throat opened like the woman in the power suit. He didn't even look. He simply reached down and to his right, seized the top of the small treasures shopping bag, and swung it at the back of Pixie Light's head as she leaped at her erstwhile friend with her outstretched hands making claw-fish against the blue sky. If he missed -

He didn't miss, or even hit the girl a glancing blow. The glass paperweight inside the bag struck the back of Pixie Light's head dead-on, making a muffled thunk. Pixie Light dropped her hands, one bloodstained, one still clean, and fell to the sidewalk at her friend's feet like a sack of mail.

"What the hell?" Mister Softee Guy cried. His voice was improbably high. Maybe shock had given him that high tenor.

"I don't know," Clay said. His heart was hammering. "Help me quick. This other one's bleeding to death."

From behind them, on Newbury Street, came the unmistakable hollow bang-and-jingle of a car crash, followed by screams. The screams were followed by another explosion, this one louder, concussive, hammering the day. Behind the Mister Softee truck, another car swerved across three lanes of Boylston Street and into the courtyard of the Four Seasons, mowing down a couple of pedestrians and then plowing into the back of the previous car, which had finished with its nose crumpled into the revolving doors. This second crash shoved the first car farther into the revolving doors, bending them askew. Clay couldn't see if anyone was trapped in there - clouds of steam were rising from the first car's breached radiator - but the agonized shrieks from the shadows suggested bad things. Very bad.

Mister Softee Guy, blind on that side, was leaning out his serving window and staring at Clay. "What's going on over there?"

"I don't know. Couple of car wrecks. People hurt. Never mind. Help me, man." He knelt beside Power Suit Woman in the blood and the shattered remnants of Pixie Light's pink cell phone. Power Suit Woman's twitches had now become weak, indeed.

"Smoke from over on Newbury," observed Mister Softee Guy, still not emerging from the relative safety of his ice cream wagon. "Something blew up over there. I mean bigtime. Maybe it's terrorists."

As soon as the word was out of his mouth, Clay was sure he was right. "Help me."

"WHO AM I?" Pixie Dark suddenly screamed.

Clay had forgotten all about her. He looked up in time to see the girl smack herself in the forehead with the heel of her hand, then turn around rapidly three times, standing almost on the toes of her tennies to do it. The sight called up a memory of some poem he'd read in a college lit class - Weave a circle round him thrice. Coleridge, wasn't it? She staggered, then ran rapidly down the sidewalk and directly into a lamppost. She made no attempt to avoid it or even put up her hands. She struck it face-first, rebounded, staggered, then went at it again.

"Stop that!" Clay roared. He shot to his feet, started to run toward her, slipped in Power Suit Woman's blood, almost fell, got going again, tripped on Pixie Light, and almost fell again.

Pixie Dark looked around at him. Her nose was broken and gushing blood down her lower face. A vertical contusion was puffing up on her brow, rising like a thunderhead on a summer day. One of her eyes had gone crooked in its socket. She opened her mouth, exposing a ruin of what had probably been expensive orthodontic work, and laughed at him. He never forgot it.

Then she ran away down the sidewalk, screaming.

Behind him, a motor started up and amplified bells began tinkling out the Sesame Street theme. Clay turned and saw the Mister Softee truck pulling rapidly away from the curb just as, from the top floor of the hotel across the way, a window shattered in a bright spray of glass. A body hurtled out into the October day. It fell to the sidewalk, where it more or less exploded. More screams from the forecourt. Screams of horror; screams of pain.

"No!" Clay yelled, running alongside the Mister Softee truck. "No, come back and help me! I need some help here, you sonofabitch!"

No answer from Mister Softee Guy, who maybe couldn't hear over his amplified music. Clay could remember the words from the days when he'd had no reason not to believe his marriage wouldn't last forever. In those days Johnny watched Sesame Street every day, sitting in his little blue chair with his sippy cup clutched in his hands. Something about a sunny day, keepin' the clouds away.

A man in a business suit came running out of the park, roaring wordless sounds at the top of his lungs, his coattails flapping behind him. Clay recognized him by his dogfur goatee. The man ran into Boylston Street. Cars swerved around him, barely missing him. He ran on to the other side, still roaring and waving his hands at the sky. He disappeared into the shadows beneath the canopy of the Four Seasons forecourt and was lost to view, but he must have gotten up to more dickens immediately, because a fresh volley of screams broke out over there.


Excerpted from Cell by Stephen King Copyright © 2006 by Stephen King . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Bill Hodges Trilogy—Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel), Finders Keepers, and End of Watch; the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams; Revival; Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower and It are the basis for major motion pictures. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Brief Biography

Bangor, Maine
Date of Birth:
September 21, 1947
Place of Birth:
Portland, Maine
B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970

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Cell 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 671 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
First off, I've never been so glad that I don't own a cell phone! Secondly, Stephen King has penned another gruesome winner, going back to his days of blood and gore. CELL starts off with the Pulse, where everyone who owns a cell phone answers a call and subsequently goes psycho. Back to their basic days of kill or be killed, these are slobbery creatures with no morals, emotions, or human qualities besides the desire to destroy.

Enter Clayton Riddell, a man happy to have never given in to the need to purchase a cell phone, who watches the people on the street of Boston go murderous. He hooks up with Tom, another "normie" and Alice, who watched her mother go crazy and kill a cab-driver, to escape the city. Clay is heading home to Kent's Pond, Maine, to check on the well-being of his estranged wife, Sharon (who doesn't own a cell phone) and his son Johnny (who does).

What follows is the groups trials and trevails as they're inevitably pushed towards Kashwak, the NO-FO zone. You'll have to read CELL to figure out what this means, but believe me, it's well worth your time and effort!

Stephen King has returned to his days of blood and gore, guts and more blood, and the result is a winner. If you love horror, or King in particular, you won't go wrong picking up a copy of this latest winner.
Book_Reader_222 More than 1 year ago
(Originally written February 20, 2006) I am not the world's biggest Stephen King fan. Nor am I a fan of the zombie genre (what could be less scary than a monster whom you can escape with a fast walk?). So when a friend of my son's insisted that I borrow his copy of "Cell," I was humoring the young man more than anything else. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This story is brisk and gripping, and not bogged down with a lot of the overly heavy details to which King is often prone. It is also shorter than many of his opuses, which pleased me. But most importantly: This is NOT a zombie novel! Sure, the victims of the Pulse share many of the violent characteristics of zombies, but like the movie "28 Days Later," they are more like RABIES victims than the undead. And that's just the beginning. They quickly begin evolving as a group, making them more and more interesting than "regular" zombies with each page. I was a HUGE fan of Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend" from all those years ago, and was disappointed to see the theme "devolve" into the zombies we are familiar with today. So it was nice to see King return the genre to the greater potential it once had with Matheson's vampires. My biggest complaint would lie in the ENDING. As other reviewers have commented, the book feels incomplete. With Gary Brandner's "The Howling," I felt that we were missing an epilogue - in "Cell," I felt as though I were missing an entire final chapter, maybe TWO. Is King planning a sequel to "Cell?" I hope so; I will read it. As it stands ... But again, overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book, and I would recommend this book to fans of "I Am Legend," "28 Days Later," and (to a lesser degree) the "Dawn of the Dead" 2004 remake. If you are a hard core fan of the George A. Romero zombie genre, you probably won't like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great. Don't listen to those idiotic losers that say this book was bad. It was amazing. Although the ending does leave you hanging, it was sooo good! Im only thirteen and ive read the mist, the shining, carrie, pet semetary, cell, salems lot, misery, and the girl who loved tom gordon. My favorite, after the shining, is cell! It was sad at one point, when _____________ dies, but it kept going and got really good. I looooooved it sooooooooo freakin much! SK ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TEE-HEE.
blah-blah-blah More than 1 year ago
Title: Cell Author: Stephen King Genre: Horror Novel Pages: 480 Cell starts out with a wallop it is hard to put down for several of the chapters you want to keep reading to see what happens next. Clay Riddell is an aspiring comic book writer from Maine that traveled to Boston to land a career in a graphic novel deal. During his trip tragedy strikes the human population. Someone has sent a signal (pulse) through cell phones that cause people that hear it to go insane. It takes less than a second and everyone that had a cell phone to there ear has gone mad and is either trying to kill someone standing near them or themselves. Since Clay doesn't own a cell phone he is okay though. But he has been pretty lucky because these people strike without warning and randomly. It is a very small group that doesn't own a cell phone. Clay comes across a man named Tom whose phone happened to get broken that morning and a girl named Alice that saw her mother go crazy over the phones tone. Clay thinks about his son that is on the other side of Boston and fears that the tone may have got to his son. So he needs to get to him to see if his son is dead or insane, or even got a lucky break like his dad. Most of the roads are blocked because people crashed their cars because they went insane so the three of them had to travel by foot. The people they encounter were in like zombie like states and exhibiting strange behavior. These zombie like people also known as Phoners are trying to stop Clay and the other 2 from reaching his son. Clay is determined to reach is son and will do anything in his power to stop the zombies. I have read several of Stephen King's books and this is one of his best and keeps you wanting to turn to the next page. Another one of his books I enjoyed was The Mist. He is a master at horror books and keeps you guessing and wanting more. It is hard to put down once you start reading it late into the night. King makes you fear technology after you read the book Cell that all the gadgets that we count on in our everyday life and take for grant might someday overwhelm us. We are so hooked on technology we never take into consideration there might be a dark side to it also. I enjoyed the book by page eight catastrophe had broke loose. and it never let up from there it was action packed. The only thing that could have been better was the ending King could have ended it differently instead of leaving you wondering if there will be a sequel. I guess if he did continue on though the book could have end up being possibly 900 pages or more because he would have had to go on for quite a while.
Sanders More than 1 year ago
Cell is about the survival of humanity from the devastating pulse. I will not summarize the whole book because I do not want to spoil the whole thing. I am over all very impressed with my first Stephen King Novel. His descriptions of events and characters are great. His writing style/language is a masterpiece of its own. He is a passionate writer that will get involved with the characters; you will become extremely close with Clay and his companions. The only objection I have to King's style is the language. I did not expect to see bad language blasted on every other page. It's small and ignorable, and certainly does not take away from the book. Cell was a bit confusing at times, but all the questions can be answered if you read carefully; all but one at least. Who started the pulse and why? I could not figure that out and I don't believe you can just from the reading. Maybe I'm wrong, and hopefully I will figure it out. Cell also could have been 100 pages longer, but the ending was satisfying. This books was great. I'm sad that it is over because I want to know what happens next with Clay and his friends. I can't wait to start my next Stephen King novel. You will not regret readings this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beyond Good.
Jamie28 More than 1 year ago
I myself can sometimes find Stephen King to be a bit overanalytical and lengthy in his descriptions of situations and people, but this book got right to the action and you could almost feel as if you were a part of this disaster itself. I found myself deeply bonded with each character- Clay, the levelheaded caretaker of his new companions, driven by a paternal instinct to save his son; Tom, the timid, introverted sweetheart, and Alice, the very epitome of innocence in a world gone so chaotic. I read this book in about 3 weeks flat. I just couldn't put it down. I have to say it is one of the only horror stories to disturb me outside of the pages. I will say that I did get a little lost as to what exactly was happening at several points in the novel, however, I find that this is a typical characteristic of King's writing. This story will captivate you from the very first page, break your heart several times, and horrify you to the core... and will undoubtedly make you think twice about picking up a cell phone.
nprfan1 More than 1 year ago
This is Stephen King's second foray into the realm of science fiction; the first being "The Tommyknockers". Sad to say, "Cell" is nowhere near as good as that - but it's still better than 99% of the so-called horror novels currently in print. And King's prose style has definitely matured here; in spite of the gore (and be warned, there is PLENTY of gore) "Cell" is an extremely well-written book about the dangers of the modern world as seen by the master of the modern horror novel.

Clay Riddell is in Boston trying to sell his comic art so he and his wife and son can live their lives in comfort. He apparently succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, but unfortunately he doesn't get a chance to enjoy his new life or to tell anyone about it - because that's when the phenomenon known as The Pulse occurs and drives mad anyone who listens to a cell phone, which these days is most of the world's population.

Actually, it doesn't really drive cell owners mad, but to say what it does do would be to spoil the plot and remove your interest in buying this book.

As I said before, this is not one of King's better efforts. He writes extremely well here, but he seems to be going more for the print equivalent of the Freddy Kreuger and "Friday the 13th" movies. There's actually very little of the horror we've come to expect from Stephen King in this book. But as I also said, this is still better than most of the other books on the horror shelves - and on that basis I give it a four-star rating.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a recent reader of King, I found this novel to not be worth the hype of the author. Luckily, I believe in second chances. The concept of the end of the world through a techno-terrorist act is unusual and draws the reader in, but after the initial disaster-zone, the suspense is lost. There are several lulls of boring explanation and no action. After Clay, Tom, and Alice meet up with Jordan and the Head, their discussions bring adventure (especially when they decide the phone-crazies must be dealt with). One thing that interested me was how the reader never knows what really happened. Was it a terrorist, or some kid with a super-computer? How exactly did the phone-crazies evolve? Was it really a glitch, or did they purposely become telepaths and levitators? These questions were what kept me reading¿ along with the great characters. Clay, the main character by far, gives off an older brother vibe. His desperation to find his wife and son make him a likable character with relatable emotions. He is, however, unrealistic and hopeful. Alice, the only female and a teenager at that, is hysterical most of the novel which is understandable, but stereotypical. The constant presence of the baby sneaker adds to her personality and femininity. Her unfortunate end is certainly not expected and, in my view, unnecessary to the development of the novel. Tom is the character that is not quite needed, but must be in every novel. He mostly makes Clay look good, but he is one of my favorite characters. The reader has no idea in the beginning that Tom and Clay stick together through it all, creating a Batman-and-Robin bond between them. The overall concept of this novel was great and original, but written with both ups and downs. Chaos out of an American staple is ironic and a great example of King¿s dark humor. This is a novel that must be read by his fans, just as long as it¿s not their first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book plays with your mind. It puts you right into the story, and takes you on a journy to hell on Earth. From page one to the end, a nonstop rollercoaster of emotions. I will never look at a cell phone the same way again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good read !!!!!
devoutman More than 1 year ago
Cell is a good read. I enjoyed it all the way through.
SRTigger More than 1 year ago
Stephen King is the best writer around. I will never tire of his books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this when it first came out and it is one of his best. I read it cover to cover in one day because I could NOT put it down except for long enough to make a quick sandwich. I remembered when I saw the title.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down. I have recommended it to several friends! One of my favorite Stephen King books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well worth reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my very first novel by the great stephen king and now im hooked. It has its slow momments but, for the most part its very fast pace. If you enjoyed this book try out the gunslinger.
gbautista72 More than 1 year ago
Stephen King is always good! This book was exciting and suspenseful at times. It did remind me of World War Z & The Walking Dead. It does make you wonder if it can happen & how susceptible we are to subliminal messages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. One of my favorite stephen king books
Eric_J_Guignard More than 1 year ago
The idea of this story was interesting, but it just fell short in its execution. The ending, especially, was such a let-down, just a "cliff-hanger" which is inexcusable when investing in a long novel. Stephen King is my favorite horror author - I love his classics, but not everything he writes can be a masterpiece, I suppose. It somebody else wrote this book, I would give it three stars, but I only give this two stars because I expect much more from King.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the idea of this story was interesting, I was completely disappointed by the ending of this book. It felt like he was bored with writing it and basically threw together an ending just to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheMasterofSuspense More than 1 year ago
Not bad for King,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the book that made me a Stephen King fan and its still my favorite book of his!
November-Owl More than 1 year ago
This is a great read. Themes range from the dangers of selfishness to the dangers of community, and from love lost to love reunited: In an apocalyptic scenario literally nothing is safe and everything is fair game. King wastes no time getting the story going, and it doesn't slow down. The ending seemed a bit rushed, but that's merely my opinion. I recommend "Cell" to all King fans, and to anyone interested in science fiction versions of societal collapse.