"The Cell" - more terrifying now than when it was first written (review)

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M_Parabola

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2016
56
266
25
Outside NYC
#1
The Cell was a novel by King I had put off reading for one reason or another. I had heard mixed reviews about it, and even though I owned the novel (I own every King novel, I have a hoarding problem when it comes to King novels), I had never cracked it open and gave it a read until last year.

It has been sitting with me in my head ever since, and I think that alone says a lot about how I feel in regards to the novel. I feel like the novel is dated, and it's an interesting thing to read going back to what honestly feels like not so long ago, to when cell phones hadn't fully integrated themselves deeply within society. You might feel because it is dated it detracts from the story, but on the contrary I feel like this novel has grown BETTER over the years because of just how pervasive cellular phones have become. How advanced, how much more vital.

The story by itself is an interesting thinking piece, an interesting discourse on how technology within society. On the surface I suppose I can agree with some people calling it a cleverly written "zombie" novel. After all, those affected become zombie-like. However, the focus is never placed on the afflicted as much as it is on those left alive, much like The Stand. I love the characters, I felt they were strongly written except for the girl who comes across expendable, and in the end she is. I suppose she serves as insight into this real from a child's perspective? I'm not sure. She feels unnecessary but I'll give it a pass.

I also feel like the beginning of the novel is far more tense, far scarier, than the last half of the novel. The resolution wasn't entirely satisfying, and it did feel rushed. So when I hear people saying it's not one of King's best books I could nod in agreement... BUT! Only in some places. If you look at it alone, at the concept and how it fits in now to today's society it's a terrifying idea. Because look around you. The book is almost prophecy in a sense, we're all just zombies plugged into our smartphones each and every day. Especially the current generation. I am 23 and have never felt that kind of connection to my phone. I use it for work, I use it when I go to a concert and am not allowed to bring my DSLR inside the venue, but I look around me, at those younger than me, and looking and really analyzing how plugged in and distant everyone is really affects me.

We ARE those monsters from The Cell. We're all connected, this hive mind of people humming together on the internet, but we don't really talk to each other, or communicate with each other. We're connected with this great valley of disconnect. And that's why when someone says they don't want to read The Cell, I say forget everything you've heard about the novel and just read it. Read it and think of the setting in that novel in comparison to today's society. Guaranteed to send shivers down your spine!
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
306
995
46
#7
Didn't like it much at all. I just couldn't care about any of the characters, and I don't know why. It's literally the only SK book I've ever wanted to be over - both times.

I don't have a smartphone. I don't even have a personal cell, just a work cell that I can use for personal business as well. I don't have any desire to Google, Facebook, GPS, or anything else from my phone. It's for calls, and precious few of those if I'm not working. Unfortunately, I have to carry it all the time now as I'm on call. Bluuchk.
 

Shoesalesman

Well-Known Member
Aug 12, 2010
1,818
4,110
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
#8
Good review in the first post. The book is in my top ten, maybe at the end or so. One of those timeless stories of folks relying too much on the technology that'll eventually bring their undoing. That message was what I left the story with, and it outweighed any problems the book might have had (which I'm not convinced there were any problems). I own a smart phone, but work paid for it and I turn the blasted thing off when I'm home or not on-call.
 

adamjahar

Active Member
Apr 7, 2016
32
144
Portugal, Algarve/Hungary
#11
Hey guys and girls.

I`m new here, so i`m not sure if this is the right thread for what i want to say, but since it`s about "Cell" and this is the most recent thread, i thought it would be okay :)

So, i just finished "Cell" a few days ago, and i liked it. It was quite good in it`s own way. And i was happy to see a Hungarian word in it too. The only problem was that the word "Elnebajos" means nothing in Hungarian, but "Elmebajos" means exactly INSANE :) I`m not sure if it was the fault of the publisher or it`s just the fact the the "phonies" are not the most intelligent people, haha. Or maybe Mr. King just made this little mistake, which is really not a big deal, but as a Hungarian it`s just really annoys me :D

I don`t know if Mr. King ever knows about what`s going on here, but if there`ll be a new version ever published of "Cell", then it might be worth fix this little thing :)

Lol, i know it`s a ridiculously small thing...well, whatever. Have a nice day everyone.
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
Administrator
Jul 10, 2006
47,477
122,562
Maine
#12
Welcome to the Board! Thank you for posting the correct word. I'll pass it along to the publisher but it would be helpful to know where it appears. The chapter would be more helpful than a page number as they won't match.
 

RichardX

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
1,658
4,023
#14
I haven't read this one in a long, long time but it does raise some interesting themes. The idea of people as zombies to their phones and internet is a very real one. You would be hard pressed to find anyone under the age of 40 not staring at some device in public. Particularly if sitting by themselves. More concerning is the notion of everything being capable of being monitored. What you read, what you buy etc is all available to someone. And then the hackers who can not only gain access to your computer including pictures and financial information but potentially disrupt hospitals, planes, and nuclear reactors. Pretty scary.
 
Apr 15, 2016
13
32
56
#17
Cell is an excellent story....so good I forced my son to read it. Caveat, I will watch ANY movie where zombies are involved, and the intelligent Zombies from Cell are exceptional. Loved this book in all facets! Gotta admit....after a long hiatus, Cell get me back into reading SK. I've read 7 novels after that one. Cell still sticks with me....excellent story.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,027
307,966
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#18
Cell is an excellent story....so good I forced my son to read it. Caveat, I will watch ANY movie where zombies are involved, and the intelligent Zombies from Cell are exceptional. Loved this book in all facets! Gotta admit....after a long hiatus, Cell get me back into reading SK. I've read 7 novels after that one. Cell still sticks with me....excellent story.
 
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