Friday, March 03, 2006

You got me hanging on the telephone

So I finished Cell and if you like the early King which put all the emphasis on action and character development you will like this. Did I think it was as good as say, Pet Sematary? No. But it beats books like Insomnia without breaking a sweat. The story is a zombie story in which every cell phone in the country rings and if you answer it, you turn into a murderous zombie. Here are some of the reasons I liked this one as much as I did.

Good characters: The main character is trying to get from Boston to Maine while zombies attack because he left his son there, and his son has a cell phone. His bad dreams get worse when the bad guys start manipulating his dreams. Creepy. King loves to have a creepy bad guy and this one is nicely disturbing.

Action: The chaos starts on page 2, when all hell breaks loose in Boston Common. This may be the best scene in the book as King conveys the confusion, the essential goodness of his hero, and the shocking sudden transition to violence. It's capped with a plane crash and ominous explosions in the distance. This is great stuff. There are a number of equally tense and exciting scenes, but this one was truly excellent.

No giant tie-ins to the Dark Tower: I liked Black House up until I thought I couldn't truly understand what was happening without reading the huge Dark Tower sequence. This one probably has Dark Tower references, since he LOVES them. If you have time on your hands check out this compendium of Dark Tower trivia and the connections to his other books.

Editing: King's recent books have been relatively long and this one was short. It was tight. With the exception of the end, which dragged a bit, the book moved quickly. I sound like a whiny bitch here, but come on, your's ain't the only book in town.

If there are any readers who haven't read one of his books yet, this isn't the best, but it's really good. If you haven't liked the recent material, try this one.

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