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The Green Mile Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1999
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<div>Entertainment Weekly A literary event. </div>
<div>Boston Globe King surpasses our expectations, leaves us spellbound and hungry for the next twist of plot. </div>
<div>Entertainment Weekly [The Green Mile] has everybody talking....[King's] best fiction in years....A prison novel that's as haunting and touching as it is just plain haunted. </div>
<div>USA Today One of King's most immediately engaging page-turners. </div>
<div>The New York Times Mr. King now dominates like Carrie at the prom. </div> --sk
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
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I didn't realize the original book was written as a "serial" series of novellas. The background story, told by King's publisher and by him, gives a great overview of the challenges and reception of the original publications.
The story itself is wonderful. I couldn't put it down, and highly recommend it. Watch out for a bit of risque language and situations, but it's done in a way that is so HUMAN, it isn't gratuitous or offensive to me.
The Green Mile does not bound ahead in exciting plot leaps, but as a reader, I was drawn into the world of the 'Green Mile', its warders and inmates because of its strengths, that to me, carried far more weight than action-related plot developments.
'The Green Mile' is the euphemistic term for the block of Cold Mountain Penitentiary where inmates awaited their final DOE (date of execution) in the seat of 'Old Sparky' or Big Juicy'. In the second paragraph of the novel, the narrator, Paul Edgecombe, the warden in charge says:
"The inmates made jokes about the chair, the way people always make jokes about things that frighten them but can't be gotten away from..."
Throughout the novel, there were numerous occasions when King would succinctly, and very accurately, describe human responses, such as the example cited above, and this was one of the literary qualities that kept me turning the pages, and ensured this novel will be a 'keeper' - not just on my bookshelf (my Kindle shelf, in this case), but in my memories of 'good reads that stay with me'.
I also really enjoyed the complexities of the characters, sharing with them the humour, the harshness and vulnerabilities of their situations. I liked King's use of descriptive language, the effectiveness of first-person voice and how it lent an oral history-feel to Edgecombe's recount of events.
If you have read other King novels, that are unashamedly placed within the horror/paranormal genres, and these did not appeal to you, don't be put off trying The Green Mile. This is a story of memorable characters, and difficult questions, with only a little of the paranormal thrown in for good measure. In short, a 4 1/2 star literary-quality read.