Thoughts on Stephen King's Cell
Stephen King is a master of creating horrible situations and then dropping average people into them to see how they react. This is one of the reasons I enjoy his novels so much. The heroes of his stories are regular folk, easy to identify with, carrying the same life baggage as the rest of us. None of them are prepared to deal with the atrocities Stephen King is about to throw at them. Another thing of which Stephen King is a master is describing these atrocities in such a manner that he has me laughing out loud. To be able to create such scenes and infuse them with a bit of humor takes real skill and this is King's bread and butter. The initial scene of Cell is a cavalcade of horrific events that get crazier and more surreal with each turn of the page.
It is no spoiler to say that the premise of this novel is that a strange signal is broadcast over the cellular networks causing all who hear it to completely lose their minds. The victims of this broadcast become murderous or suicidal which winds up being really unfortunate for those who were not using their cell phones at the time of the broadcast. Small groups of people not affected by the signal band together and try to survive while wondering what caused such a bizarre event. Their journey is fun to read as King crafted some terrific, exciting scenes full of "holy [EXPLETIVE DELETED](I am trying to swear less in 2013)" moments. I enjoyed the core characters, all of whom are believable in their behavior, their reactions to events around them and their interactions with each other. Ultimately, though, the explanation of the cause of strange signal did not satisfy me, nor did it make much sense to me. Still, in this case, the journey is more important than the destination so I can easily recommend Stephen King's Cell to people who enjoy reading End-of-the-World-As-We-Know-It stories.
A film version of the novel was announced in October 2012. The film is still in the pre-production stage, but so far John Cusack has been attached to star. He is one of my favorites so I'm optimistic. The script was co-written by Stephen King himself and "Last House on the Left" remake screenwriter Adam Alleca. There is no information yet about who will direct, but at this point, Cusack's involvement is enough to pique my interest.