Friday, September 4, 2009

2-in-1: Cell & From a Whisper to a Scream

I rather like this 2-in-1 idea and decided to give it a regular appearance in my blog. It’s a way of still giving my opinion along with a short summary of books I read without writing an in-depth review. Sometimes I just don’t think I have enough to say about a book to warrant a review, but I still want this book to be mentioned in expressing my ‘bookish thoughts’ on it.

1. Cell by Stephen King

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of King’s writing. I like not only his creativity in the horror and fantasy departments, but his writing skills as well. Cell, therefore, was no disappointment. It is another kind of the-end-is-coming novel but definitely more gritty, brutal and therefore more believable than what the book market is flooded with nowadays. Clay Riddell, a graphic artist who is finally on the verge of becoming noticed and somewhat successful in his career, witnesses some strange happenings one day after signing his first deal. The happenings turn into a full blown apocalypse when it turns out that all the cell phones transmit a message that resets human brains and turns people into bloodthirsty, murderous creatures. They all act like zombies and the only thing they have in common is a drive to eat and kill all remaining people unaffected by this ‘disease’. Clay, together with others who did not use their cell phones, are now fighting for their survival.
What can I say? I enjoyed this book from the first to the last page. It is scary mainly because, as I read more and more, I started to think that all this may very well happen one day, as crazy as it sounds. But that’s just the way Stephen King writes his horrors. No matter how unbelievable the premise may sound, I invariably find myself believing every bit of it. One thing that may disappoint the readers is the ending which does not deliver a closure. Personally, I didn’t mind that at all. Instead, I saw it as a way of giving a reader a free hand in imagining whether this end-of-the-world would truly be the end or not. If you are looking for a hard-core post-apocalyptic tale, with nightmarish reality, King is always your man.

2. From a Whisper to a Scream by Charles de Lint

Here’s a different kind of horror but just as engaging as the previous one. Thomas Morningstar, a Newford policeman ends up shooting to death a man, who did not stop to pull over. It soon becomes something more than a traffic violation turned tragic. Officer Morningstar killed a serial child murderer. However, things did not end there. Evil merely began. A few years later, Morningstar is a detective and has the case of his life on his hands. Young girls are being murdered in a red-light district of Newford and the police do not have a thread of lead. All of a sudden, a crime photographer, the killed child molester’s daughter and detective Morningstar discover that they have a lot in common and it all has to do with the shooting that had happened a few years back. And it turns out to be evil beyond anybody’s imagination and that evil might as well be too much even for people well-versed in spiritual world.
I was surprised to find out that From a Whisper to a Scream was a horror novel. All the previous de Lint’s books I had read were sci-fi and you know how it is with expectations. I must say however, it was a darn good horror. Charles de Lint has been compared to Stephen King actually and I can see why. The turn of events is unexpected, the characters in this book are nicely developed and yet again, even though I knew it was fiction, I caught myself thinking about the actual possibility of such events happening. The author’s writing is very convincing and he definitely has enough skills to keep a reader up at night.