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Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
Locus Solus (Alma Classics)
Raymond Roussel
Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
Mira Grant, Paula Christensen, Michael Goldstrom
Cell - Campbell Scott, Stephen King This is classic Stephen King: something Very Bad happens, world goes to shit, a small group of survivors try to make their way across a hostile but familiar landscape, freaky things happen, gore, death, the good guys kinda sorta win in the end, but not cleanly. There could be a sequel but King doesn't generally do sequels, especially for compact little thrillers like this, and that's fine because Cell doesn't need one.

So, the premise is that a "pulse" goes out over the cellular network, and everyone who listens to the signal on their cell phone (which is apparently 99% of the under-20 population at the exact moment the pulse happens) gets their brains scrambled and turned into zombies. The zombies come with a King twist, of course: they start "flocking" under the apparent control of a group mind. When the main characters, Clayton Riddell and a handful of fellow survivors, burn a large flock of zombies, it turns out that the "phoners" are some vengeful SOBs.

I liked Cell because I like the old thriller-chiller King with his monsters and gore. At the same time, this did feel kind of like King was phoning it in. (Get it? Har har, I slay me.) There's exactly nothing new here, it's just another zombie apocalypse with a little AT&T twist, and in fact many details of the story are just recycling previous King stories. But it's King, so there is plenty of creepiness and tension and building horror, and King is a damn good writer no matter what anyone says, so he just plain does stories better even when they aren't particularly original.

3.5 stars. This isn't a classic, more like one of those books King produces in his sleep, but I liked it better than some of his larger, more self-indulgent tomes.