'Civilization slipped into its second dark age on an unsurprising track of blood but with a speed that could not have been foreseen by even the most pessimistic futurist. By Halloween, every major city from New York to Moscow stank to the empty heavens and the world as it had been was a memory.'
The event became known as The Pulse. The virus was carried by every cell phone operating within the entire world. Within hours, those receiving calls would become insane, or die.
In Boston, a young artist, Clayton Riddell, flees the explosive heart of the city. Clay's son has a little red cell phone. Often out of juice. But what if this time the battery is full? Clay has to reach his son, before his son reaches for his phone....
Who doesn't have a cell phone? This utterly gripping, gory, and fascinating novel doesn't ask the question 'Can you hear me know?' It answers it with a vengeance. High concept, ingenious, and terrifying: Cell is the perfect nightmare for a whole new generation of Stephen King listeners.
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©2006 Stephen King. All rights reserved.; Recording © and (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc.
"King's imagining of what is more or less post-Armageddon Boston is rich, and the sociological asides made by his characters along the way...are jaunty and witty." (Publishers Weekly)
It is a long long time since I have read a Stephen King novel so I was unsure what to expect and not even sure if I would like it, however as a first audio book I really could not have chosen better.
The plot is surprisingly simple in a way but in this case the simplicity is the key to a great story. The main characters, whilst few, are all easily identifiable with and you cannot help but be drawn right into the story as it unfolds, their lives and differences and the overall emotion and hidden depth of this literary piece.
There is a magnetism about this book that made it difficult to find a suitable place to pause and I was keen to listen to it whenever time permitted.
Throughly enjoyable and I would love to listen to a sequel, which could be possible!? (Fingers Crossed.)
I would recommend this book whether you are a Stephen King fan or not. You will be pleasantly surprised.
A well named title as I felt completely stuck in a 'cell' whilst listening to it ! I agree with others that the basic plotline was a good idea but for me it seemed to ramble on with no real depth or particular direction. I felt that I had to keep listening to reach the part where the story took off but it never seemed to arrive. Sorry - not good for me !
This story kept me in a tight suspense right the way through but! Mr King. What happened to the ending? It left me in midair.
Did you get fed up with writing this novel?
Having read Stephen King books in the past I was expecting a gripping story all the way through, however with this book you get the feeling he gave up on the ending. If there is a sequel planned then it will only be to finish the story and answer all of the basic questions like who, why and how. This one leaves you frustrated and not like a cliffhanger more of a you couldn't care if you found out the answers but had spent hours getting to this point.
The basic plot line is a good one and so much more could have been done with it, and for this reason you stick with it to the end, even if it's only to get the answers. But alas ultimately the author disapoints.
The characters are good and strong and could have made a much stronger story line but I feel they are not used to their potential. The key villain for example makes sporadic appearances which don't amount to much. I don't want to spoil the story for others so let's just say he is too easy a push over in the end.
I aggree with the other rewiew about the sound quality, I thought it was my player, but no it's pretty poor in places with levels changing, bad over dubbing of voices and the occasional j-j-jerking of speech.
If you are a King fan then you'll get this book anyway, I know I've bought bad books by my favourite authors, but if you stumbled on this book, then move on to other titles in Kings catalogue and leave this alone.
I listened to this almost at a non stop pace, it is intense and gripping. However it is not perfect. Many readers/listeners have commented on the lack of an ending to the story. I was not surprised it ended where it did, but it could have done with a little bit more so the reader is not left completely in the dark. Also there was never any background given as to how or why the Pulse took place in the first place. Surely not as a weapon as this could not have benefitted anyone. Why Is Stephen King obsessed with Maine? The only book I remember reading of his that doesn't contain a reference to the place is 'Dragons Eyes', even then I'm sure if he could have got away with a mention of it he would have! Over all it is creepy and pretty depressing, but very listenable. As other reviewers have mentioned the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired, but not enough to put you off.
This is the first audible book I have downloaded, and its quality is poor compared to audio books I have on CD. The quality of the sound changes mid-chapter (as if the reader took a break) and there are many instances of a deeper voice dubbed over for a few words, perhaps when the original reader made a mistake. Excellent story, let down by poor quality audio.
I listen whilst I paint, I enjoy Sci Fi, Horror & Biogs but am happy to try most other things except for stories about shoes and handbags...
I read this when it was first published and quite enjoyed it, a second rendition, listened to, I really enjoyed. Its chilling and at various points you wonder why and how the protagonists have done various things and wonder what you would do in their place, excellent story.
An absolutely brilliant listen. Simple ideas, great characters. I had no problem with the audio at all. Well narrated. Only problem was the time spent in the car when I couldn't bear to turn it off. Whether you are a stephen king fan or not I recommend this book, if you don't like the gory bits bear with it, this is definately worth it.
Novel (no pun intended) concept lacking King's usual depth and finesse. King has an ability to take the reader to uncomfortable places and sadly I didn't get taken anywhere by this. It's an easy read and I had no problem getting through or finishing and wasn't tempted to quit on it. A good book by most authors but not King good. The lack of character depth spoiled any bonding and I never really cared what happened to any of them. Not a horror, not a thriller and not a zombie story. Certainly not the worst book I've listened to but certainly nowhere near the best. Certainly not King at his best.
Loved the characters storyline and plot utterly terrifying Stephen King is a master at his craft! Not for the faint hearted! A must for all horror fans!
I enjoyed the concept of cell phones being the catalyst to an apocalyptic new world. I also enjoyed the development of the relationships between the survivors and the extreme steps they were willing to take for each other.
I actually enjoyed the ending, there is just enough to give closure while leaving it open to your own imagination to decide the next chapter for the character. I think this is fairly typical King.
I think Campbell Scott did an excellent job of bringing the characters to life and giving you an emotional connection to them. I thought his narration was spot on, not overly dramatic and quite calming to listen to.
I quite enjoyed is audiobook, both the story and the narration. I'd certainly purchase more books by both of them, it was a great use of a credit.
"Well worth it!"
Cell is in the Genre of Zombie books and Post Apocaliptic. What would happen if everyone that was on a cell phone right now just went crazy?
I found it a little hard to get used to the tone of his voice initially but once I had settled into that he was able to portray the characters with consistancy and humanity. I enjoyed listening.
King has entered into this subject before in his book 'The Stand' which was a personal favourite of mine so I wasn't sure how this would stand up (pardon the pun) but it is a completly new angle and was great to listen to with modern eyes in a society of relience on Cell Phones. Again King's insight into the human mind is what make his books always enjoyable to read/listen to.
"Interesting and Engaging"
This is the first Stephen King book I have listened to and I found it very engaging and enjoyable. I have a soft in my heart for apocalyptic story lines and Cell delivers on this score.
I had previously read Stephen King's 'The Stand' in hardcover and was initially worried that like that title the book would take a long time to recount backstory. This was not true of 'Cell' at all and the action starts within a few pages. Nice short chapters means the story keeps a frenetic pace.
My only criticism of the book is the sudden and somewhat inconclusive end.
The narration and character voices by Campbell Scott is uniformly excellent and I will keep an eye out for other titles he has narrated.
Never been a Steven King fan but have always loved a post apocalypse story. My family (partner + 2 teenagers) and I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook on a long car trip. The narration perfectly matched the characters and the story. In fact I enjoyed it all so much I listened to it again.
One warning: The first part of the book is very violent. So much so that on first listen we turned to another audiobook. Didn't enjoy that one so we returned to Cell. Got past the initial violence (which is actually essential to the story) and got into the plot and characters.
"Not typical of Stephen King but a GREAT read!Inter"
A very interesting story that we should all be able to relate to. I mean, who doesn't have a Cell / Mobile phone these days?
I liked all the characters in the novel
Yes, the effect that the Cell Phones had on the population and how realistic it could be.
An excellent book. Give it a try, you won't regret it.
"A Novel Concept for a Novel!"
I was happy enough overall with the time spent listening to this story. This is an interesting take on what is really still a new and evolving technology.
For me, I would have liked to hear more of a why angle to the story. Who did what and for what hoped outcome. I would also have liked to have made the finish a little more final, that is unless this is to be a series of books.
The narrator didn't really give each of the characters their own 'voices'. It may be that the producer or the author wanted to keep the vocalisation as it is to more match the plot and the occurances. I would be interested to hear this same story read by John Slattery who did such a fantastic job of Duma Key.
This could be made a movie but not so much as a series. I would like to see Colin Cunningham as the lead for this one. He plays a great role in Falling Skys and for my money, I think he would fit well as Clay Riddel but this is now moot as John Cusak is to play this part in an upcoming Movie. A search on the net will get you all that detail, but you may want to be careful before you go listening to any audio clips from the movie!!
This isn't King's best story, however it is worth listening to. That of course is my opinion of the story and the performace of Cambell Scott as heard from Audible. If you like unique stories and you have a taste for the thriller/horror and even some drama, have a listen to this one. I am going to listen to it again and some books I have listened to, I delete outright. Hope this helps in your choice of listening selections!
"Good Story Bad Narration"
This is a good story from Stephen King, but I am really struggling with the monotone and boring narration of Campbell Scott, in fact I would not buy and audio book he has narrated from now on. He spoils a good tale.
Being new to audible I went with an author i knew. I was not dissapointed at all, from beginging to end it was hard to press the stop button. It was rather graphic and the voice talent of Campbell made the story come alive. Some have said negative things about the ending but in pure King style you are left wondering at the end as to what happens. I like this as the author is in fact saying to you, you make up the end as you see appropriate.
"Good story line"
I really enjoyed the story, although a bit graphic and blood thirsty at times. Dissapointed with the end, though. Looked at my I-pod to see why the story ended without a proper conclusion. As though the author lost interest, and just stopped writing. Pitty about this, as this was most enjoyable.
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