Tuesday, August 07, 2007

CELL by Stephen King: a quickie review

Clayton Riddell has just made a sale of his graphic novel to Dark Horse and can’t wait to tell his wife and son. He’s sure it will make his wife change her mind about his ‘hobby’ and perhaps move back in with him. He’s heading back to his hotel in downtown Boston, when it happens. Cell phones begin ringing and as people answer they are hit by The Pulse and become what the survivors call Phonies.
The electronic signal wipes out any trace of civility, turning each victim against each other or anyone else that stands in their way. Riddell soon encounters others who were lucky enough to escape the initial event, but quickly discover that there may be worse things in store.

This is ‘classic’ Stephen King, in the fashion of THE STAND and SALEMS LOT. What to average folks do when their entire lives are suddenly altered and everything around them may be a danger. The only character you could honestly call a villain in the book is The Raggedy Man/President of Harvard, but he is in some ways just as much a victim as the rest of the Phonies.

If you’re a fan of King I’m sure you’re probably already ahead of me, but if you only pick up an occasional novel by the author (like I do) I recommend this as one to try. Your local library probably has a few copies lying around.
For those same 'sometime' King fans I really want to recommend his, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. It's a quick read about a young girl lost in the woods, where something not quite natural is hunting her. Alone she has only her radio for company, which lets her hear the Boston Red Sox and her favorite Tom Gordon. Will Tom's silent encouragement be enough?
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