Saturday, May 03, 2008

Cell by Stepher King - why I now hate Stephen King.

I listen to audiobooks in the car. Apart from NPR, and 89X, there's not much radio to listen to these days, so audiobooks are the way to go for me.

I took out Cell, a novel by Stephen King. Over the years, I've read most King books, and enjoyed them, with one or two exceptions.

#######SPOILER ALERT##########
.....Don't read any further if you want to read the stupid book......

By about half way through the book, it seemed to me that this would be no exception - I was well and truly hooked on the story. But that changed as the book headed to its end. I'll explain.

The story is about the cell-phone using population getting hit by a 'pulse' which effectively wipes most of their brain and turns them into crazed deranged pants-pooping zombies. Pretty interesting reading - and an interesting concept. What do you do if you see people acting like this? You pick up your cell phone and try to call someone - and as a result become a phone-infected crazy yourself.

I thought it was going to be a little like The Stand - an apocalyptic global reset, which it maybe was, but this was not the focus of the book - it was mostly focused on the remaining normal people wiping out the phone crazies. Unfortunately, King was not happy enough with the wild idea of people being driven crazy by cell phone, which is far-fetched enough but remotely concievable. He done this well enough in The Stand, and he scared the poop out of enough people with Misery in which there was no parnormality. No, he had to let the phone crazies start reading minds, creating dreams in the heads or normal people and then to top it all, they started levitating. So that was my first let-down.

Then, at the end of the book, the main character, (an out-of-work comic artist) goes seeking his kid son. A boy who was forced to take the cell phone pulse (albeit a weakened one). He finds him, and the kid is somewhat a zombie. His dad decides to, on the advice of another kid, try to fix his son by letting him listen to a further mutated pulse. So, he puts the phone to the boys ear. And then, THE STUPID BOOK ENDS!!!!


While I can understand the need to keep the reader hanging on, and how it's cool to finish the story on a cliffhanger, I thought this was not very well done. It kinda seemed that ol' Stevie K just got tired writing, - maybe it was time to get a beer - and he just closed out the story. I guess he is pushing on in years....

I was mad. I shouted at the cd player and called King all sorts of names. It's been a while since a book made me mad, and longer since a book made me mad at the author.

To anyone who reads this and is also reading the book - apologies for spoiling the end, but I feel you may thank me for saving you from wasting a few hours of your life.

To make matters worse - I took that stupid audio book out of the library and got so hooked on it that I kept the book longer than I should and I now face a fine for not returning it on time.

Dean Koontz next.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I felt that he left me hanging in the end too. Do the dates at the end mean anything or was that left out of the audiobook? I just figured they might be some clue about the end of the story.