Newest Review: ... slant of King's off-beat Gothic novel. As gruesome as it is, I hasten a guess King isn't being outlandish or profoundly surreal o... more
Phone a Fiend
Cell - Stephen King
Member Name: 1st2thebar
Cell - Stephen King
Advantages: Awesome detailing and narrative
Disadvantages: Envisaged Nicholas Cage on a hill-top with his arms stretched out wide
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Pocket Star
Duration: 488 pages
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At the same time when King's 'Cell' novel was released in 2006, I was in the firm grips of two mobile phone contracts, I craved for the newest model going, and engaged in WAP! I was a slave to the telecommunication revolution; my life wasn't my own. I recorded 24 second real-tones and uploaded them onto 'wap' mobi-servers; affiliated with Jamster. One of them was called 'The Pulse' which starts off slow and rapidly quickens as 24 seconds approached. I never thought it would feature as a Stephen King novel and film. Then I found out Mr. King had no cell-phone, nor wanted one. Coincidence - Nah, it was telepathy, an accident. Now-a-days I'm not ruled by the text alerts, apps, and the zombie ritual of; 'head-down, text and screen stroke in unison' - these observations stimulated the creative juices of King - in 'Cell;' notably, King's idea of hell.
'Boston is Riddell with zombies'
The reality is, that societal converse has changed over thirty years, and the gravitas of this occurrence is greater than the introduction of the Gutenberg project. Why it supersedes it, is duly on the immense availability of media anywhere, anytime, in gargantuan numbers. King has simply added a twist to proceedings - a cataclysmic one. Technophobes and Eco-warriors that rebel against mobile devices stroke capitalistic values through choice may get a kick out of the telecommunication slant of King's off-beat Gothic novel. As gruesome as it is, I hasten a guess King isn't being outlandish or profoundly surreal on the basis, phone receptors could play havoc with our mental state. King has escalated the premise via a psychotic tone directly from the cell phone, the phone-users morph into maniac zombies who feed off the flesh of non-phone-users. Gothic horror mists over the normality of urban city life - King paints a startling realism that envelopes Western culture (Who could forget that Crazy Frog ring tune?) and gender, from the struggles of what modernity means to the shattered euphoric dream as illustrated by the comic book graphic artist and protagonist Clayton Riddell, who'd just secured creative work only for it to be blighted by the 'pulse' while gaily mincing along Boylston Street, Boston alerted to a jingly ice cream van - be wary of banal friendly entities, King plays on the ultimate horror clique. Riddell's loving ploy was purely to re-build his relationship with his wife Sharon and son Jonny G. 'Clay' is written mainly in the third person, a likeable protagonist; who's in the wrong place at the wrong time, with technophobe tendencies which become below the radar witticisms of his own accord - "Er, where is the 'on' button?" - Laughable for the 'mobi-mogul' types and 'wannabe mobi-moguls' who adopt a 'know-it-all' posture and spill out mobi-jargon as if it is a natural form of language that was chemically installed while we all were in diapers. For a technophobe who prizes himself for not having a cell-phone, he knows a lot about their signaling coverage, integrated servers, and modified system restore shop talk.
Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho embroiders Gothicism and realism without the ghouls and vampires - the avid difference being King's cultural nuance - mojo perhaps, an inquisitive eye for the supernatural aids his horror credentials. The occurrence happened in Boston, manifesting from the most common device man has to hand - the cell-phone. King literally has his finger on the pulse as it were; unearthing 'the pulse' affect - vibrating into the human psyche, from ear to brain to murdering zombies. Like all beings King's murdering zombies interact differently, they choose their targets along the route of human familiarity, indeed a human trait. Scientist phoners devoid Scientist non-phoners, parent phoners devoid child non-phoners, big chief phoners devoids little chief non-phoners. An rapidly grotesque exercise in Darwin's Natural Selection, all based on cell-phone usage - profoundly, it simplifies Darwin's theorem - although Wallace came up with the NS theory first - one for the anthropologists, keen on American horror fiction. Sex and violence is copiously blood thirsty - vamps, zombies and psychos need their fill / fix; the act of killing is sexually charged, barbaric and frenzied, an abandonment of sense: the phone crazies represents the pulse - and they are doing the devil's work. Good versus evil. Humanity wins through, as depicted by King's full-throttled Gothicism rather than the disjointed ghoulish cannibalism by which other authors attempt and fail. The problem with Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) his zombies depicts a heady night on the Strongbow cider. Brain is numbed. 'Cell' is a double Espresso in comparison; the brain is sharp for information.
Amongst the cataclysmic scenes - quietness descends about the red river carnage at dawn, the calm after the storm. King's descriptive dexterity of the crimson urban landscape stipulates realism which bridges the gap back to humanism - the book's hook and a renown King trait - they're all in the detail of the fingernail that makes King a sure sale; a master of the narrative locked in the genre of Gothic horror contemporary fiction - yeah, I did envisage Nicholas Cage on a hill-top, arms out stretch being all calm and angelic amongst the pandemonium where sirens of the night got lesser and lesser as the zombies grab the throat of humanity and squeezed with all their might. Was it a case of Johnny G 'good' or had he been listening to the Crazy Frog?' - After-all the cataclysmic event over a 28 day ordeal that was indeed hell on earth, the crux of the plot hankered on the cusp of not knowing if Johnny G had gone crazy over a Crazy Frog. Superfluous maybe, but that is the hallmark of human nature. A frenzied motor-biking Crazy Frog overriding human values and morality; now that is total nihilism, in the true sense of the word. He is King of wishful thinking; he has a long wait. Mobiles are here to stay, so be afraid. Highly recommended.
Summary: Leaving Snyder up the Khayber