First published: 2006 | Takes place: Unspecified
Stephen King is back at it. The Running Man was bad news for Boston, but it's in Cell that the city meets its most viscerally horrible fate. Like The Stand, this wryly technophobic book is a doomsday scenario that takes place in a very close-at-hand future.

Here, "the Pulse," a mysterious brain-hijacking cell-phone transmission, instantly transforms Boston into a howling pit of zombies. A young girl rips out a businesswoman's throat in Boston Common; demented Duck Boat drivers crash through plate-glass windows; phone crazies maul each other in T stations. By page 75 (paperback), "everything between Comm Ave and Boston Harbor" has gone up in flames, as refugees flee the city.

Who's behind all this carnage? Oh, just some nightmare boogeyman in a Harvard hoodie.


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