30.01.2010 / Another one from my favourite writer - published in 2006, paperback in 2007.
The novel starts with a situation all of us can associate easily with - using a mobile phone. Clayton Riddle is a book illustrator, about to complete an important deal. He is about to get an icecream in the centre of Boston when strange things start to happen. People appear to randomly attack each other voraciously. An event known as 'The Pulse' takes place - signals transmitted via the mobile phone which turns people into mindless and violent zombies. Clayton faces a race across town and country in order to safe his son Johnny. On his journey, he picks up a selection of friends and they battle together, as we have seen so often in previous King-stories such as The Stand. . Eventually, they 'non-phoners' are 'ordered' to gather in a place in Northern Maine. Clayton eventually finds his son, and he appears to be effected. Will Clayton and his friends manage to destroy the 'phonies' and will the world eventually return to normal? I;m not going to give it away here.
For me, the book certainly wasn't on the scale of 'The Stand', and I seem to be missing King's usual small town American folks, and even though there are several references to previous books mentioned on Wiki, I think they are not as obvious, and I miss it a bit. I can't put my finger to it, but it just didn't read like the usual 'older' King stories. Also, there seems to be no explanation for the 'pulse', just that it happened, even though there is reference to terrorism (this book obviously being written past 9/11 America. I very much do like the ending of the book when King sort of leaves it open whether Clayton does or does not saves his son and retrurns him to 'normal'. Apparently, King has written in an Internet forum that it is pretty obvious that things do turn out ok for Clayton and his son, or are they?