June 29, 2014

The Green Mile by Stephen King

So at one point, I was reading this book, got up to do something, came back and sat back down and looked at the tv, and wondered what happened to the movie.  That's right, it was so descriptive that for a moment I really believed I was watching the movie instead of reading the book.  The Green Mile is just one of those books that is that good (and the movie was quite good as well).

Paul Edgecomb is a head guard on the Green Mile.  That's what they affectionately call death row at the prison he works at.  Things are as normal as they can be in that kind of a job until a man named John Coffey comes on the row for murdering two little girls.  There's something special about John, but Paul doesn't realize how special until he witnesses a miracle involving another inmate's pet mouse.  And because of that, Paul makes a few decisions he might never have done before.

I like Paul the guard.  He seems to have his head on his shoulders right and he isn't afraid of the unknown.  He is also fair and hard working.  A general all-around likable guy.  And then there's Percy.  The one you're supposed to hate.  And he makes it so easy.  All of the other characters provided good background.  Even John was likable in his way, although he always stayed mysterious.

This book was written as a serial, meaning broken up into short stories.  I am awful glad that I just got a book that condensed all these serials, as I don't think I would have been very happy waiting for installments.  But maybe that's just a lack of patience.  It is an interesting way to do a book, and with the new technology of ereaders I can see it being more prevalent now than even when it was in print.  But regardless, reading this in one sitting suited me just fine.  It was gripping, well detailed, and had a lot of character depth, which is something that I sometimes find lacking in King's books.  It had the super natural, but it was all a believable sort of supernatural, which I appreciated since this book was set in a very real time period with real life plotlines and normal people.

A very good book, I enjoyed finally reading it after seeing the movie so many times.  It sure isn't going to disappoint someone looking for a gripping story.

The Green Mile
Copyright 1997
465 pages

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