Zombies spawned from cell phones, what could be cooler than that? The action starts almost immediately in Cell, and is violent, bloody, and fast. Before you know it, the zombies are everywhere.
The story line is a simple one. Clayton Riddell is coming back home from an interview, which went well. He stops for a moment and gets in line to buy an ice cream.
Then, all hell breaks loose. People go from normal to psychotic in seconds flat. No one sees it coming. All Clayton can figure out, at first, is that everyone who has gone crazy and homicidal had a cell phone.
The people are still alive, but are suddenly acting more like zombies. They aren’t the slow, stupid, lurching zombies, either. No, they are fast, as in the remake of Dawn of the Dead kind of fast. Perhaps because they are still alive?
From there, the story is about survival. What do you do, when surrounded by what is basically a pack of zombies? Where do you go? Clayton must make some quick decisions. Cell isn’t simply about avoiding death by fast moving monsters. It also touches on what happens to people’s minds when they are dropped into this horrific situation.
Who do you trust? How can you tell who is safe, and who is going to become violent? How do you figure out what caused this, so it doesn’t happen to you? Makes for a tense story. King excels in mixing psychological and physical horror. Just when his characters think they have things figured out, the zombies change. They act differently, and seem to be getting “smarter”.
Then there’s the moral dilemma. Is it right to kill off these zombies, in order to save not only yourself, but also the other, still unaffected, “normal” humans who are left? I mean, they are still people, right? They are alive, aren’t they? Or, have they stopped being “people” once they lost their minds and got all bloodthirsty? Staggering.
The only thing I didn’t absolutely love about this book was the ending. King doesn’t simply tell you if a particularly important action by the main character worked, or if it didn’t work. The book ends just as Clayton is doing the action.
I was kind of mad, because I wanted to know for certain one way or the other. Instead, King has left it unclear. Either he wanted the readers to decide for themselves what should happen next, or, he is leaving room for a sequel to this story. I’m hoping for a sequel, but not exactly holding my breath.
The back of the book says that Stephen King does not own a cell phone. It doesn’t specifically say why he doesn’t have one.
I hate that we have become a nation of people who feel the need to isolate ourselves from the possibilities of having a random conversation with other passing humans. People now seem to feel like they must be constantly connected to this security blanket that “wireless” provides. Perhaps, King felt some of the same things I do, and that’s what inspired this book.
If you are a Stephen King fan, you will love this book. It’s just that special. If you are a fan of zombies, and like stories that include them, this book is for you. If you hate cell phones, you will get sadistic pleasure from this story.