Anyone read "CELL" by Stephen King? some good, some bad re: guns in it

Anyone read "CELL" by Stephen King? some good, some bad re: guns in it

This is a discussion on Anyone read "CELL" by Stephen King? some good, some bad re: guns in it within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I'm currently a bit less than halfway through the novel "CELL," which is about some phenomenon that drives much of the population violently insane via ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Post Anyone read "CELL" by Stephen King? some good, some bad re: guns in it

    I'm currently a bit less than halfway through the novel "CELL," which is about some phenomenon that drives much of the population violently insane via a signal from their cellular phones.

    We follow our three heroes, Clay, Tom and Alice as they depart the city of Boston, which is burning and in chaos. Clay has a wife and son in Kent Pond, Maine, so the others are heading up there with him. (Alice's mom is dead, dad presumed dead, and Tom is gay and unattached.)

    On the first day outside of Boston, they arrive at Tom's house, in his more-or-less deserted neighborhood, and come to the realization that they had not seen a single armed civilian on the exodus from Boston. ("Phone-crazies" are still everywhere; it's like trying to evade zombies in "Dawn of the Dead," essentially.) The two guys begin to discuss why that is, and Tom talks about the very strict gun control in MA.

    It is gratifying that Tom says he sure wouldn't mind having a pistol now. So the reader sees that the characters see the utility of having guns, and the inconvenience of a state that essentially forbids them.

    Tom mentions that one of his neighbors and his wife are "gun nuts," and describes their camper-topped pickup as having two NRA stickers on it, blah blah. There is mild condescension, but not a lot. Anyway, they resolve to check out neighbor man's house to scrounge for guns.

    In a scene in the neighbor's kitchen, they find the wife and daughter dead. Daughter had turned "phone-crazy," attacked mom; mom whacked her with rolling pin, killing daughter; mom offs self with "plain old Colt .45 revolver" kitchen stash-gun out of grief. That's the scene they discover.

    Clay recovers the gun, and finds it to be loaded with "highly illegal cop-killer bullets. Fraggers. No wonder the top of her head was gone. The wonder was that she had any left at all."

    As if that's not bad enough, "He safetied the revolver and stuck it in his belt."

    I am not a wheelgun afficionado, but I do know that revolvers with manual safeties (I'm not talking Tauruses with key-locks) are pretty rare.

    I keep thinking, why the hell did King have to put a) the b.s. about "cop-killer bullets" and b) a revolver with a safety into this book.

    The book, by the way, is not worth more than a free-library read. It is NOT up to my previous standards for King style (like The Shining or Salem's Lot). I'm beginning to believe the rumors that King has hired grad students to churn out books for him...

    Anyone else read this book?
    I just wanted to give you all a heads-up about the gun-related parts I've come across so far. More later, possibly.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Old Chief's Avatar
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    I've got to get me one of those revolvers with a manual safety for carry purposes.
    One should never confuse good fortune with good training.
    Illegitimus Non Carborundum.
    In God we trust.

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    Member Array Hobbes's Avatar
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    I love King but the guns thing gets on my nerves too. Although, if you look at the lines as coming from the characters who probably don't know anything about guns that might be a realistic thing to say I guess....
    This is what I think is funny- when the SHTF, the main characters talk about the lunatic paranoid gun nut down the street, and they proceed to go to him to get weapons....
    Maybe he wasn't so paranoid after all?

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    Senior Member Array Wayne's Avatar
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    It must have been a Heritage Arms .22 loaded with explosive rounds.

    (the heritage is the only pistol that I have with a manual safety).

    Wayne

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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbes View Post
    I love King but the guns thing gets on my nerves too. Although, if you look at the lines as coming from the characters who probably don't know anything about guns that might be a realistic thing to say I guess...
    That's not how I look at it.
    I see it as either the author has an agenda (which doesn't fit, given that a few pages earlier his characters were extolling the utility of having guns in a crappy situation), or he is under a media-induced b.s. misunderstanding. (Plenty of people still believe there are such things as "cop-killer bullets."

    King shoulda done more research. I'm sure he's smart enough to understand the utility of guns for citizen self-protection. There is a lot of common sense in his books.

    This is what I think is funny- when the SHTF, the main characters talk about the lunatic paranoid gun nut down the street, and they proceed to go to him to get weapons....
    Maybe he wasn't so paranoid after all?
    Exactly. Well, they guy calling the neighbor a "gun nut" in the novel is actually an effete, gay man. So it is almost a written stereotype talking. King uses those often.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Chief View Post
    I've got to get me one of those revolvers with a manual safety for carry purposes.
    LOL...we can't be too safe; either you nor the BG.
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

    U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992

  7. #7
    Member Array Hobbes's Avatar
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    That's not how I look at it.
    To be honest I don't look at it like that either, but I like his books so I want to look at it like that you know? :)

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I seriously sent Steven King an email through his site once, offering to read anything he is about to publish and fix glaring errors for free after reading the Dark Tower series. Haven't heard back.

    I don't think King really has a stance on it one way or the other, but I think at some level he philosophically understands that guns are just inanimate objects. His stories reflect that by focusing on what the character is doing and thinking, there's no element of "the gun made him do it..."

    For a long time I used a King quote as my sig line.

    He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.

    I kill with my heart.
    From what I know of the man personally, he's never actually owned his own firearm. I think if he had, he'd make far fewer errors.

  9. #9
    Member Array Hobbes's Avatar
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    I love the Dark Tower series- errors and all.

    Fun fact: when the first group of Marines that were in Iraq got back from the war in late '03 they stopped in Bangor Maine to change planes or something. Guess who was there handing out hardcover copies of his books for free?
    I know he is against the war, which makes that gesture all the more impressive IMO.

  10. #10
    Ex Member Array Phil Elmore's Avatar
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    Cell is a decent novel full of wretched, inaccurate firearms informatoin and left-wing editorializing on these evil, evil implements (which are nonetheless the first things the novel's protagonists go looking for when things get dangerous). It's that simple. Lots of great novelists are insufferable leftist jerks. Piers Anthony comes to mind.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Good thing we had Robert Heinlein!

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    Member Array Amnesia Wes's Avatar
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    Before getting too analytical, guys, remember he's the one that got us all worked up over a 'killer' Chrysler named (ta da) Christine!

    He uses stuff like "cop-killer" bullets, because that's what gets the readers hyped.
    He's a 'thriller' writer. That's what he does for a living. Anything that'll get the reader turned on is what sells; and that's what he is trying to do. And very effectively, I might add.

    BTW, "Cujo" is still my favorite...


    Wes.
    Always remember: 3 can keep a secret, if 2 are dead!

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