Green Mile : The Complete Serial Novel
Paperback - 536 pages (November 1999)
When Stephen King originally wrote The Green Mile
as a series of six novellas, he didn't even know how the story
would turn out. And it turned out to be of his finest yarns,
tapping into what he does best: character-driven storytelling.
The setting is the small "death house" of a Southern prison
in 1932. The Green Mile is the hall with a floor "the color
of tired old limes" that leads to "Old Sparky" (the electric
chair). The charming narrator is an old man, a prison guard,
looking back on the events decades later.
Maybe it's a little too cute (there's a smart prison mouse
named Mr. Jingles), maybe the pathos is laid on a little thick,
but it's hard to resist the colorful personalities and simple
wonders of this supernatural tale. And it's not a bad choice
for giving to someone who doesn't understand the appeal of
Stephen King, because the one scene that is out-and-out gruesome
(it involves "Old Sparky") can be easily skipped by the squeamish.
The Green Mile won a 1997 Bram Stoker Award for Best
Novel; and Tom Hanks stars in a film of the novel by Frank
Darabont, the director of The
Shawshank Redemption (from King's collection Different
Seasons). --Fiona Webster
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