Friday, October 29, 2010
Cell by Stephen King (GRADE: B)
I finished Cell by Stephen King a couple of weeks ago. Before I even picked up this book, I heard all sorts of bad reviews for Cell. After reading it, I can say that most of the bad reviews are greatly exaggerated. I liked the book. It wasn't his greatest masterpiece but it was an enjoyable read. I grade Cell by Stephen King a 'B'.
Summary of Cell:
In Boston, Clayton Riddell, a graphic comic artist, observes people on cell phones simultaneously transform into violent, mindless 'zombies' that physically assault and try to kill each other. Clay has an estranged wife and son and he wonders if they have been affected. In the book, Clay, along with with Tom McCourt, a middle aged man, and Alice Maxwell, a teenage girl, travel to Kent Pond, Vermont, to find the status of his wife and son. Along the way, the trio meet others: a professor and a boy at a school, some punks traveling fast in a car through ruined streets, and others.
I thought the writing was pretty good. The action started immediately at the beginning of the book. The only characters that were really developed were Clay, Tom and Alice. I especially liked the character of Alice; her development was enjoyable (and at times really sad).
Stephen King's view of man as intrinsically bad is interesting. It reminded me of John Calvin's view of total depravity, a man, deep down inside, is essentially evil and selfish; there are good parts of man but there are no parts of man that is untouched by sin.
I can see why people didn't like the story. It doesn't answer the questions that similar novel will answer (usually tritely). This book is novel length but it feels more like a short story, more of a slice of life story. There can be much more to the novel, all the questions can be answered but the story essentially is complete where King ends it. I didn't mind the ending. I thought that it was melancholically appropriate.
The pacing the book was faster in this book than most Stephen King books. He got right to the action.
The writing I thought was good.
The characters that were developed where developed well but there were a lot of characters that came and went.
I love the personality pictures that King creates. I especially liked the picture of the professor and the boy surviving on their own at the school surrounded by killer zombies.
Overall, I thought the book was good. I enjoyed reading it. It wasn't a masterpiece like the Stand but I don't think that it was meant to be. I think that King wanted to write a medium to short length novel about zombies that was interesting to read and I think that he achieved his goal.
I grade this book a B. :)
Posted by KHLchem