SCTHUMBZZZ.jpg” />Just finished reading Cell by Stephen King. Definitely not my favorite of his; about 18 months ago I read through the entire Dark Tower series, and found it a masterful collection of characters, a thoroughly engrossing weaving of multiple story lines into one long arc, and an all-around enjoyable story. My favorite of his books is without question The Stand, which I read every few years to remember the scope, the terror, and the humanity. It’s an incredible book, one that stays with you (much like the Dark Tower series) long after you finish.
Cell isn’t in that class. It’s an engaging read, to be sure, but leaves the major questions of the book unanswered (I won’t spoil them, in case you’ve yet to read them). The premise is rather out there (even for King) – a world-wide cell phone virus infects everyone who has a cell phone, turning them into zombies (more or less). It’s hard not to compare it to The Stand, as it involves a small group of refugees battling an evil individual who has the ability to enter their thoughts, most of the population is decimated due to a worldwide plague in a short period of time, there’s most definitely a good camp and an evil camp. Ultimately it doesn’t give the payoff that The Stand did. (Unlike many previous King books, this one weighs in at a svelte 384 pages.) (Spoiler alert: you can visit his website for a brief message from him, in which he resolves one of the major questions of the book…)
Bottom line – not bad for a beach read, but not among his best. Fret not: his second book this year, Lisey’s Story, is due out in October.