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Horror - Stephen King - Cell

Stephen King
Pocket Star Books 2006
449 pages

Anyone familiar with the work of horror novel master Stephen King has read The Stand, the massive, and then special author's version really massive, story of the end of the world. Cell, the latest end of the world opus by Stephen King is basically The Stand meets Dawn of the Dead if the zombies had a calling plan. Cell is formulaic, not quite as predictable as you might think, and a good read even if it comes in that new, oversized paperback version that doesn't fit comfortably in your hands.

Cell by Stephen King is the story of Clayton Riddell who is in Boston and has just snared a publishing contract for his fancy, illustrated comic. He is in Boston Commons when people get a call on their cell and basically become killer zombies. Like in The Stand, Riddell and a bunch of others escape the city towards a promised land but this time Randall Flagg is called the Raggedy Man and wears a Harvard sweatshirt.

Although Cell never once mentions Castle Rock, King's well-known Maine town where weird things always happen, this horror novel is set in familiar territory for Stephen King: New England. Although this latest novel by the master of horror certainly echoes The Stand, including the final confrontation, it also goes its separate way in many instances. The ending might leave some fans a bit puzzled but this is a pretty good read and that is all you really want from Stephen King.

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