Written By: Stephen King

Narrated By: Campbell Scott

Date: January 2006

Duration: 12 hours 0 minutes


The next call you take could be your last in this terrifying #1 New York Times bestseller by master storyteller Stephen King!

On October 1, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and graphic artist Clayton Riddell is visiting Boston, having just landed a deal that might finally enable him to make art instead of teaching it. But all those good feelings about the future change in a moment thanks to a devastating phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse.

The delivery method is a cell phone—everyone’s cell phone. Now Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization’s darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a relentless human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.

There’s really no escaping this nightmare. But for Clay, an arrow points the way home to his family in Maine, and as he and his fellow refugees make their harrowing journey north, they begin to see the crude signs confirming their direction. A promise of a safe haven, perhaps, or quite possibly the deadliest trap of all…


  • Chris B

    I am sorry to say so, but this book had all the elements I love: apocalyptic event, mysterious nemesis, rag tag group of protagonists. But it never came together. I failed to make a connection with any of the characters, even if one was lost. The climax was predictable and the resolution was almost obligatory. I love King but I didn't love this book. Campbell Scott, who excellently read The Shining, also sounds bored and on the verge of falling asleep or raiding the fridge.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Timoteo Barajas

    It has been a very long time since I've read a King novel, I think the last was The Tommyknockers. I stopped reading because I kind of bored with the stories, not because the story was bad but because it was so formulaic, I was reminded of this again as I listened to Cell. The underlying structure of the story reminded me of the Stand and It. I don't think we need a pulse to create zombies, just look at most folks on a cell phone and how can you not think they are already zombies. Nope, the world is scarier now then its described in the book. The narrator did a great job and I'd be willing to listen to another book with Cambell Scott.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Amy

    This book and narration had me hooked from the beginning to the end - it was one of those stories that kept me thinking about the plot line long after listening! Absolutely loved it and recommend this read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • elizabeth Manuge, Yarmouth , Nova Scotia

    this is a review of "Cell" by Stephen King I did not like this book. In fact i couldn't get to the end of it, its so grisly. The mental image of mad people eating other people is not my idea of enjoyable listening. Just one thing is there, a rather jaundiced interpretation of the use of cell phones. Perhaps I should have been more careful and researched the work of Stephen King first. Elizabeth Manuge

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Rus

    I just finished "Cell" and besides being a bit disappointed in this book, I felt the ending was a complete let down :( I have either read or listened to most of SK's books through the years and "Cell" probably is my least favorite book he has written. It started off like gangbusters and for a short time I felt that I was truly going to enjoy listening to this story. But somewhere towards the middle SK lost me...Once I got to the end of the book I guess I was hoping for bit more closure and explanation than what we were given. Also the "reader" was very good but there seemed to be a different voice that was interjected every now and then with a much different tone than the primary reader....Like as if when recording the original they left lines out and had to go back and edit...the additional voice was distracting...but then again this is just my opinion. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a face paced story which is fill with many gory moments.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Rachel M

    Mundane. I thought King was supposed to be this wonderful writer, but this one kind of fell flat with me. It wasn't awful, I guess it just wasn't my taste. Thanks anyway Stephen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Couldn't get through the first C.D. I don't know how good the book was.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Nanette

    I had stopped reading Stephen King years ago. I thought I would give him another chance..my mistake. The ending made me scream. It sucked and I would like someone to give me back the 10 plus hours I spent listening to this book. The narrator wasn't the worst but not alot of emotion or at times even different voices for characters..and there aren't really that many. My advise...stay the hell away from this book. And Mr. King...you owe me about 12 hours of my time back!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anna Shirey

    OK - this is Stephen King, so it can't be boring! But I really don't think it's up to his normal standards. This has a little of the apocalyptic feel of "The Stand", but with a very tiny plot (i.e. the survival of one group of people.) There is none of King's usual good v. evil philosophizing, nor of the epic significance he usually puts into his stuff. And the end is REALLY unsatisfying. But, that being said,it sucked me in. It's a cool premise, no doubt, and a good listen in general - just not as good as King fans might expect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Rick S.

    I liked the story.

  • Al Bueche

    Great story by Stephen King and the narration is superb. Great listen.

  • Jennifer C.

    Not King's most exciting work.

  • Evelyn W

    Very engaging, and the main characters were endearing. Mr. King kept me wondering what would come next until the very last word. The narrator was great also.

  • Leilani Maynard

    I had already read this book and thought I'd give the audio verse a try. I really enjoyed it. I have listened to other books done by the narrator and he did a good job on this one too. A good story and narration, highly recommend.

  • Conye Wheeler

    I absolutely love Stephen King. I have never disliked any of his books. I also enjoyed the narrator

  • Anonymous

    Another great book from Stephen King. This one kept me interested right from the start. The reader was excellent.

  • Mary Johnson

    Very awesome.one of my faves

  • ALadyJett

    I really liked this story at first it really went quickly. It tended to drag at little towards the end, but all in all it was good., I liked the odd groups of characters whom became friends outta need to combat the odd happenings. I can say it kept me interested for the most part a good story.

  • Anonymous

    I drive a great deal for work, and listen to books rather than the radio. This kept me on the edge of my carseat and many evenings, I would pull into my driveway and continue to listen because I was so enthralled. Make people who can't disconnect read or listen to this book-maybe they'll hangup and engage in the moment...

  • Anonymous

    This goes down as one of my all time favorite horror novels. The new twist on a "zombie-apocalypse" tale was clever and catching. The characters are easy to become attached to and the story moves along well. I was on the edge of my seat for much of the entire story and wanted my favorite characters to make it through to the end. Loved this book!

  • Renee Wordell

    Listening to this book was like having a really interesting dream that you don't want to wake up from. It was full of suspense from start to finish. I listen while driving and I ended up eagerly looking forward to driving so I could hear more sooner. Stephen King is an artful writer; he wove an amazing tale leading up to a cliff hanger ending.

  • Anonymous

    Living in Massachusetts all my life this story caught my attention from the beginning. Fabulous story. And I'm grateful that I hardly ever use my cell phone. Highly recommend this story.

  • Robin A

    I have finally finished the Dark Tower series and I loved each book, the characters, the action. Stephen King is one of my favorite writers and I loved how he incorporated himself into the story. Wonderfully written and very imaginative.

  • Margo

    As I was listening to disc 1, I though this book would be a real yawner. I "assumed" that it was just the same story as that movie entitled "Pluse". It was so much better! It was scary, funny, and sad. Some of it really creeped me out cuz I can just see something similar happening in today's society. Regarding the ending, I chose to believe the best.

  • Shannon

    Wasn't sure if I was in for the long haul on this one but it was really good. Stick with it. Classic Stephen King.

  • Anonymous

    This was my first Stephen King book, I think he is a wonderful writer. Descriptions too long in some spots, however, his imagination is so far out of the norm that I think you really need these descriptive paragraphs! All in all, I loved the book and would recommend it

  • SKB

    Another in a long line of excellent books from Steven King. Whatever you expect as you begin reading and then get into the book, forget it. King is, as usual, one step ahead of the reader. Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end.

  • Lillian

    I have to drive up and down the Cajon Pass in California every day as part of my routine. That being said, this book made the drive more enjoyable. The mystery and interest that "King" always delivers was entertaining. Fortunately it was not life changing. I still use my cell phone "But not while driving"

  • Anonymous

    Good pace....I was late to work because I did not want to stop listening. loved everything but the ending.

  • Anonymous

    This book was much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I guess I am just a sucker for apocalyptic stories though... It was standard weird King, but I found the story to be very interesting.

  • Janice M.

    It makes you wonder should you answer your cell phone. Scary book!!!.

  • Barbara C

    This was very gripping and kept me on the edge of my seat. I barely noticed the time passing driving to work. This was an excellent CD!

  • Pat

    This was very gripping and gory and kept me on the edge of my seat! I barely noticed the time passing driving to work! Stephen King is truly the greatest writer in the history of human-kind! I could have done with a little less gore, however, but it is excellent!

  • Steve Fleishman

    This is the type of writing that made Stephen King the great author that he is. I've been a King fan since I read the Stand many many years ago. I've lost interest in his style over the years as his stories began to feel like work to get through, and never mind his endings! This book reminded me of the Stephen King of old! I enjoyed it from start to finish. I was praying he'd write a good ending and he really nailed it. For those of you who are old time King fans, he's back!

  • Anonymous

    This felt like a Stephen King book that those that don't really know him think of when they think of his books: Something terrible happens, makes people crazy violent, there's a lot of gore, a small group of people that have not become insane must travel some distance, on foot. There were some twists to this, but nothing major. I had heard great things about this book and was disappointed. It felt a lot like The Stand but The Stand was better.

  • Diane

    I loved Stephen King in the 70s and 80s but he lost me in the 90s. I loved this book until the ending. He didn't have to answer all the questions, but he could have answered one. I also was reminded of The Stand while I listened to this book. The Stand has always been my favorite novel and I've read or listened to each variation. Clay reminded me of Stu, Tom for Glen and Alice for Nick. The Raggedy Man was Randall Flagg and yet this time, no hope, no Mother Abigail.

  • Mickey Way

    This book was a gripper from the beginning! A lot of stories take a long time building up each character before anything happens. Not this one! The action starts within MINUTES! I'd like to elaborate more about this story, but anything I would comment on might give away some of the plot. This one is a must if you want to indulge in a well done Stephen King book.

  • Keith Murphy

    I thought this was a typical Stephen King novel, nothing is predictable not even the ending. The reading was excellent, it also scared me more than several of Mr Kings recent books.

  • hgunsch

    I have been a King fan since grade school - long before I should have been reading scary stories. This story was great from the beginning and being a long time fan, the references to other books, characters, places, etc was great. The narration was wonderful and I would happily listen to anything by read by Campbell Scott again and again. The ending didn't disappoint me at all - I love that it ended that way and left room for a sequel or for the reader's imagination to end it how they choose instead. I highly recommend this novel.

  • Tink

    The story was great, editing was very choppy, the ending was like hitting a brick wall! I spent all this time listening to this story and then I get nothing from the ending. I was very disappointed. If it wasn't for the great story, I wouldn't recommend it at all.

  • Anonymous

    Great beginning...slow in the middle...great ending. Not King's best...but definitely worth listening to.

  • Anonymous

    Is awesome a good enough word to describe this book? I can't think of anything else at the moment so I will make one up right now, "scrumtrulensent". I really think this would make an incredible movie if the job were put in the right hands.

  • Vicky in Westerville

    This is one of the better books that Stephen King has written in a few years. However, the plot was somewhat reminiscent of The Stand. I liked the characters and thought the narrator did a good job of giving them a voice. While the story was suspenseful, I was disappointed the question of "who" and "why" was not fully answered. I also, thought the ending was weak. Overall though, a pretty good read.

  • Anonymous

    Stephen King has done it again! Cell was not only pure King, it was fun.

  • Sue Grimsley

    Best book I've listened to in a long time. Kept me intriged to the very end. Left me wanting more

  • Anonymous

    Stephen King, master story teller has done it again. From disc one you will be captivated by what you've heard. I'm not going to go into the details of the story because I don't want to be a spoiler, but I can pretty much guarantee you'll enjoy this book. Narration was excellant as well!

  • Roni Angell

    I thought this was a true Stephen King novel. His character's are easy to bond with and the story will keep you coming back for more. Definitely not a book for the squeamish.

  • Anonymous

    Overall, a very entertaining book; one of the best Stephen King has written in years. It is somewhat reminiscent of his book The Stand, written in the 1970s. The ending is somewhat open-ended, though, and does not offer complete closure to the storyline.

  • Anonymous

    I rated this three only to be fair since I didn't make it though the first disc. Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking selecting a Stephen King book. There is enough gore, horror, bloodshed and violence in this world without bringing it into my entertainment. It may be a good book if I had continued but with people tearing each other apart within minutes of the beginning, I chose to just stop there...

  • Lynn Smoak

    As in the most of the rest of the post-Dark Tower and post-accident books, that I have read, this was not as good as his previous books. It was entertaining but I did not like the ending. If I spend hours reading or listening to a book, I want an ending. It doesn't have to be a great ending, but I want closure. This book left the ending to your imagination. I did not like that.

  • Karen Bresciano

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. It is not your typical "zombie movie" story, only in the beginning. It takes quite a different spin on that. I like that it does not drag on like other King books I have read. The BEST part is that I am from the area and know many of the locations described VERY WELL!!! That made it even more fun for me.

  • Jeremy Neese

    This was a very well written story, and I would recommend this book to any fan of horror, regardless of how they feel about King. It kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire wild ride.

  • Nickolas Dufek

    If you like Zombie movies and Stephen King, read this one.

  • DavidC

    I listened to this book months ago, and I still find myself thinking about it. It's one of those stories that leaves you thinking about what might have happened after the book ended. Definitely worthwhile.

  • Anonymous

    I usually don't like these kinds of books but this book was awesome!!! I loved listening to every minute of it. I never wanted to turn it off. Very good read.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing like a man on a quest.... This story had some good fundamental elements, and the main character was quite likeable. If you have children, his travels and drive will be recognized, which helps in keeping you engaged with the story. This story was entertaining, and had some good visual imagery to help support some critical plot lines.

  • Jolene Brown

    Excellent book from beginning to end - riveting, edge of your seat, thought provoking. Written in true Stephen King style. Narrator is great. There are several very short audio changes indicating perhaps the narrator is in a different room, but these instances are not distracting at all. I highly recommend this book.

  • Julie Ray

    I very much enjoyed listening to this book... not a big Stephen King fan, but was curious about the plot. I agree with Tami's review, in that we never know what the overall plan is of the "phoners" or who committed the pulse or why? I didn't mind the ending, I just wish that some of the questions could have been answered??

  • Anonymous

    The narrator's voice was annoying. Everyone's dialogue sounded melancholy and contrived. The story was classic Stephen King, a lot of build up only to be let down at the end. In addition, he provides superfluous details that seem like they are only there to fill up the pages for his publisher. The book wasn't utterly horrendous though. However, I don't think I will be reading any more King in the future. I keep trying though, hoping he will get better. Unfortunately, like his plots, I am let down in the end.

  • Raven Okeefe

    loved it. i totally disagree with the reviewers who felt the ending was weak. on the contrary, though i thoroughly enjoy King's writing, his endings have usually been the weakest feature of his books. he seems to lose interest, so comes up with some big cataclysmic gory wipeout ending that seems contrived and unsatisfying. in this case, i think he ended it perfectly. left me thinking about the situation, wondering what happened next, and knowing that if there's a Cell: Part II i'll want to hear/read it. i do hope the publishers of other audiobooks will note the universal reaction to slipping in a second voice to fill in a sentence here and there; drives me (and everyone else) nuts! oh, and i must admit: my innate loathing of cell phones made me feel a genuinely nasty but also delightful sense of "hah! serves ya right!" when the Pulse hits.

  • poko

    This book reminded me of the y2k version of The Stand. If you recall the Stand everyone died and there were dreams that told the select few where to meet up....sound a little familiar. I'm wondering if King is getting short on book concepts, needing to dust off some old ideas and freshen them up. And the ending was weak. I was dissappointed. The Stand was a much better book

  • Anonymous

    Excellent book. Kept me on the edge throughout. Reminded me a lot of The Stand. Highly recommend.

  • Tami Whalen

    Clay's tenacity was admirable but the premise was more than a reach for me. The fact that we never know what the overall plan is of the "phoners" or who committed the pulse or WHY left it very unfinished in my opinion? I realize if a thing like this could or were to happen you wouldn't know the PLAN if you were a survivor either but that's not why we read stories - I needed to know WHY!

  • Tammy Henson

    I'm not a big Stephen King fan. He is generally way too gory and out-there for my tastes but this one kept my attention. It makes you think of how we rely on technolgy and how easily it could destroy us. I would recommend it. Very entertaining and not as much “on the dark side” as King’s books generally are.

  • Jesse Broughton

    I'm not a very big fan of Stephen King but this book blew me right away. Being a father of a only child, I felt like I was Clayton looking for my son amid all that horror. I don't carry a cell phone all the time but when I do I think of all the phoners out there who can't live with out them. I would love to read a part two to this story because i didn't like the way it ended. I got very attached to the creators and hated to lose them through the book.

  • Marybeth Walker

    This book/cds was fast past and interesting from the start. i did not want to turn my car off... (i listen to them in my car. Enjoy the fast past... awesome Stephen King.

  • B

    I read a lot of Stephen King and this book ranks up there with the best. Graphic and decently paced, it scared the &^%$! out of me. The voice corrections were annoying at times because you could tell it was not the original reader but that was only a minor inconvenience. The ending was disappointing but the premise of the book made me not want to use my cell phone. If this ever happens I would be one of the first "phoners". That is a disturbing thought.....

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoyed this audio book. The story is gruesome and gory but very compelling. The characters are interesting and keep the reader/listerner engaged. The reader is great at differentiating the characters and is quite skillful. The only thing that bothered me is there are places where only a couple of words or a sentence or two has been recorded at a later date and perhaps even by a different person. There are places where this differnet voice breaks into the sentence and it is REALLY distracting.

  • Loretta Hand

    Wow, this really makes you think about how vulnerable our dependency on our cell phones makes us. Stephen King is so good and believable in this one. Hated the ending. Wanted and needed more.

  • Jacquie Bartley

    I loved this book. It kept my interest from beginning to end. I don't know if I will ever look at my cell phone the same again. The reader was excellent.

  • Anonymous

    Started out a little gruesome...but the concept of the story was kept my attention! Great commuter book,,, disappoint with the ending though...

  • Nanny

    I loved this book! Really fast-paced and an ingenious plot. Pretty gross, though.

  • Sariena Carmichael

    I was looking for it based on other reviews, but unless you love King, just skip this. The narration is dull,and the story is slower than molasses. Was hoping for a more thorough explanation of what the theory behind the "pulse" was.....

  • Dan Pressley

    The characters were richly developed, the story was well drawn out but the ending just plain fell apart. I don't prefer books with an open that leaves things un-tied and left to your own imagination to how it should end up. King is far better than this.

  • Ed Jacques

    I've read a ton of Stephen King books and the Stand is still my favorite. The description intrigued me and I expected a "Stand like" experience based on that. I was asking too much. The premise behind the book is interesting for sure but it gets a bit slow at times and he tends to be somewhat over descriptive when it's not necessary. If you've read King you are probably used to that. Overall I liked the book, but I did not like the movie style ending, and saw no reason for it either. That's probably my number one criticism. The narrator did a solid job. He kept the story interesting and did not try and overplay the voices as some do. Some of the edits were obvious, but I'm new to audio books so it might be the norm. I would actually give it 3.5 stars.

  • Tom from lafayette

    This has a one dimensional theme....and it expands on several directions from that. While it is somewhat absorbing, it's rather like watching a train wreck in slow motion....but the cars never come to rest to see the ultimate damage done. ie unsatisfactory ending. Worth the listen, but far less absoring than previous works like "buick eight"

  • Anonymous

    Within the first 5 minutes I was hooked....kept me engrossed until the end....I didn't want the story to stop!


by Stephen King

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Cell, Stephen King
Cell, Stephen King
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