Read this at the same time as my partner at work (we spend a lot of time waiting). He was well versed in Stephen King while I have never been able to stomach his "writing style". Both of us hated this book and its lackluster ending, even though both of us are huge fans of zombie-related media.
As others have said, the dialogue is laughable. The characters say things that by no means fits their personalities. We're constantly reminded by the main character that, waaaah, his son and wife could now be zombies.
The ending was rushed and anticlimactic. I don't know if King was trying to set up a sequel, but it was almost infuriating to spend 450 pages leading up to an ending that answers nothing. God forbid you tell us what the hell was going on with the cellphones, or where the damned signal was coming from in the first place.
I don't even want this book to sit on my shelf, but I can't think of anyone who would want to read it.
My suggestion? Read the first few chapters in the bookstore. They were good chapters. Good zombie action. Once they leave the hotel, put the book down and walk away. You don't want to know the rest of the story; it only ruins any expectations you may have.
I too am a zombie enthusiast, and also a King fan. I like his writing style because it is easy. It is definitely not literature, just nice story telling. But I was terribly disappointed with this book. Had it been published 30 years ago it could have been chalked up as a sophmoric attempt; to be published now should be considered an embarrasment.
Couldn't agree more. I even have a hard time considering this a zombie book. The main elements of classic zombie stories are missing (except for the first few chapters which you've already aptly stated). There's no tension, there's very little conflict, the zombies are telepathic, can float, and have a hive-mind thing going? I'd have to check again, but I'm pretty sure the zombies never even attack them after the hotel part. They don't crave destruction or "brraaaiiinnsss". They aren't even dead! If by "zombie" King means lazy and annoying and slightly dead (not even real dead!), then he nailed it. But these aren't real zombies.
If I or any other "no-name" writer had submitted this book for publication, it would have been rejected with a laugh. I've read nearly all of King's books, and this one is the weakest by far. It also seems eerily similar to "The Stand" where the small band of characters seemingly takes on the apocalyptic world. The dialogue is bad, but King has always been too wordy. And the way he belabors his points is predicatably laughable. This book is totally unnecessary. Makes me ashamed to be a King fan.
I must be the odd one out, then. I read The Cell a few months ago and found it fairly entertaining. It wasn't his best work, no, but it wasn't trash either. I'd give it a 7/10 in context to his prior works. To be honest, I still think his Dark Tower compendium was utterly fantastic.
If you're looking for a good, quick horror page-turner, I'd check out Scott Sigler's two novels "Ancestor" and "EarthCore." He's a newly published fellow and probably lets a few more typos into the final draft than needs to be, but the storytelling is fresh.
i could not put this book down!! but yeah i also wanted the who, why , and all that answered, and when i got to the last page, it was a feeling of Noooooooooooooooo!! i even looked back a page, did i miss something.......what HAPPENED?? I JUST SPENT THE WHOLE WEEK READING THIS......ok...im done....but it WAS darn good...:))
King ended the book with the main character running to a man dressed in black. As in most of King's books, if not all, there is always a man in black.
The ending here is a treat for any Dark Tower fans out there. In the Dark Tower series, the main character spends the bulk of his life chasing this mysterious man in black. He appears in all the whens and wheres of the universe, according to King, and this is a nod to the DT fans.
Read King's Dark Tower series - if you liked this book, you'll love the seven-novel series.
Maybe King was playing Half Life, blasting away some zombified scientists, ran into the game's Man in Black and came up with an idea for a new book... j/k I love DT and this book is chock full of sly references. You've got to admit the cell phone/head crab metaphor is irresistable!