Book Review: Stephen King's "Cell"

This post is more than 2 years old.

I still remember the first King book I read - Carrie. I was pretty young, probably too young, but I remember really enjoying the book and trying to pick up every other King book I could find. I continued to do so as I grew up, but I noticed something. During my college years, it seemed like King began to slip. Books like "Rose Madder" and "Bag of Bones" simply just, well, sucked. It seemed like King had lot his edge. Not all his books were bad, but for the first time I found myself not rushing out to buy his books as soon as they were released. In fact, I still have a few books in my collection that I just haven't bothered to read yet.

About a year ago I picked up Wolves of the Calla, and I was literally shocked. Here was the King I had remembered from my youth. The book was an intense, absolutely exciting and well-written book. The entire rest of the Dark Tower series was amazing.

"Cell" is the first post-Dark Tower book I've read from King. It is described mainly as King's "Zombie" book, however, Cell is far from that. The basic premise is that some kind of signal is sent out over cell phones. If you listen to the signal, you are turned insane and immediately begin attacking anyone around you. Obviously this has somewhat of a bad effect on society as a whole. The descriptions of Boston burning to the ground were harrowing. While the story may begin as a "zombie" tale, it quickly turns into something... different. I won't say why as it will ruin the fun. I can definitely recommend picking this up. (And a big thank you to the reader who purchased it from my wish list.)

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Allex Smith posted on 2/20/2006 at 4:11 AM

I'm about a third of the way thru it. It's excellent so far. The Dark Tower Series was also excellent. You may also like Salem's Lot. It ties in very close with the Dark Tower series.

Comment 2 by Peter Tilbrook posted on 2/20/2006 at 4:14 AM

I'm a King fan myself. Dolores Claiborne was my last read. Expect Kameo: Elements of Power shortly (from your wishlist).

Comment 3 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/20/2006 at 7:16 AM

Peter, I'd consider coming back in with his very latest books. And thank you! My son and I were playing the Kameo demo today and loved it. I was -this- close to picking it up at Walmart. :)

Comment 4 by Peter Tilbrook posted on 2/20/2006 at 8:05 AM

It's great! Tried the demo (can get it from http://www.fileplanet.com/1.... Haven't played BF2 yet but looking forward to it!

Comment 5 by Ché posted on 2/20/2006 at 7:18 PM

Just to chime in... King is one of my favs. He did seem to lose a step after the accident he was in. The book "It" will forever be burned into my memory. Good stuff!

Comment 6 by jerry weinberg posted on 3/6/2006 at 11:55 PM

Are you people serious? "Cell," to me, was one of the worst books I can imagine--and, from earlier King books, I had expected it to be good. Boring, redundant, cliched, filled with pseudo-hip or at least pseudo youthful words and phrases ("deenie-cool"?!). It's a mystery with no resolution. I tried to quit reading it out of boredom, but went back to it--already having figured out two main points (his son and, basically, the ending). But there's no real explanation of what sets the story in motion. I did like King's swipes at the anti evolutionists and other religious crazies (like Bush), and there were phrases here and there I found appealing. But not many. You should be ashamed, convincing people to read this dreck.
What a colossal time waster.
Incidentally, I can sense King didn't bother with re-writes and stopped any caring editor from fixing things up. What an ego. When one's name guarantees a best seller, who needs good writing?
Remember his anger at Kubrick's film version of "The Shining." When King himself wrote the TV version, he only proved Kubrick right. The scene of the menacing topiary bordered on stupidity--"Oh I'm terrified of the shrubbery!"

I do acknowledge his reference to the great EC comics' illustrator Wallace Wood. A half-hearted thank you, but without EC and early Ray Bradbury, there would be no Stephen King. (Happened to have seen "The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and Her Lover" a few days before. I had forgotten how much Peter Greenaway was influenced by EC--to my knowledge he also didn't acknowledge the debt.)
You want realistic, believable horror, try some Patricia Highsmith.

Comment 7 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/7/2006 at 6:06 PM

Well Jerry we will have to agree to disagee. One thing I will point out is that you said you had an issue with the mystery having no resolution. To me, this is no different than most Twilight Zone/Outer Limits/etc type stories. Yes, I wanted to know the details as well, but I didn't _need_ to know.

Comment 8 by Trish posted on 3/31/2006 at 6:44 AM

I haven't had the chance to read "Cell" but at the moment "Desperation" is one of my favourites. Does anyone by any chance know when the movie might be released in Australia?? Anyone at all??

Comment 9 by fred ford posted on 4/1/2006 at 9:44 PM

I am an avid King fan and I especially enjoyed "It" and "On Writing". I recently finshed reading "Cell". I feel the book started out as a classic King horror novel, filled with gruesome and unprecictably dark twists, unimaginable terror, and a wild (and far too plausible plot). Unforunately, I feel the plot lost steam in the last act and I found myself wanting to simply finish the book as the final 20 or 30 pages wound down. Ultimately, I rated the book a 7.5 on scale of 1-10. Nontheless, it was a worthwhile read, particularly for a former New Englander such as myself.

Comment 10 by Susan posted on 4/10/2006 at 12:54 AM

Trish,

I'm with you. Desperation was very good. Did you read the other one that went along with it (The Regulators)? I didn't think it was as good though. May 18th is the scheduled TV movie of Desperation.

***********************************

At first I was disappointed with the ending of Cell. But, the more time I had to think about it I found it to be the only ending that really worked (unless you want a 1,000 page book).

King posted something on his Website about the ending if you would like to read it: http://www.stephenking.com/

I'm looking forward to Kings next book (Lisey's Story). Have to wait till October.

Comment 11 by Trish posted on 4/10/2006 at 1:19 PM

Hey Susan
Thanks for that, is the date you gave the release date for Australia? I have read "The Regulators" I liked it but "Desperation" was the better of the two probably because I read that first :) Im looking forward to reading "CELL" (if my siser would just hurry up and give it to me) I heard and read mixed reviews on "CELL" I think I'll read it for myself :)

Comment 12 by Bill MacDougall posted on 4/29/2006 at 10:11 AM

I may be the only person in the world to never have read a Stephen King novel. My initiation came with Cell, and I'm not anxious to become a fan after laboring through the last half of what started as an intriguing, if somewhat sloppily written, first half. The second half degenerated into a mess of confusion that was irritating and even tedious. King seemed to lose his way with this novel; he seemed befuddled by the mess he had created, and was frantically trying to find a satisfactory conclusion that, for me, didn't happen. A big disappointment for me, to be sure. I don't know if I want to read the next King offering.

Comment 13 by Trish posted on 4/30/2006 at 10:09 AM

I hate to say this but I only read the first few chapters of 'Cell' and I found it so boring I couldn't force myself to read anymore. Maybe I'll try again later when I have trouble falling asleep :)
Still a big fan of most of his books and movies though.

Comment 14 by David posted on 5/10/2006 at 3:13 AM

I just finished "Cell" It was King in his form!
I'm not going to set any spoilers here but,
to those who will not read this book because
they think it's a "zombie" novel..
It's not....

Stephen King is a horror writer. Always has been
always will be. But, what lies below all that
in most if not all his books is:

Courage, adapability and, Love.

And, "Cell" follow's that theme as well.

A man's unquenchable Love for his family.

Comment 15 by David posted on 5/10/2006 at 3:16 AM

Oh and I just wanted to add:

I did try to read the beginning of Lisey's Story.

I usually can read King's cursive but, for some
reason I had trouble doing it this time.

Comment 16 by David posted on 5/10/2006 at 3:22 AM

Again, sorry, I just remembered one more thing.

For all you Dark Tower fans, like myself.

Check out the name given to a kiddie ride on
page 333!

Comment 17 by lloyd hunt posted on 6/5/2006 at 4:44 AM

I loved the book but the ending sucked. Bill Macd. this is your first book but please don't let that stop you. Ride "Misery" or "Cujo" or a classic before you give up. Because there's alot of good reading in Stephen King's libraity. So try another. An earliy one.

Comment 18 by Heather posted on 6/20/2006 at 11:37 PM

I'm about halfway through, and it's great! I'm an avid SK fan, and have been since I started with Cujo. ..I think I was 9 or 10. :)

Also, another thing for you DT fans, check out all the references to the infamous nineteen!

I love how when you read an SK book, you basically enter the "world" of SK. All kinds of ties between different books, as well as the DT.

"Welcome to Mid-World."

Comment 19 by Ken posted on 7/1/2006 at 8:26 AM

I just finished Cell and enjoyed it for the most part. I was annoyed by the constant: "As if to underline this..." or "As if to emphasize it..." lines that were used during the initial "pulse." I also felt somewhat cheated at the end.

Comment 20 by Sayonton Roy posted on 10/10/2006 at 6:05 PM

I am an avid fan of King.I have read most of his books..starting from Salems Lot (Real horror),Tommyknockers,Bag of Bones,Dolores Clairborne,Needful Things,Desperation,Rose Madder,Dead Zone,It etc etc.Desperation is my all time favourite although It was a real adventure.Cell after the DARK TOWER Series is a refreshing change.

Comment 21 by T. Umlor posted on 1/22/2007 at 9:15 PM

Come on, the book was boring, it had all the makings of a really good novel, but he failed. I was nauseated with all the blood and guts, kept waiting for the plot to thicken. It was never revealed if it was evil or alien. There were broken characters that did not flow smoothly with each other. The ending was appauling! Exactly what happened. Does anyone know. It was like the book walked you through a bloody bath for no apparent reason. It could have been so much more, if he would have gave us a reason and at least a half ass way to escape from it. It was a real bust for me.

Comment 22 by T. Umlor posted on 1/22/2007 at 9:21 PM

One more thing, perhaps he could offer us "Cell II" to find out what it was all about. That would make up for the confusion in the first book.

Comment 23 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/22/2007 at 9:26 PM

Umlor -I obviously don't agree with your first comment. But as to your second - it is not uncommon for an ending to leave you with questions. I don't believe a good book has to answer everything, in fact, sometimes I think it is better as it leaves you with something to think about.

Comment 24 by Don posted on 2/8/2007 at 1:25 AM

The Cell was the worst King book ever. Very confusing at times, no history of the pulse, names of main characters were to similar so that also caused confusion (clay & Ray), what happened to the national guard, regular army? The Boston Police who had a brief appearance, what happened to them? At least try to make it believable, I would guess that on any given second there are less than 500K people on a cell call. This book made it feel like 3/4ths of the US population got turned into zombies by the pulse. No radio, no TV??? Please... and the ending was a huge let down.

Comment 25 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/8/2007 at 1:32 AM

@Don: No history of the Pulse - well it is fairly common to NOT get all the answers. I don't think thats a problem. I mean obviously I would have love to known everything, but that doesn't harm the story.

Other people: Don't forget that a lot of people died when the crazies started - well - going crazy.

Comment 26 by Severin Smith posted on 2/8/2007 at 6:49 PM

As a story, I thought Cell was average at best. It was my first attempt to read anything by King since I closed the Tommyknockers well before finishing it. Up until that point, I had read everything and loved all of them. The only thing that kept me going through this half-baked, ludicrous, Romero-ized version of the Stand, was the sentimental appeal that the protagonist's quest to find his son offered to me as a father. To leave us hanging is a complete copout. He's not committing to a nihilistic tragedy, and yet not denying someone like me the desired 'sappy' ending I was hoping for. It was diappointing, and surprisingly cowardly for King.

I gave in, and tried King again as I needed an airplane book, and I can literally see where the story opens from my office window. Having just finished it, I am still seething, and would like my time and emotional investment back.

If anyone is still deciding whether or not to buy this book, I would suggest against it.

Comment 27 by severin smith posted on 2/8/2007 at 6:53 PM

PS-
thank you for offering this blog. I was very relieved to find somewhere I could vent regarding my frustration at the book. I sincerely appreciate it.

Comment 28 by becky posted on 2/14/2007 at 12:31 AM

I've never read a novel by King before and if this one was anything to go by I never will again!

I really enjoyed the story, I was intrigued right up until the end, but the ending was atrocious. When I take the time to read a book I at least want to know how it all works out. Its always so dissappointing to get to the end and find that what has been a really good book has a really bad ending. Overall I'm not fussy with what I read so long as I enjoy it which is why I enjoyed this book until I hit the last page and realised this rubbish was meant to be an ending!

Plus I don't really understand the last two lines either?!? Arhg, this book was overall completly horrible.

Comment 29 by John Taylor posted on 2/16/2007 at 1:06 AM

I always enjoy Stephen King books, and honestly find that once I start reading I can't put them down. Cell was a book like this, but there were some parts of it that just didn't gel. Why not an explanation of what the Pulse actually was, or even who sent it in the first place? Was it a terrorist organisation, or a computer nerd or what? What happened in the rest of the world? And bearing in mind the time differences across the world, did the effect ripple around the world affecting people at different times. I know King is an American writer, but a nod to the rest of us would be appreciated occasionally. And the ending! Very poor - it was like walking out of a movie just before the end, so you don't know what happens. Why this insistence of leaving the reader to decide what happens - I have to make enough decisions during work hours - give us a decent ending for once so we can finish the book properly. The book started out with so much promise (who can forget Power Suit Woman, and Pixie Light), but in the end didn't fully satisfy. Sorry!!

Comment 30 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/16/2007 at 1:11 AM

I have to admit I'm a bit surprised by so many people complaining that King didn't explain what the Pulse was. I mean I wanted to know too - but it wasn't something you needed to know. Shoot - the main characters never learned either.

Comment 31 by Denise posted on 2/20/2007 at 12:27 AM

I cannot figure out how to take the ending of Cell, I was anxiously awaiting to turn the page, but found out THAT was the END...any ideas of other's thoughts of the end, would be greatly appreciated!

Comment 32 by gavin copeland posted on 2/26/2007 at 1:17 PM

Cell was an enjoyable read. It started well continued a little slow and then got really interesting when we discovered the 'phone-crazies' were essentially a singualr 'organism'. After this I thought the plot lost itself, got bogged down in suggestions.... the ending itself was non-too impressive, although as only King can do he kept me sufficiently interested to keep turning the pages. Unlike many posters, I am not disppointed that we did not discover what caused the Pulse, what happened the rest of the world and what happened Johnny-Gee. So what,we are kept thinking about it....

Comment 33 by leisge posted on 3/9/2007 at 9:35 AM

I enjoyed the book until the end. I have not read much King but wanted to read this one. I love a good zombie story, but it wasn't really one. and what did the dates at the end mean "December 30, 2004 - October 17, 2005"? I know 10-17 was the date as of the end of the story. But the pulse hit October 1. So whats the 12-10-04 all about?

Later

Comment 34 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/9/2007 at 7:02 PM

I believe it is when King was writing the story.

Comment 35 by bree powell posted on 3/10/2007 at 11:57 AM

ok for the guy who said he must be the only one to never read a stephen king novel...well i dont think my husband has. also i really loved cell...for a while kings books were sucking! but i liked cell a lot..i wish for a sequel of some sort...that would be nice. i read desperation and the regulators and i would have to say desperation is one of my faves too...and in a way cell reminds me of it.anyway it was a good book but i wish the story could continue...

Comment 36 by Bodie posted on 4/2/2007 at 12:24 PM

This is my first stephen King book, i have watched all the movies but am not a big reader in general. I really enjoyed the book throughout up until the end !I understand it leaves you hanginging , with no to be continued ...? whats with that. In movies you can do that cause they only go for 2 hours when you invest alot of time into a book its very dissapointing to get to the end and have no real ending. to me basically reading the whole book was a waste of my time and i wont be investing in his books again. cmon king give us an ending or write Cell 2 !!!

Comment 37 by Brooke posted on 4/4/2007 at 2:04 PM

I've been reading King's books since the very beginning and I've noticed over the last several years that he has gotten into the habit of plagiarizing himself, if that's possible. To this day, my favorite book of his was Gerald's Game. I have been waiting for a movie version of this one, but alas, there hasn't been one yet.

Cell was a good read, as far as Stephen King books go. But I felt that he got a little bored with the story himself towards the end and just wrote the last hundred pages quickly without any real thought. I will admit that I was frustrated with the ending; not knowing how things turned out with his son. But that's typical for a writer. They tend to want to make the reader think long and hard after they've finished with their book. I somehow like that. If he had written that the plan to "fix" Johnny had worked, then certainly we would have felt happy. If Clay's plan had failed, well then we would have been sad. Either way, it would have been too easy and predictable. Leaving us hanging like that made the story all the more real. At least that's how I feel about the ending. We all know that regardless of how the plan worked, Clay and his son were going to be reunited with his friends Tom and Dan and the others.

The one thing that I really didn't like about Cell was how they blew up all the "phoners" with the bomb Ray made for them. If this "pulse" had caused this horrific thing to happen all over the country, or world, well, then only a small fraction of the "phoners" would have been destroyed. King should have expounded on that a little more. Other than that, I enjoyed the book. I liked it a heck of a lot more than Dreamcatcher.

Comment 38 by Brooke posted on 4/4/2007 at 2:16 PM

Hells Bells, I forgot to mention this. I read at the Coming Soon website about a new horror movie being released in August called "The Signal" and I was wondering if this was based on King's Cell. The plot summary sure sounds like it might be. Does anyone else know anything about this?

Thanks for indulging. I sometimes come across as very long-winded or opinionated.

Comment 39 by Dave posted on 4/6/2007 at 3:44 PM

My God, what a mess! Cell is so bad it's made me feel a bit embarrassed for defending Stephen King books in the past (had I been wrong all that time?). It disappointed me that people dismissed his work as "not real literature". But this is playing right into their hands. It's worse than anything I could have imagined him putting his name to (as someone mentioned on here, the unedited repetition of "as if to underline this", "as if to answer this", etc., is pathetically absent-minded writing).

I've read a ton of his stuff and I did notice that things seemed to be slipping ("Dreamcatcher", "Rose Madder", I also thought some bad tendencies were emerging in "Desperation").

At best this is an average idea for a novel but I was hopeful that in his hands maybe something could come from it. Yet it's so poorly developed, so half-hearted. The novel is King at his most unfeasible. I mean, erm... AS IF!! What I've liked about some of the author's past work is that at the height of his powers he can make the implausible seem otherwise but not here - it's like he didn't even try. The computer analogies made me cringe. How could anyone accept that some kind of tone (particularly that the low quality speaker of a cell phone can reproduce) could do any of this stuff... He seems to suggest that the human brain is susceptible to a computer-generated virus, if only it is converted into a sonic-form. Um, OK, Stephen, whatever you say. But at least try & make this absurdity easier to swallow!

The Harvard guy was like some kind of evil force (this evil mind of the flock) however he didn't seem to be decided whether to go with the demons or stick with a more 'scientific' explanation. And I don't mind that he left some questions unanswered but it was remiss not to give a hint at what "the Raggedy Man" (give me a break!) had in his collective mind when he compelled them to make the journey to Kashwak Mo-Fo or whatever it was called. Oh it's all so embarrassing. An the suggestions that it could be terrorism!!? WHAT! I really think he's underestimating the reader with this stuff.

Towards the end he seemed to want you to forget what you'd learned so far about the "phoners" (yes, OK, they were "changing", the pulse was "mutating". Yeah OK). Suddenly it's ok to ask one of them for directions, and you might even get a semi-coherent reply... "Oh my son is this-a-way? Thanks for that, pal". If they were becoming so obliging why was their "collective consciousness" so threatening that Clay & his happy clan had to take a bunch of dynamite to them?

The sloppiness of the writing is unforgiveable. And it's so trite, so predictable, so half-baked. I must have read 20+ King books and I've been close to giving up on him before but usually there have been redeeming qualities to keep me optimistic that the guy can write a great story ("The Body", "Rita Hayworth...", "The Green Mile").

I asked myself after reading this whether I'd been wrong to rate the author in the past. It's been a while since I read any King. But surely "The Shining", "Misery", "Different Seasons", "Everything's Eventual" (and despite what someone said on here about "Bag of Bones", I really enjoyed the first half - it had some kind of emotional credibility before the whole thing turned silly) were written by someone with more about them?

Sorry for the rant. If you haven't read it - pass it by & avoid losing all faith in Stephen King!

Comment 40 by chazz posted on 4/26/2007 at 2:53 AM

re. cell ending--maybe steve's leaving room for a sequel!?

Comment 41 by ngaire posted on 5/6/2007 at 9:06 AM

I am a huge King fan and have just finished reading Cell. It was an interesting read and probaly could be made into a great movie. I'm not real keen on zombie flicks even though the phone crazies turned out to be something else.
There were only two downsides to this novel:
1. It fails the capture the twisted horror that King is so famous for
2. Can anyone please explain to me what the ending was all about? I felt at a complete loss as I was expecting a resolution; whether johnny-gee becomes normal or clay goes nuts ( I didn't care either way)
My book came with a small excerpt from Lisey's Story. I read it and if anyone of you thought that Cell was boring, Lisey's Story is not any better.
Anyway, I can't believe that Desperation has been made into a movie! It should be really good, full of horror and lots of gore!

Comment 42 by Francis posted on 6/1/2007 at 4:08 AM

hello,

I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to reading. I just finsh "Cell" which is the first book I ever read from stephen king.

I give it an 8 out of 10 rating, but im a bit disappointed in the ending, I mean come on whats going to happen. Much questions arises for example: What caused the pulse? What happen to Tom, Jordan and the rest of the crew? Who is behind the pulse? What are they motives? and to top it all off What happen to Johnny-Gee.

Now I know these questions has come to play already, I would like to ask again because I would like to know if there will be a next book to the cell.

some where in here some one said about a movie Stephen King is making called the "Signal" is it the same story from the cell.

out of all the ranting im doing, I Will be going tomorrow to get a next book. Going to go look for the "Wolves of the Calla"

But can some one plese tell me a book that has a GOOD ending!?!?!

thank you

Comment 43 by Jason posted on 6/10/2007 at 3:04 AM

im not so sure what the problem with all of you people saying its the worst book you have ever read...seriosly...its very original, it makes you think at the beginning that the story will be a commom zombie story that weve heard over so many times...say as dawn of the dead or night of the living dead...i was really glad to find something new...i also really enjoyed the graphic-ness of the violence and gore in the story...my favorite part was when the street punk ended up killing the girl (sorry i cant remember the names) with a cinder block to her face!...he literally made it so you felt affection for this character and felt sad that she died...

the only problem that i had was the unexplained reason of the pulse... it never explained who or why they did it...i pesonally think that this is a set up for a sequal...which i would not mind...

so as for those of you who think this is bad...compare to half of the agatha Christie s**t mysteries that people are loving...then tell me what is horrible...

Comment 44 by Dave posted on 6/10/2007 at 12:21 PM

The fact that "people love" books that you consider to be s**t isn't really that great a recommendation. I'm not saying there aren't worse books out there, I'm sure there are. All any of us are saying are there are a hell of a lot better ones, and by the same author.

Surel no one likes Stephen King books just because he's popular. That's irrelevant. I judged them on their own merits. That's why I found this disappointing. I didn't find anything original or surprising in there (although the whole thing has thankfully faded from my memory) and I'm not saying that to be contrary.

Comment 45 by Trish posted on 6/14/2007 at 12:39 PM

Can anyone please tell me if "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" has been or is being made into a movie? I read on one of Stephen Kings sites that it was. I loved the book and would like to see it made into a movie, so if anyone knows anything, please let me know, Thanks :)

Comment 46 by Michael posted on 7/4/2007 at 11:39 PM

im almost done with this book and it is awful. awful. and im a huge fan of King. this book, insomnia, and maybe bag of bones have to be amongst his worst books ever. i think what bothers me the most is that i was so excited about a king written zombie book. this one had a lot of potential. and then... flocking? telepathy? floating? and way too many dog deaths at the beginning of the book BTW.

Comment 47 by James posted on 8/1/2007 at 3:28 AM

Cell is the first Stephen King novel I have read and I was impressed with the first half, but then spent too long waiting for something to happen and ofcourse it never really did. I endured hundreds of pages of pure tripe for a pair of meaningless dates, and now my understanding of the word 'conclusion' is shattered...

Oh how will I go on...

But not finding out what the pulse is all about is acceptable, as the characters have no idea what is going on, nor does anyone else in the world and in the absence of communication there is little chance of the charcters ever finding out. However, there is a difference between a vacuum left by communication and knowledge and an empty ending.

P.S if I wipe this laptop's hard drive, then leave it for a week, will it begin to levitate?

Comment 48 by ian posted on 9/28/2007 at 8:44 AM

Hmmm,a lot of negative comments about this book on here.I have just (only a few minutes ago in fact) finished this book and i personally thought it was one of Kings better novels.Not his best by any means but a really good read.

A lot of people complain about the ending.Well i loved it,it is what i call very "Non-Hollywood" unlike a lot of books (and most movies) where everything turns out all rosy at the end,baby lambs skipping in fields and all is right with the world etc.I love books that leave me asking questions and enable me to use my imagination to decide for myself what happened.

The same can be said for the actual core event in the book.The Pulse.Some people were critisising the fact that King had not explained what caused the Pulse to happen or who was behind it.I beleive that this was his intention,to create a complete sense of confusion and chaos.I also enjoyed this because again it made me use my imagination to to explore all different kinds of theories and possiblities of how the Pulse originated.I love books like this because it gives me the freedom to invisage my own ideas instead of every minute detail being revealed and been hand-led through the book from point A to point B.

All in all i really enjoyed this book,yes it did get a little slow in places and the ending was was very predictable,with Clay finding his son (But not he abruptness of it,which,when i finished it i thought was a very sly but very good move on Kings part.In a way it was very cheeky and it made me smile).But overall its one i will definately reccommend to my freinds.

Thats my two penneth worth.

Comment 49 by robin spencer posted on 2/10/2008 at 1:21 PM

My wife is a stephen king finatic and I have read a few of stephen kings books.cell would have been the most recent.I found that I spent every waking moment reading it.the book was really compelling ...except for the last parts of clays last journey to finding his son,it was as if mr king had either got bored with it or he could not find a fitting ending to the story he found his son on the side walk and then bam weeks later he goes fo fo you you ...quick but quick but congrates on the story line till that point hope he comes out with an cell II
robin

Comment 50 by F K Carter posted on 4/30/2008 at 9:42 PM

I'm really more of a dean koontz fan, but for some reason the jacket of stephen king's book the "cell" caught my attention, and it was on sale. So I pick it up read it on the train and find that I can't put it down. I waking up out of my sleep to get another chapter in. I get more and more excited as I'm reaching the end of this novel and to be quite frank (i'm pissed) I mean he takes me thru this journey of carnage and mayheim and NOTHTING!!!. I basically wasted about 10 days expecting a rewarding ending. I was so disappointing. So many questions. What was the pulse? Did he ever meet up with his friends? Who was behind the pulse? What happened to the rest of the country/World for that matter? And most importantly was happened with Johnny???? I could barely take what happened to Alice- then he give me nothing regarding Johnny, I mean give me a break.

Comment 51 by Peter lachlan posted on 9/29/2008 at 8:24 PM

I finished the book meself, but the end felt incomplete to me. What happended to johhny

Comment 52 by Sam Nicholson posted on 12/17/2008 at 12:44 AM

I finished the book last week and I was of mixed feelings throughout. It started quite well and seemed to slow down quite a bit in the middle. Towards the end it started to pick up again but then it ended. Maybe he ran out of steam?

Overall i'd say was a fairly good read (nowhere near as good as IT or Misery though). I'm currently 3/4 through Salems Lot which is brilliant! :)

Comment 53 by ddbrownie posted on 1/26/2009 at 10:02 PM

The ending of this book was really frustrating for me. It bothered me enough I had to come say something. This is my take: I don't want to come up with an ending Mr. Writer, that is your job.I have enough things in my life to figure out. There is a reason why most movies provide a ending and it is because most people like one. Call us intellectually lazy if you will, but I think you are the one who got bored on this one. This story had no ending.
I was also frustrated by the lack of a proper explanation for the pulse and the hurried and disjointed presentation of the last 100 or so pages. Another problem was when no attempt was made to find Johnny at the expo grounds (yes I know there were thousands of them) and then all of a sudden he is expected to just have been one of the ones that wandered off. Also I didn't understand the lack of hostility of the surviving phoners towards Clay. I would assume the ones remaining would still flock (presuming some of the original phoners survived the explosion). I did like the story at first as I enjoy most of Stephen King but the ending of this one was very disappointing. I probably wouldn't have been so annoyed with this book if an ending (whichever way it turned out), had been provided.

Comment 54 by Johann Aviles posted on 6/11/2016 at 2:32 AM

I don't understand the ending of the movie, the guy is walking with the son on the train travel ka but then u see him walking with the rest of the zombie people around the tower

Comment 55 (In reply to #54) by Steve Dronzewski posted on 6/11/2016 at 4:01 AM

I totally agree with you! I never read the book so I just went to it's wikipedia page and the ending of the book and the ending of the film are totally different.

Comment 56 by Cheryl Vernon Stone posted on 9/28/2017 at 12:34 AM

Great book until the last page. I reread "The Dark Tower series; which, was his best of all time! While the ending of the series might require some use of intellect, analyzing, imagination, and crossed fingers that King mayhap bring Roland back again it was a fitting ending. However, with Cell it simply felt like he tired of the writing and quit or left room for another book but since that hasn't happened I felt robbed of a proper ending to a story I invested my time and energy into reading. :(

Comment 57 by Anna Willy posted on 1/14/2019 at 12:34 PM

Excellent review. Nice job!