Jeremy's Reviews > Cell

Cell by Stephen King
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Aug 06, 08

Stephen King has re-written The Stand. The upside is story moves faster, starts quicker and is about 500 pages shorter. The downside is the characters aren’t as memorable, the story seems rushed at points and the ending is not very fulfilling.

There’s isn’t any buildup to the action, right away you find out what is going to destroy society. A signal from cell phones is doing something screwy with people’s minds, blanking them out and creating a cross between a zombie and a bird (it makes sense after about 50 pages). The protagonist and the people he hooks up with start a journey to find out what is going on with his family as well as trying to figure out what happened to everyone. Like The Stand, the journey is as important as the destination. Along the way they start to figure out what is causing the problem, and what could possibly fix it. There are a few scary moments, a few gory moments and lots of talking. Annoyingly too much of the talking is done by characters out of Juno that sometimes seem much brighter than any teenagers I’ve ever met.

The characters are boring, each one could easily be replaced with someone else (other than the head of a boys school that enters the story about 1/4 of the way in). There really isn’t anything that makes Clay that much different than Tom. One has a wife and the other is gay, but other than that either of them could have been saying any part of the dialogue.

The story builds up to a final showdown which is resolved, which reaches a resolution of some kind, but then there’s another ending tacked on that was more annoying than anything. I’m sure there’s some deep reason for why King decided to do it, but it felt really empty. Why not tell us a little more? I felt nothing for the characters involved.

The idea of using cell phones as the catalyst for the evil was interesting, characters make sure you know how damaging technology is to humanity. Overall not a bad book, right in the middle for Stephen King.
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Chris Taylor couldn't agree more

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