• by Stephen King
  • Narrated by Campbell Scott
  • 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On October 1st, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and Clayton Riddell, an artist from Maine, is almost bouncing up Boylston Street in Boston. He's just landed a comic book deal that might finally enable him to support his family by making art instead of teaching it. He's already picked up a gift for his long-suffering wife, and he knows just what he'll get for his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay's feeling good about the future.
That changes in a hurry. The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.
There are 193 million cell phones in the United States alone. Who doesn't have one? Stephen King's utterly gripping, gory, and fascinating novel doesn't just ask the question "Can you hear me now?" It answers it with a vengeance.


What the Critics Say

"King's imagining of what is more or less post-Armageddon Boston is rich, and the sociological asides made by his characters along the way...are jaunty and witty." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very, very compelling

Started listening to this last night. On one hand, I do have to recognize the similarity (on the surface, at least) to The Stand, The Langoliers, The Mist -- other King stories along the same general plotline. As the clock rolled by; 11pm, midnight, 1am, 2am, I was just facinated by this story. I don't know if it is the different world we live in at this time as opposed to the last time I visited the aforementioned stories (pre-9/11, I mean) or what, but I was unable to turn away from this story. The characters are very well fleshed-out (if a bit derivative) and interesting, the pacing is great, and I sat alone in the living room with moments of goosebumps, hoping my husband would not choose 2:00 in the morning to sneak up and say "Boo!" thereby giving me a heart failure. I'm not quite half-done, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.

The narration is superb -- a bit of voice interpretation for different characters, but just enough to differentiate, not aggravating in the least. I may be alone here, but I would have sworn (!!) the narrator was REM's Michael Stipe. I know it is not, but the cadence, accent and tone are dead-on. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for my college days.... :)

If you are a King fan or not, this is a great choice. Bear in mind this would be a NC-17 rated movie, though -- not for the fainthearted or squeamish.
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- Vicki


Most will agree that new King doesn't stand up to old King. This is a little better than some of his newer stuff, but it begins to feel like other books. After writing so many novels and short stories, it's impossible to avoid that though. Personally, I enjoyed this book probably because I was in the mood for some violence and zombies. As far as the audiobook itself, I enjoyed the quality of it. I think the reader is perfect for it and has just the right tone for listening. Listen to a sample and judge for yourself though. Either way, a mildly entertaining Stephen King book is better than a lot of the mediocre crap out there.
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- chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-13-2006
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio