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dinsdag 3 november 2009

Cell by Stephen King

Disappointing 'not-a-zombie'-novel

The future is looking bright for Clayton Riddell, an artist from Maine. He has just signed his first comic book deal and is heading home to celebrate with his spouse and son. He even bought a very expensive present for the wife. But then suddenly everything changes. Total havoc turns the streets into a living nightmare. People start to fight with each other to the death. Drivers crash into cars killing everybody that stands in their way. The cause: a mysterious pulse transmitted through cell phones. Clayton’s only luck is that he does not own such a lethal device.

Stephen King finally writing a real zombie-novel? Whoa, that must be great! I immediately hoped that it would turn out to be like an old-fashioned horror-novel that, without restraints, returns to the roots of the genre with some inimitable King-touches as an added bonuses. But to my disappointment King decided to create yet another “totally different” view on the zombie-genre. Indeed, it is quite new and innovative in many ways, but not always the right ones. For example, what would a zombie-novel (yeah, I know they are called phoners, but who cares…), without a devastating battle between the survivors and their brain dead adversaries? Where’s the blood? Where’s the gore? Why would King think that readers are interested in a group of people constantly talking about probable causes to their -I suppose- life-threatening situation? To be honest the whole situation does not look like much fuss, because there are easy ways to survive without getting in touch with the phoners. In the end it turns out that Cell is an tuned-down version of the Richard Matheson’s masterpiece I Am Legend without any denouement. If you’re not a Stephen King completist –like me- you should skip this disappointing novel and read I Am Legend (not the movie) if you haven’t done already.

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