Books and Code · A Miscellany

Cell, by Stephen King (A Review)


Last month I read Stephen King’s Cell. I had been looking forward to its release since reading an excerpt on Amazon in September. I quite enjoyed the book despite its derivative nature (think a less-grandiose hybrid of The Stand and Romero’s Dead movies). Of course, I’ve always been a sucker for apocalyptic plots.

King was obviously aware of the danger of rehashing old material, so he keeps the scope tightly centered on the experiences of a father trying to reunite with his son. It keeps the book distinct from its superior conceptual heritage. While this approach was certainly the best, I wouldn’t have minded if he had digressed a bit–all the more fuel for my apocalyptic King fetish. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the characters terribly compelling either–the featured father/son theme was reminiscent of Pet Semetary. The themes addressed in Cell (dangers of technology, the nature of father/son relationships, a parent’s fear of failure) have been explored in more depth by King in previous work and Cell adds nothing new to the mix.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but was disappointed that King didn’t have anything new to say here.