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Different Seasons - Stephen King

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Author: Stephen King / Genre: Horror

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      17.04.2010 20:42
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      read the first three and skip the last one

      With a few exceptions (most notably The Shining), I consider Stephen King's horror stories to be largely mediocre, whilst his thriller work tends to be much more convincing and engaging. Case in point is this collection of four novellas, which consists of three excellent thriler stories and one dud horror.

      The first story is entitled "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", and is close to identical to the oft-brutal but ultimately uplifting sleeper-hit film of the same (shortened) name. It is the tale of a man, Adey Dufresne, who finds himself doing life in a 30s US Penitentiary for a crime he swears he didnt commit, chronicling his struggle to survive physically and spiritually in the big house and his friendshipwith Red, a wise old con and a man who can "get things".

      The second story is entitled "The Body" and is the story that the film "Stand By Me" is absed upon, whereupon a bunch of hard-up schoolboys with troubled backgrounds from 50s Maine go on an expedition to find a dead body that lies hidden in the woods. The story is an uncompromising, engaging and believable rites of passage tale that makes for stirring yet not overly sentimental reading.

      Apt Pupil meanwhile is the story of a blue eyed all-american kid who becomes fascinated by an old man at the end of his street after discovering that he is an ex SS Officer, gradually becoming sucked into a sinister world of sadism and morbid perversity as his obsession with this spectre of the Third Reich grows and grows. Whilst quite cliche, this story is once again gripping if less believable, with a powerful ending to finish it off.

      "The Breathing Method" concerns a gentleman's club that leads to another dimension, and whilst a great concept the story turns out to be a clunky sub-Lovecraftian affair that is neither engaging nor convincing, cominga cross more like a work inprogress then a finished tale.

      Despite the weakness of the fourth story however, Different Seasons includes some of King's best non-horror writing and is definitely worth picking up.

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      02.03.2009 13:22
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      One of Stephen Kings great all rounders.

      CAN YOU ESCAPE!!

      Stephen King Different Seasons.
      Written in January 4th 1982 (Bangor Maine).

      Having just read this book, thought that i would do a quick review on it. Stephen King being one of my favourite authors.

      It has been made into a film called the Shawshank Redemption, I have watched the film too and enjoyed it.

      I can get anything.

      Red : Hes an older Black man, who has been in the prison since his former years, when he killed his wife, up for parole several times, only to be turned down for not being remorseful enough, he openingly admits to having carried out the crime. He is the man in the prison who can get anything, you need for a price, so has survived for that reason for many years.

      Andy Dufresne: A younger white man, recently comes into the prison, but states that he is innocent, and keeps himself to himself, until one day when in the exercise yard he asks Red, if he can get him a certain tool, Red states the price but also tells Andy that if he gets busted with the tool, and tells where he got it from then he will never be allowed to get another item from himself.

      He asks for a small pick axe type of instrument, you will find out later in this book what he requires it for.

      Andy meets the bunch of Gay prison bullies, who launch a campaign of abuse against him, he is often seen with bruises and cuts over a period of time.

      One particular day, the Gay prison bullies, inside known as the Sisters, corner Andy and ask him to suck their private parts, whilst threatening to stick a long sharp object into his brain if he refuses, he states that he wont do so, and if they want to stick an object into his head, then his reflex actions will be to bite down hard, so obviously they decide not to make him do that, but beat him within an inch of his life.

      Andy and Red become good friends over a period of time, Andy tells Red where something is buried, if he ever makes it out, I wont tell you what this is. But find it an amusing end when Red finally gets out of the prison.

      What I liked about this Book.

      The storyline, and how it states the day to day events in the prison, it kind of made me feel like i knew the individual charators, and guess i was like the fly on the wall, looking in.

      Andy asks Red for a large poster of Rita Hayworth, for his wall, you will find out later the real purpose that this poster serves.lol.

      Andy out smarts the prison guards, with a dramatic conclusion one morning at role call. Wheres Andy !! I love to see the Warden going mad !

      Conclusion:

      I loved this book, because of all the twists, red herrings, and general excitement.I didnt want to put it down once i started.

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        25.08.2004 15:13
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        I haven?t read any Stephen King books for years, and I mean years! However when I spotted this brand new book for a mere English pound, it had to be purchased! I read the back and had been absolutely delighted to see that it had one of the short stories I?ve been wanting to read for a very long time ? ?The Body?, plus an extra three tales. * Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption * Ahh yes, you remember the film, right?! Me too, and I only saw it fairly recently and little did I know until the credits rolled that it was based on one of Mr King?s short stories. Red is our storyteller. He?s been resident in Shawshank prison for many years after fixing the brakes on his wife?s car. He?s quite upfront about the fact he killed her, and sorry that his wife had stopped to pick up the neighbour and her child. For his wife?s act of kindness, Red has received three life sentences, to run one after the other. Red?s the guy who the cons go to if they ?want something?. Red can get them anything ? chocolate, books, even women?s panties! So when Andy Dufresne appears at the prison in 1949 and asks for Rita Hayworth to be smuggled into prison, Red says it won?t be a problem. Andy and Red?s friendship is slow to develop. It takes seven years for them to become more than acquaintances who just nod at each other. Andy has always maintained his innocence over the murder of his wife and her lover ? and Red believes him. And Andy?s determined that one day he will be free ? * What?s good * This is a very clever story and one with an unusual twist. At 102 pages, it won?t take long to get through and can easily be read in one sitting as it?s quite gripping right from the start. King has set the whole story entirely around the prison and yet i
        t's never boring. Red tells his tales of prisoners that he?s seen come and go over the many years he?s spent at Shawshank, and he pieces together Andy?s story for us. Enjoyable? Yes. As I?d seen the film I did know what was coming but it?s always good to read in more detail how the characters are feeling. I feel that is not always achieved when watching something on the big screen. The feeling of hope is there throughout, and it?s quite a touching ending, without being overly sentimental. A special tale of friendship that lasts forever. * Apt Pupil * Todd Bowden, 13 year old model school pupil, has a big secret. He goes to visit Arthur Denker, a complete stranger, an old man. Arthur isn?t too pleased to see him, he has secrets of his own which he?s kept hidden since the war. But now it seems this child, this smiling golden boy, has uncovered his worst nightmare and a little bribery has become the order of the day ... * What?s good * Again two very central characters are the main theme. Arthur?s initial resentment of Todd eventually gives way to the story of his time in Germany and a story about war and prison camps emerges. At first I wasn?t sure about this but after a long first chapter of around 25 pages, the story was separated a little better and made it easier to read. At around 200 pages, this was a story you could get your teeth into, rather than one that is far shorter and finishes before it?s begun! However in this story the slow build up of tension and the gradual tormenting of the old man is a little unsettling for the reader. The balance of power shifts from one character to the other, each wanting to gain the upper hand. The man feels revulsion for the grinning boy, and yet still does whatever he asks, as he feels he?s being blackmailed ? he even dons an o
        ld soldier?s uniform, just for Todd?s amusement. Denker's inner demons are brought to the surface by a kid, and he has to fight with the knowledge of his past actions. Meanwhile Todd thinks he wants to know all the gruesome details, but soon his grades start to fall, he?s talking to himself, lying to his parents and his sleep is interrupted by cruel dreams. Just who is winning the mind games? Nasty and disturbing. But compelling reading. * The Body * This is the one I?d been waiting for! Remember the movie ?Stand by me?? Well this is the short story it was based on. Four young boys in the 1960s hanging out together, older brothers who seem so much more ?grown up? than them are overheard talking about a young boy?s body down at the rail tracks. The four boys, Gordon (our creative storyteller), Chris (the rebel with the troubled homelife), Vern (the pudgy one) and Teddy (the wild one) decide to go into the woods and be the ones to ?find? it. And so begins their adventure. * What I thought * I loved the way this one was told from Gordie?s point of view. His brother, recently killed in a jeep accident at the age of 19, and his parents are still raw. Gordie can?t possibly compete with his ?perfect? brother and his feelings of inadequacy sometimes slip through as he tells the story. The rest of the boys have problems at home, Gordie?s parents don?t like his friends and as a group they are a bunch of misfits who take comfort in each other?s presence. The way King tells the story of the boys is realistic. They?re 12 years old, they?re wise guys, always trying to outsmart shopkeepers and each other. They see their adventure as ?something to brag about?. They smoke, cook their own food around a camp fire and tease one another. What I really enjoyed were 
        1;ordie?s stories. He invents tales for the others, which detracts from the reader?s main story and builds up suspense. One such story is the ?Pie Eating Contest? (which I still remember from the film). Gordie tells this story to the other boys while they sit in the woods ? it finishes half way through and then the chapter ends. As the next chapter begins we see it?s been written in 1975, 15 years later, when Gordon Lachance is a published writer. King weaves a clever story of frightened boys, kids that want to be accepted and want to be better than the ?bigger kids? but are vulnerable both physically and mentally. This is more than a tale of camping out - it?s the end of their childhood. And it?s funny and sad and I really didn?t want this one to end. As the boys would say ? sincerely. * The Breathing Method * Our story teller is an older, sophisticated man who is introduced by his colleagues to a ?gentlemen?s club?. Here, bizarre stories are told among the members ?Old duffers, mostly, but some of them are good company?. We?re taken back to 1935, an unmarried woman goes into a doctor?s surgery and is told she?s pregnant. The doctor introduces her to the ?breathing method?, similar to the Lamaze method, which involves deep breathing through labour, rather than screaming and thrashing about. {Titters}. Ehm, the Mack hasn?t squeezed a bambino out of her body but she thinks that this is asking the impossible. A silent method of giving birth? But I digress ? What then follows is an extremely grotesque tale about a woman determined to give birth, even through quite horrifying circumstances. * What?s good * This story is told in a very ?proper? way. The other three contained slang, Americanisms, this one is told almost in an old fashioned way, which was rather
        refreshing! It almost adds to the building suspense as to what is going to happen later on. This is more the King that I remember. This one is macabre, it?s twisted and also clever. And the reader questions the two stories ? the story about the strange club, and the story set further back in time telling the story of the pregnant woman. This is perhaps the most baffling story of the four, and the only one that a very brave man (or woman) should consider making into a film! ;-) At 66 pages this can easily be read in one sitting. Perhaps it?s the weakest story - not from the storyline, but because it?s the shortest and the reader doesn?t really have time to get ?involved? with either the characters or the plot. * Overall * A very enjoyable book. It?s a long read (like this review) and at times I did begin to wonder if I?d plough through it all. At 551 pages (plus an ?Afterword?) this is pretty lengthy to wade through quickly. ?Apt Pupil? did drag a bit. However just as I was beginning to lose interest, another character was brought into the story and it did begin to pick up as I found out I was curious as to where he fitted in. This was the one story that I thought I'd dislike but which surprised me by being so dark, with dream sequences and flashbacks. My favourite story was, predictably, ?The Body?. Having seen the film this was based on at a young age, this has always been a book I?ve wanted to read and it didn?t disappoint. King perfectly captured the thoughts and fears of the young boys and their big adventure. So to the verdict. I have tended to avoid King?s books (especially his short stories) but I?m now convinced that I still like them, after a break of about 10 years. Admittedly this book is fairly old but the fact that 3 of the 4 stories were m
        ade into films will give you an indication that they are extremely readable, interesting and in some cases, decidedly creepy! Just a couple of bad points, there are a few gruesome moments in ?Apt Pupil? and ?The Breathing Method? and quite a lot of swearing throughout. It?s still got to be 5 stars and a hearty recommendation. But for the record ? I don?t really think you?d have to be a fan of horror to read this. There was nothing overly frightening about this book, it's just not for the faint hearted! What else can you get for one English pound? One pre-packed sandwich? Half a cup of Starbucks coffee? Or four short stories by Stephen King? You know what to do. ISBN is 0-7515-0433-5 RRP is £7.99. Thanks for reading {goes off to read something light and fluffy next}. Capital letters courtesy of: http://www.chuckleweb.co.uk/fixit.php

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          21.05.2002 07:19
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          When I was in my last year of school I lent the fifth book in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy to a friend, a silly thing for me to do really, it wasn't my book it was my boyfriends. All things being ruled by Murphy's law (aren't I polite) my friend lost it, being completely broke he offered me a trade he wouldn't have to buy me a new copy of 'Mostly harmless' and I could have his copy of 'Different seasons'. This suited me as I was always more of a King fan than an Adams aficionado, my boyfriend got a new copy of 'Mostly harmless' from me into the deal and I got a new book to read ( I don't own a book I haven't read at least twice). So off I started, and 'Different Seasons' has proven to be one of the best books I own, where as 'Nightmare and Dreamscapes' is downright scary in places, the one about the finger in the sink had me going into the bathroom armed with bleach for many months, and 'Everything's eventual' is a efinite contemplative piece, it is as though King is winding up his long career with this one, 'Different Seasons' strike the right balance between contemplation and fear. Three films have come from this four story book, 'Apt Pupil', 'The Shawshank redemption' and 'Stand by me' and these three are honestly three of the best King adaptations out there, not including 'The Green mile' of course. The fourth and last story of the quad could not I think be translated into a movie and that's probably for the best 'The Breathing Method' is nothing short of plain disturbing. 'Stand by me' is an adaptation of the first story from the collection named 'The Body', which is about four pre-pubescent boys on a voyage of discovery. They are on the surface of things searching for a young boy's body, but if you dig a little deeper and it isn't hard to do King being King, you'l
          l find the story of these boy's trying to find their place in life. The lead character's brother has recently died and now his parents don't seem to acknowledge his existence, of the other three one's father is in a mental institution due to the fact that he held the kids ear to a hot stove plate for not listening, the other is of a 'bad' family and therefore tarnished with the same brush, and the forth has the problem of poverty and a really nasty older brother to contend with. 'The Body' could be seen as a pre cursor to 'The girl who loved Tom Gordon'. The lost in the woods theme is concurrent with both stories. I would definitely recommend both as they show King for being more than a literary shock jockey. 'The Shawshank Redemption' one of the best book to film transformations that I have ever seen, and I have seen it at least ten times and read it more than five. Andy is put in Shawshank for the murder of his wife and her lover, mild mannered banker he is completely out of place in this harsh penal establishment, plus he is innocent. Red is the hardened thief, and black market profiteer of the establishment, there is nothing you could want the Red couldn't get you. They become friends and the story unfolds from there. This story has everything you could want in a prison drama with none of the tragedy that comes in 'The Green mile'. If you don't want to read this book watch the film it is pure brilliance either way. 'Apt Pupil' is a disturbing read. The story of an ex Nazi officer hiding in America and the young boy who recognises and befriends him. It is a tale of what happens to your mind if you let evil in. It's not the ex-Nazi who portrays the evil either which is good writing in itself (no stereotypes for Mr. King here) but the actions he was a part of in the war. This evil pervades both of their lives and creates destruction where once there was harmony, another re
          current theme in King's literature the Dark Tower series, Carrie, Bag of Bones, etc etc. Therefore as you can expect it is exceptionally well written. The film was good as well but tame compared to the violence of the book. Read the book if you have to do one or the other but not both, definitely he more satisfying experience in my opinion. 'The Breathing method', well I never really got the point of this one, Shawshank dealt with the whole issue of survival under pressure much better. But in his post amble he states that the ability to be a mother against all odds always amazed him. There is the crux of this story, a pregnant woman fighting to become a mother against all odds, and there is why it will never be a film, too gruesome. It is the shortest story in the book and perhaps the least satisfying, the character is never really explored and placed and the end of such a character driven set of short stories you expect more. This journey would have been more suited to 'Everything's eventual' I feel and the gangster story in that book better suited to 'Different Seasons' but timing being what timing is 'The Breathing Method' was given life first. In whole this book is definitely worth a read, even my battered and broken volume (my hamster decided to eat most of 'Apt pupil') if you can't get hold of a new copy would give you great pleasure. In 'Everything's eventual' King asks all fans of the short story to carry on buying them for the sake of the genre's survival, even if he stops writting them (with his retirement this is coming a lot sooner than I had hoped as well) I have to agree a short story has a charm that the longer novel hasn't for one you can finish it of in one bath and you don't turn into a prune). Help the short story survive, read this book, it is one of the best collections I have read in a long time and it's definately worth your time.

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            06.01.2002 22:56
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            Different Seasons by Stephen King was the second book I received for Christmas, which I have just finished reading. This book is comprised of four long stories or 'novellas' as they are known. Different Seasons is a superb collection which I enjoyed thoroughly; it was first published in 1982 by Macdonald & Co. CONTENTS: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Hope Springs Eternal: Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption. ~ This is told from the perspective of 'Red', a lifer in Shawshank Penitentiary, Maine. Red, who is in for the murder of his wife is the man who can get his hands on anything for the other inmates, for a price, of course. Red does have a conscience though and draws the line at weapons or drugs; so it is with some reservation that he smuggles in a rock hammer for Andy Dufresne, who claims he wants it for his hobby of collecting and shaping rocks. Andy is another lifer, in for the murder of his wife and her lover, he claims he is innocent and for once, Red believes him. The story centres around Andy's troublesome life in prison and how he eventually overcomes them and Andy?s extraordinary nature in general. I can't go into too many details of the plot without giving too much away but suffice to say, it is a superbly crafted tale. The characters are well-formed and believable, and the outcome to Andy's struggle is a lovely surprise, although there are clues along the way for you to pick up on and by the end you are in no doubt of Andy's character or innocence. For me, this would stand on it's own as a short novel as it is so enjoyable a read. ~ Summer Of Corruption: Apt Pupil ~ This is the story of Todd Bowden; an all-American kid of thirteen who discovers his neighbour is a Nazi War criminal who was involved in the holocaust at Auschwitz and Patin. Rather than tell anyone who Arthur Denker, alias Kurt Dussander, is, Todd blackmails the old man into entertaini
            ng him with stories of the atrocities he has committed, for which Todd has a fascination. We see Todd's moral decline as he is drawn deeper into Dussanders web and it isn't long before his plans have backfired and there is no escape from his 'friendship' with the old man. This is another good tale, if slightly disturbing as we see how easily a young, impressionable mind can be corrupted by evil. Todd starts out as a straight A pupil and soon his schoolwork is suffering, he is having nightmares and can't concentrate on anything except the awful images in his head. Similarly, Dussander starts out as a harmless old man, but as he regales his evil tales to Todd, his old appetites begin to return to him. This is available on video, I saw it when I went to the rental shop recently, but I couldn't say whether it is a decent film or not. ~ Fall From Innocence: The Body. ~ This is a truly brilliant story, which again, could stand as a book (albeit short) in it's own right. Set in 1960's Maine, The Body is the story of four schoolboy friends; Gordie, who is the storyteller, Chris, Teddy and Vern. The boys all have problems within their families and the problems are all of a different nature. Gordie lives in the shadow of his dead brother, Dennis, and his parents barely notice his existence; Chris lives with his alcoholic father and brother, his father beats him regularly; Teddy's father was a second world war hero who went mad and injured Teddy so badly it affected his hearing and Vern is bullied by his elder brother mercilessly. One day, the boys hear that a kid their age has gone missing whilst out picking berries and they discover the location of his body. They then set out on a mission to find the body, hoping to find a few moments of fame and be thought heroes. The characters of the boys leap off the page, they are so vividly portrayed and the thoughts and feelings that th
            ey have and hide are so familiar to everyone's childhood that you can't help but be drawn in. I only wish that Stephen King had spent more time on this and made it into a full-length novel, as I am certain it would've been a bestseller. This is a story I didn't want to put down and I also didn't want to end, it's not the first time I've read this story but it felt like it. The body was adapted for film and a movie was made out of it entitled 'Stand By Me'. The film was very close to the novella and is also definitely worth watching as the characters come alive in the movie as much as they do in the book. ~ A Winter's Tale: The Breathing Method. ~ This was my least favourite story in the book, the only one really along the lines of a true horror story. The Breathing Method is the story of a Doctor in 1935 who is visited by a young, unmarried woman who is pregnant. She is also an extraordinary young woman of unusual strength. The story is told by the Doctor in a mysterious club where story-telling, usually of the horrific variety, is a regular occurance. This story is a kind of 'two for the price of one'. We have the story of the club itself, which I found more interesting than the story of The Breathing Method. The club is for Lawyers to get together and the motto is, it's not the tale but he who tells it; the butler, Stevens, is an unusual character who appears to run the club and is ageless. The mystery surrounding the club is not cleared up in the story, and as King had a similar story in Skeleton Crew, I tend to think he was hoping for a series or a novel out of the club. As a stand alone short story, this was ok, but certainly nothing special; the story of the young woman is very ordinary too and I felt that King would've done better to leave this out of this book as the quality of the other stories may be what makes this one so ordinary. ~ <
            br>Conclusion: ~ I would recommend this book to anyone. For any of the first three stories alone, it is definitely worth reading. Unlike Skeleton Crew, this is not a book strictly for horror fans; the only real horror is the last story. The Body and Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption are both brilliantly constructed stories and a must for anyone who enjoys a decent tale. Thanks for reading. © Kerry Downing 2002

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              31.03.2001 01:21
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              A natty title that ties in to the contents. The four (different) seasons each have a (different and infinitely spooky) story written, therefore this has four separate stories. See if you can spot which of the tales became a hollywood film... "Hope Springs Eternal - Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption." This is a tale about the lives of prison inmates inside Shawshank Prison, and focuses on one in particular. He is Andy Dufresne. Andy's time inside the pen is described by "Red", who acts as narrator, telling us about Andy, the type of guy he was, the crime he'd been found guilty of despite his consistent denials of involvement, and his love of Rita Hayworth. He loves Rita so much that he asks Red to smuggle a poster in for him, which Red duly obliges him with. But just how does the poster figure so importantly in the book? Guess what? You're gonna have to read it to find out! "Summer of Corruption - Apt Pupil." My particular favourite, this involves the all-american-mom's-apple-pie type kid called Todd Bowden. Todd is helpful, kind, considerate of the elderly. He's also mentally twisted. He discovers that an old man living nearby is actually an ex-Nazi, and gradually begins to work out his teenage control mechanisms on the old guy. Remorseless, sick, and really scary, you watch Todd's decent into madness alongside the equally mad Mr. Denker. Excellently written, this is horror and the bizarre knitted tightly in with Todd's very normal upbringing, and the two jar beautifully against each other. All very credible and very scary, especially the ending, which really caught me off guard. Didn't see it coming, but then, that's the beauty of reading SK, some stuff you can spot a mile off and other things just creep up and twat you one round the head. "Fall from Innocence - The Body." A group of young boys who have grown up together decid
              e to act on a piece of gossip that one of them heard their older brother discussing. It involves the body of a young child near a railway line. Armed with this information, the young crew set out, without their parent's knowledge, to see if they can find the body. Their naivety is written so well that you really do travel this journey with them and their immature emotions. More than once they are in danger, more than once they have to confront their own personal issues. I'm sure that you've guessed that this film turned out to be "Stand By Me", an excellent version that featured River Pheonix, and even if you have seen the film, read the actual story. It's well, well, worth it. "A Winter's Tale - The Breathing Method." A final and extremely surreal story. This tells of a group of men who meet to discuss and swap stories. One man tells of something called "The Breathing Method" and begins to tell his story of how it came to be something miraculous. It involves a pregnant woman who is involved in a terrible, terrible accident and is actually decapitated... This is extemely good value for money. Four excellent novellas. Each one is genuinely unsettling in one way or another. Stephen King is extremely skillful in bringing out the more subtle fears and nightmares that lurk in all of us, and lays them open for the world to read and shudder over. These tales are rarely supernatural, although there is some. They are rarely downright nasty, although again there is some. They are rarely over the top with the gore, although, and you know I'm going to say it, there is some. All in all a little bit of everything that makes you sleep with the light on. And the door bolted. With a crucifix and holy water just in reach. Okay the last bit's an exaggeration - unless you're reading Salem's Lot that is.

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              11.02.2001 20:59
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              Believe it or not, It must be tough to be Stephen King. Alright laugh: the guys is worth millions, he is one of the most successful authors on the planet...etc. etc. But consider this: Critics have hardly loved his work. He was for a long time dismissed as a pulp hack. ( So was Dickens in his time, mind you). and to make matters worse, hollywood gets its grubby mitts on his stories and make a big pile of doggy dooda out of them: Too many to mention. Then comes Shawshank redemption: A fantastic, heartwarming Oscar worthy tale of an accountant imprisoned falsely and his slow burn attempt to get out. A tale which as graced by Tim Robbins and the marvellous Morgan Freeman. In a way it was Stephen King's redemption. Now 'Shawshank redemption' is the first novella in Different Seasons. It is an odd concoction of four novellae, each somewhat aligned to a season: 1) Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption ( Hope SPRINGS eternal)----------------------------------------------------------------- Prorbably the best of the lot. Most of you would have watched the film. The story is vintage Stephen King with all the horror elements removed. Proves what a genuinely good writer he is. The story of a prison friendship and the ultimate escape plan. 2) Apt Pupil (SUMMER of Corruption) -------------------------------------- Recently filmed by Bryan Singer the film of this story ( same name) wasn't much of a success.But the Story is a powerful meditation of good and evil. A school boy discovers that his elderly neighbour is a NAzi Criminal in hiding. The twists and turns of their relationship is narrated in gripping detail. 3)The Body ( FALL from Innocence) -------------------------------------- Filmed by Rob Reiner as 'Stand By me' this wonderful coming of age tale depicts a group of young schoolkids coming across a dead body one autumn day. King has
              always been good at capturing the agonies and ecstacies of Teen life. The kids in this tale are an exercise in character building. MAkes you genuinely choke with emotion. 4)The Breathing Method ( A WINTER'S Tale) --------------------------------------------- This is kinda the odd one out. A Twilight Zonish outing where you are taken to club of crotchety members who tell tales to warm up a winter evening. Very gothic. But not as good as the above three. The eerie story of a delivery conducted in snow, where a pregnant mother's corpse comes to life. And the Doctor trying to deliver the child against all odds. Novella is a lost art form. There was a time when novella reigned supreme. Sleepy hollow, Christmas Carol, Rip Van Winkle -all started life as Novellae. It spares us the extra padding of the novels without being too short. One can only hope more authors try it.

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            • Product Details

              Features four novellas - 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption', 'The Apt Pupil', 'The Body' and 'The Breathing Method'.