I finished reading Stephen King’s Cell yesterday. It had the makeup of something I would fantastically love—an apocalyptic zombie novel. Not only were there apocalyptic zombies, but the zombies are made by cell phones.
I fell instantly in love. Zombies! Apocalypse! Evil cell phones! (Even now, I’m very apprehensive about answer my cell phone. Not that I wasn’t apprehensive before, but now it’s gotten even worse. My friends now hate Stephen King).
I read. And I read and read and read, the book was really a page-turner (the sort of book that can wrangle my ADHD attention span for long lengths of time). It developed well, it was eerie, suspenseful. For me, it also had an added element of familiarity with the setting. That made it even more creepy (the creepiest moment for me in a King novel was when he once wrote something about going to the theatre in Conway, NH. Holy shit, I’ve been there!)
And so I loved it… all the way up until yesterday around 11:53 a.m.
You see, that’s when I got to the end. Only, it didn’t seem like the end. It seemed like a chapter end, yes. The kind of end where you say to yourself, “Self, let us continue on to the next chapter.”
And then you (and Self) notice that there’s his traditional tagline-ish endnote. You know the one (if you ever read any of his novels, which I do recommend) where he gives the date and place of where and when he finished the novel.
I felt lied to. “You are not done! I will turn the page and there will be another chapter!”
And there was another chapter… for another book. One of those previews of books to come.
But I will never know what happened with Clay and his son Johnny and their compatriots left in the northern unnamed counties of Maine. This makes me sad because I figured Cell to be a multi-time read. I’ve got several of novels that I’ve read multiple times—Ender’s Game, The Stand, An Unquiet Mind… the list honestly goes on and on. But Cell won’t be on that list because it’s promise is broken at the end. The story doesn’t finish. It ends in practically mid-sentence, as if your lover was shot in the middle of saying “I lo—”