Cell (Jan 2006)

A New England artist struggles to reunite with his young son after a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network turns the majority of his fellow humans into mindless vicious animals.

Common King themes:

  • Main character is a writer (Clay Riddell is a struggling writer who has just lucked into a graphic novel deal when The Pulse is triggered and everyone around him turns into bloodthirsty maniacs.)
  • "Space Cowboy" ("Apocalypse Cowboys"?)
  • The number 19 (The phone number 207-919-9811 adds up to 9-19-19. The plane that crashes on Boston Common has tail number LN6409B, and both the letters and numbers add up to 19. There is a sign reading "Gaiten Academy est 1846" and I'll let you guess what that adds up to.)

Where to read

Cell has connections to the following books:

Part 3: Gaiten Academy / Chapter 29 : Randall Flagg

The graphic novel Clay sells at the beginning of the novel is entitled The Dark Wanderer, and the main antagonist, the Raggedy Man, wears a red hoodie from Harvard, a reference to the Crimson King.

“I don’t know,” Jordan said. He looked up at Clay. “Where’s the Raggedy Man?” “Is that what you call him?” Clay looked down at his sketch, which he was still carrying—the torn flesh, the torn sleeve of the pullover, the baggy blue jeans. He supposed that Raggedy Man was not a bad name at all for the fellow in the Harvard hoodie. “I call him trouble, is what I call him,” Jordan said in a thin voice. He looked out again at the newcomers—three hundred at least, maybe four hundred, recently arrived from God knew which surrounding towns—and then back at Clay. “Have you seen him?” “Other than in a bad dream, no.”

Part 4: Fading Roses, This Garden's Over / Chapter 12 : Alice Maxwell

Alice Maxwell is a twinner for Alice from the Dark Tower. This becomes immediately clear when Alice in Cell is struck in the face with a cinder block; Alice in the Dark Tower has a mysterious scar over her left eye in the same spot.

Clay fell on his knees beside her, calling her name, but he couldn’t hear himself in the sudden roar of Sir Speedy, which was finally getting a trial. Muzzle-flashes strobed the dark, and by their glare he could see blood pouring down the left side of her face—oh God, what face—in a torrent.

Part 5: Kent Pond / Chapter 5 : Micmac Indians

“How far away is this Kashwak place?” Tom asked. Clay thought about it. “I’d say eighty miles, almost due north. You’d take Route 160 most of the way, but once you get on the TR, I don’t know.” Jordan asked, “What exactly is a TR?” “TR-90’s an unincorporated township. There are a couple of little villages, some quarries, and a two-bit Micmac rez up north, but mostly it’s just woods, bear, and deer.”

Part 7: Kashwak / Chapter 15 : Charlie the Choo-Choo

Tom points out a children's ride called Charlie the Choo-Choo at the Northern Counties Expo.

They came onto the midway between the Krazy Kups and a half-constructed kiddie ride called Charlie the Choo-Choo. “Look,” Tom said, pointing. “Oh… my… God,” Dan said softly. Lying draped across the peak of the train ride’s ticket booth was the remains of a charred and smoking red sweatshirt—the kind sometimes called a hoodie. A large splotch of blood matted the front around a hole probably made by a chunk of flying schoolbus. Before the blood took over, covering the rest, Clay could make out three letters, the Raggedy Man’s last laugh: HAR.

References will be here!