Have you read: Stephen King is back, more graphic, concise | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Have you read: Stephen King is back, more graphic, concise

“Cell: A Novel” by Stephen King

Much to the disappointment of his fans (myself included), Stephen King hinted that with the seventh installment of “The Dark Tower” series his work as a writer may have been done, that he might not have anything left to say; that he didn’t have another story that needed telling.

Then he was asked to write a classic 1940s era detective novel and he complied with the excellent “The Colorado Kid” published in 2005. This work was very polarizing for many King fans as many either loved it or hated it. Even for those who liked “The Colorado Kid,” it wasn’t horror; itwasn’t what they might call real Stephen King.

Now, “Mr. I may be about to retire,” has come out with “Cell: A Novel.” For those of us who have been missing Stephen King horror, the real Stephen King (even the Dark Tower series was more fantasy/suspense than horror), we have been rewarded with the master returning to the genre that has won him the much- deserved loyalty of millions of fans the world over.

“Cell: A Novel” is Stephen King’s most graphically gory horror novel in years. Not spending as much time elaborating on character and location development, he starts off at a quick pace and never lets up until the story is finished being told, leaving his readers breathless.

The story begins with Clayton Riddell, a small-town graphic novelist just leaving a business meeting in downtown Boston, and an event known as “The Pulse,” which begins at 3:03 p.m., Eastern Standard Time on Oct. 1. Everybody who uses a cell phone at or after that time turns into a zombie-like lunatic. In the first hours after “The Pulse,” total chaos ensues and we follow Clayton and the few other “normies” (people who don’t have cell phones) as they try to survive the first hours of insanity. The time Stephen King saves on developing the depth of his characters he spends lavishly with his classic descriptive narrative of the finer details of horror that has made him a reader favorite.

As we follow the growing band of “normies” north, the reader is strongly reminded of “The Stand.” It is not! While “The Stand” was a lengthy epic that spent copious amounts of pages developing multitudes of characters, “Cell” is a quarter the size and moves at a much quicker pace. As the characters move north they notice those afflicted by “The Pulse” stop attacking each other and begin to adopt a flock of birds-like mentality, almost thinking and acting as one.

Whether you are one of those who have enjoyed King’s shorter novels and stories but could never get into his more lengthy tomes or one of the legions of fans who have enjoyed every word the man has written, this book will grab your attention from the start and keep it there until the finish.

– Stan Miller is a sales associate at Neighbors Bookstore in the Village Center.

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