"The event that came to be known as The Pulse began at 3:03 pm., eastern standard time, on the afternoon of October 1. The term was a misnomer, of course, but within ten hours of the event, most of the scientists capable of pointing this out were either dead or insane. The name hardly mattered, in any case. What mattered was the effect."
This is how Stephen King's post-apocalyptic, techno-phobe novel Cell begins. An intriguing opening statement by King as he's ever written (well, maybe a bit less intriguing than the opening of It). King has always waived in and out of, up and down and back again over the different areas of horror fiction.
Cell is very much a modern tale, condemning technology in King's own clever, almost underhanded way by cloaking it in an apocalyptic storyline. It starts with The Pulse, what we come to learn is a sort of signal sent through and into the ears of anyone using a cellphone (presumably, although we're never outright told, in the entire world). Don't worry, if you're like King and don't use/own a cell-phone (or perhaps are too old to know how to work one) then you should be fine.
But, as King correctly asserts, most people are barely away from their hand-held communication devices. And so the majority are turned into crazed, babbling... well, I don't want to call them zombies, but what else is there? It's the same problem we all had with Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later.
Both the leader of our journey of survival and the provider of King's thoughts on life — in as many aspects as you'd hope from intelligent writing — is Clayton Riddell, a comic.. ahem, graphic novel, artist making his way down Boylston Street in Boston. Suddenly he notices an ice-cream truck, and before long all goes to hell. Remember, always be wary of one of those innocent looking vehicles in one of these stories.
More than half of Cell is about Clayton and the people he teams up with making their way from place to place, town to town, and almost everything that you could care about knowing you can be damn assured King lets you know about before we move on to the next location.