Monday, July 20, 2009

Stephen King/CELL

This book caused me to do something I've never done before: skip to the end. It wasn't suspense that did it. It was irritation.

Irritation is pretty rare for me as a reader. Boredom? Sure. But even that won't stop me from reading until the end (no matter how bitter), nor will it cause me to skip ahead to see if I should waste more time. I can find something of merit in almost anything I read, and some of this is still the ol' King I know and love.

But there was no real suspense in this novel for me. About three-quarters through the book, he reveals the end. In all the books I've read of his, he's never done this. That, and a certain panoramic view throughout the novel, bugged me to no end. For me, King is best when he's intimate, knocking around inside a character's head. There was some of this, but I couldn't bring myself to care about Clay and his band of outcasts. All in all, this is not one of King's better efforts. But he's pretty prolific, so I can forgive a clunker or two. Or three. The truth is, I love King's writing. But not this book.

Maybe it's because I disagree with the premise. Maybe I don't feel cell phones are ticking time bombs, waiting to turn me and my family and friends into a set of zombies to be used for Armageddon. The truth is, I think cell phones are one of the best inventions modern society has had, despite the lack of manners with which people use them. But cell phones aren't the cause of eroding manners—they're a symptom.

1 comment:

Jane Steen said...

I stopped reading Stephen King years ago after reading The Stand starting making me feel, I'm not exaggerating, a little nauseous. Am I over-sensitive? I'll give this one a miss, but I appreciate your review - at least I know what it's about. And I agree 100% with your final comment about cellphones.