Macabre...ish Book Review: Stephen King’s Cell


Cell is a Stephen King novel, 2006, about an apocalyptic event that happens when cell phone signals are hijacked and hacked in some way, that hacked into the cell phone users brain and turns then into mindless murdering monsters. But that’s only if they got the full blast of it, if they’re just overhearing a conversation and received an incomplete download of the virus then the result is a person, seemingly, in the midst of a suicidal break, in which they hyperfocus on destroying themselves until they’re dead.


This is the first result and incarnation of the virus, over some weeks, the virus and people evolve into something different. A flocking, hive mind group that is not solely focused and bent on murder of people in general but more focused on those who are not infected. And this time, the directive is not to kill but to infect everyone left alive. 


Our story focuses on two men and a young lady who, by chance, survived the chaos of the day and ended up together for the sake of survival. Clay Riddell, is an artist from Maine who was only in Boston because of a business meeting. Tom McCourt, also in town for work but lives nearby and Alice, who was shopping with her mother, in town, when her mother was infected and tried to attack her.


The three of them head, on foot, toward Maine and Clay’s son and ex-wife, he needs to try and find them and see if they’re ok. Since phones are off limits there’s no other choice. Along the way they connect with others and encounter the answer to where the infect go and what they do when they aren’t around. They’re amazed and terrified and formulate a plan. When they discover a sleeping flock, they destroy it. 


Afterward they are marked, the hive mind somehow knows they did it and want to make an example of them to other potential flock killers. The group tries desperately to resist, some changing course, just to discover they’d slept walk all night back on track, where the hive mind wants them to go. Others who try to interfere with there progress are punished with death for there efforts. 


All the while the infected are still evolving, they are now telepathic, telekinetic and harbor other psionic abilities. They practice euthanasia among themselves and now sort out their dead. 


The group’s (Clay, Tom etc.) final destination is Kashwakamak fairegrounds where their fate is to be meted out. 


The book is graphic, gory, the chaos and mayhem are palpable. Lots of murder, suicides, crucification, dismemberments. 


This book is amazing. The ending is good. It’s Stephen King so you know the story is good. I read it every year. A movie was made and has the same name as the book but it’s not the same experience. 


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P. S. I’m challenging myself to get and read all of Stephen King’s works and reviewing them. 

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