February 15, 2006
My review of Stephen King's Cell
Well, the first 60 pages were great, at least.
Posted by Jim Treacher at February 15, 2006 11:57 PM
It got weird and stupid when they found the kid and the old man at the college. After that I was only reading it to get to the end.
Seems like it should have been an episode of Masters of Horror. Cut down to a 60 mminute script it might not be so dumb.
That's the title of my old Biology text. No one outside the US calls phones 'cells' as far as I know.
There are people "outside the US"?
Well, in King's defense, there's no one outside the US in the book. Is it a spoiler to reveal that part of it takes place in Maine? Ha ha. Anyhow, it's kind of sneaky how he gradually turns it into The Stand Meets Pet Sematary. It's better edited than the last King book I read (10 years ago), considering that no character names change from one page to the next. I do wish somebody would take a pen to some of his dialogue, though. Cringe. Oh well. That opening sequence is still terrific.
Yeah Rob. I'm in Australia, that place where Hope and Crosby's Road to Bali begins, and Pres Bush senior came about the same time to defeat the Japs. God Bless him and you all!
The beginning was great -- 60 pages is about right -- but the ending was quite awful. I read it twice and still am not sure what the heck was going on.
King's downhill spiral began when he was hit by that van. Hasn't had a good novel since, IMO. Cell had so much potential. I'm sad.
I stopped reading King in the 80s because he can't write a decent story all the way to the end, he just can't. He sucks. He just has neat story ideas. Somebody should tell him to take a couple of writing classes at the nearest community college.
King was a terrific short story writer; IMO, that's what he's really good at.
Many (most) of his novels, however, scream 'short story padded out to novel'.
King should issue a fatwa to his followers about that stupid, van-driving prick and have him beheaded.
You know why that moron struck another human being in a speeding vehicle? His rotwieler 'pistol' had got into the 'cooler' and the genius was trying to drag the 60 pound dog out of it with one hand while driving with the other. Good work, you hillbilly retard.
It seems to me that King's best stuff was the short stories and novels he published in the first ten or fifteen years of his career ("Christine" and "The Stand" are two of my all-time favorite novels; his "Night Shift" anthology is a must-have for horror fans); after 1987's "The Tommyknockers," it's almost as if he's just been going through the motions. And King's "Dark Tower" fantasy series was just ridiculous; especially when he tossed himself in amongst all the other pop-culture references that the series was based around. (His Daphne du Maurier homage, "Bag of Bones," was the only good thing he's written for the past two decades, IMHO.)
The only noteworthy thing about "Cell" for me was that it arrived in the mail from Amazon.com the day I finally broke down and purchased a cell phone of my own. Yeah, the first sixty pages were great...because the whole premise - cell phones driving their owners as crazy as they do bystanders - was worth only about sixty pages' worth of story, but King padded it out to novel length anyway. And he kept it going for at least two chapters after the logical climax of the story.
Besides, who needs some sort of brain-scrambling cellular EMP to drive you nuts? The hassles I went through just to get my new cell phone activated was enough to do that...