Reviewing Two Mediocre Thriller/Horror Books I Read Recently

Cell by Stephen King

Cell by Stephen King

I used to read a lot of Stephen King when I was much younger, loved his earlier horror fiction (Carrie, Misery, Pet Cemetery are some of my favorites). I then gave up as the books got longer and more complicated (Dreamcatcher and then the Gunslinger series).

But for some reason, Cell called out to me and there I was once again avidly turning the pages of a Stephen King book. Cell starts off really strong. One fine day, mysterious signal broadcast over the global cellphone network turns whoever who uses a cellphone into zombie-like killers. Within minutes, chaos rules and the few remaining people who don’t have a cellphone need to get together to decide how to survive and live in an post-apocalyptic world populated with murdering zombies. The main protagonist is a comic book artist desperate to reach his young son before he answers his telephone and turns into a zombie. With ample references to Invasion of the Body Snatchers and War of the Worlds, I can’t say that this is the most original of Stephen King’s novels. But, it was engrossing and quick and entertaining. The only other downside to this book is the lacklustre ending – another hallmark of King’s books. They all start strong, meander somewhere in between, and then get stuck trying to find some sort of resolution to the plot.

And that’s why I called this book a mediocre read. Stephen King has definitely written better, and more original stuff. He is a much better writer than this book.

Long Lost by Harlan Coben

Long Lost by Harlan Coben

The second book I read recently (a thriller) is Long Lost by Harlan Coben. I had read The Innocent this March and was pretty impressed. Unfortunately, the high impression I had of Harlan Coben all pretty much got dashed after reading Long Lost. Not that it’s a bad book or anything…but it’s regular run-of-the-mill thriller stuff, with nothing new or noteworthy about it.

It’s one in a series of books featuring Myron Bolitar – a private investigator cum sports agent. What a weird combination, but I heard this series was good. Unfortunately for me, Long Lost was just not good enough for me.

In fact, it is so unmemorable that the only note I made while reading is that I hated, absolutely hated a crass Mee joke that kept running throughout the book. The joke is this…the hero’s friend has a casual sexual relationship with a Chinese girl called Mee. So, this friend jokes ALL THE TIME along the lines of “Mee so horny”, “I need some Mee time”. Anyone laughing out loud? No? Skip this one, then.

Altogether mind-numbing stuff 🙁

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  • I need to read more Stephen King. I’ve read only Shining.

    • @Fuzzy Logic: I highly recommend Misery, or Carrie. Both are terrific.

  • surprising..the Myron Bolitar series is usually quite good.

    • @Roshan: that’s what I heard too. I haven’t given up on the series. I will probably still give him another chance.

  • Ben

    I really hated Cell. All those plot points and saving his kid ended up blowing the zombies leaving no thrill. I can’t even determine what’s the climax. <_<

  • love Stephen King. I haven’t read Cell yet, but look forward to reading it!

  • The King book soujnds like it has potential despite the lqck lustre ending.

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