After the conclusion to the Dark Tower series, Stephen King said he might think about retiring. He lasted all of about eighteen months before The Colorado Kid appeared, swiftly followed by Cell. And thank God he couldn't keep away.
Cell starts fast and then keeps coming, twisting from bizarre to even more bizarre and finally bordering on the ridiculous at its climax. As with all of King's work, it's beautifully crafted, with believable characters (even the cameos are sculpted in great detail), good locations and a thumping plotline that holds your attention.
Cell has a lot of the qualities that made King's earlier work stand out; unpredictability, suspense and graphic violence all combine with the human elements and the interactions between the characters to create something which is simply a pleasure to read.
The premise (cell phone pulse drives all cell phone users into murderous frenzy - only old people, young children and the technically inept survive - cue struggle for survival a la 28 Days Later) seems a bit silly at first, but it's executed so well that by the time you're 20 pages in, you don't care.
If you're new to King, this would be a pretty good place to start, as it has a trademark blend of tongue in cheek humour and horror, but without stretching to thousands of pages like some of the earlier epics (though if you like this, It, The Shining and, in particular, The Stand are all must-reads).
A stand out point in this book is that King seems to have found a way to get around his notable difficulty in reaching an ending. The technique employed will either leave you desperate for more (as it did me) or perhaps feeling a little cheated. I liked it, others clearly haven't. Why don't you read the book and decide for yourselves?
Hat's off, Mr King, you've done it again. Hopefully, the recently released Lisey's Story offers yet more of the same!