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Stephen King's CELL: Review

Updated on May 25, 2016
RemySheppard profile image

Remy Sheppard is passionate about media and once ran the website "Manly Reviews", reviewing great books and movies for men.

This was a good book, if a bit short at 350 pages. My brother gave me this book out of his personal library on Saturday and said it was a good read and he thought I'd enjoy it (loved Salem's Lot). I started reading it on Sunday afternoon, after waking up and enjoying the morning with my wife. I figured it would be nice to settle on the couch and read a bit for the day.

Except this is not a relaxing book, at all.

One thing, especially, speaks to the character of this book and the work Mr. King did with it: I had to make myself put it down every few chapters. I would sit and read for about 45 minutes to an hour at a time, then I'd make myself put the book away and walk around. I only got a few hours of reading done on Sunday because, after getting pulled in to the book, I needed to come back to reality.

Book Cover for Stephen King's CELL

The book has an incredibly immediate plot. Unlike other works by King, the build to a tipping point when the scary really starts to happen, this book has a murder right off on Page 7. We meet our main character, Clay, get a feel for who he is, and just as we get used to his name (Rid-DELL, not Riddle, he says) people start to drop. And I mean like freaking flies. We lose people in the most horrific manner from then on throughout the book - we even have to watch Mr. King mercilessly lay waste to a dog and eliminate a cat.

The pace of the book is consistent and fast. King does the one thing I wish more writers did: Skips all the boring bits. When the characters sleep (through the day, they themselves becoming the new 'vampires' - though this book has nothing to do with vampires) King skips ahead to when they wake up. Most writers take sleep as the opportunity in literature to invoke some heavy-handed foreshadowing and paint us hazy and hard to read pictures of dreams. Not Stephen. He skips right over that noise and goes straight back to the killing, the running, the scavenging, and the dying.

Movie Poster for CELL

And while there is nothing outright scary in the book in the way of monsters or evil supernatural creatures, the book finds a way to be horrifying in an emotional sort of way. You get pulled in to this survival situation, and after being drawn in, King makes sure to push all of your buttons to keep you guessing and tormented emotionally while you work your way towards the final pages of the book.

And much like in real life: There is a lot of completeness to the book, but little -if any - resolution. All we find is death and more death, hardship and toil, and a sharp period at the bottom of the last page telling us it is time to move on. All in all, this was an incredible book and I enjoyed every word, and every page turn. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good weekend fiction read.

Buy Stephen King's CELL

Cell: A Novel
Cell: A Novel

Stephen King's CELL is a horrifying tale of survival in a world that has moved on without us. It will grip you with fear, keep you turning pages, and ultimately leave you afraid but wanting more.


© 2016 Remy Sheppard

Have you read this book? What do you think?

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