The event became known as The Pulse. The virus was carried by every cellular phone operating in the world. Within hours, those receiving calls would become insane – or die.
Indeed, that is the basic premise of Cell. But let’s not beat about the bush – this is basically a zombie novel 🙂
Why did I want to read it?
Well, have been taking part in the King’s March challenge and had done quite well (two short stories, one new novel and one re-read) and hadn’t really thought to pick up any others even though there was a chunk of the month still to go. But when looking for something else I came across this 2006 novel which I had completely forgotten about, and as I was looking for something light (if insane phone-call triggered zombies can be called light) to read, here we are.
What did I think of it?
While far from being his best novel I thought Cell was a cool idea that was pretty well executed. Like a lot of King’s novels it stands or falls on what you think of the main protagonist and Clay Riddell, the comic book artist whose world is turned upside down in seconds, is a likeable character driven to do some very brave things through a desire to get back to the family from whom he has been separated. So as well as being about zombies it is also a classic quest – Clay is joined by a small band of people with whom he has been thrown together by circumstances outside of his control and they head out of burning Boston so he can try to find his son.
The development of the zombies is very interesting and unusual (to me at least) and without giving anything away they become much more than the standard mindless brain-eating hordes that you might have expected. I like the fact that we never know what caused The Pulse, and I also like the way the novel ends. But it’s the characters that make this successful – human and flawed and trying their best in a terrible situation but not always getting it right.
I liked it.