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The Green Mile - A Walk With No Way Back
The Green Mile - Stephen King
Member Name: Karonher
The Green Mile - Stephen King
Date: 17/12/12, updated on 17/12/12 (27 review reads)
Advantages: A well written, intriguing story
Disadvantages: Nothing for me
It had been a while since I read this book, but when I read about the death of the actor who played John Coffey I decided to re read it. I suppose knowing the end does change the experience a bit but I still found it to be as well written and full of sensitivity as when I first read it.
It was written in 1996 and is another Stephen King novel set in a prison, but this time most of the story is centred around a man on death row. John Coffey has been convicted of the rape and murder of two young girls and is waiting for the time when he will be taken to the chair. When it was first written it was published as a serial and released in 6 different parts, but by the time I read it, it was just the one book.
Set in Cold Mountain Penitentiary, Paul Edgecombe tells the amazing story of John Coffey and the time he spends on death row - this is the part of the prison that gives the novel its name "The Green Mile." The lino is green and it is the last thing that the prisoners walk on as they are on their way to the chair. There are other prisoners on the block - Billy the Kid a trouble causing mass murder and Del Delacroix a rapist and murderer. There is also Arthur Flanders and Arlen Bitterbucks who are also both facing the death penalty for murder.
The tale is set in two time frames - the present day, or at least the present day when it was written as Paul tells the story and then in the 1930s when it happened.
The job of the guards is made harder by the presence of Percy Wetmore who winds up the prisoners but the others have to accept him as he is the nephew of the governor's wife. Paul is more sympathetic towards the prisoners and this is totally the case with John as he believes his version of events.
It is a really well worked story and as with all of Stephen Kings' books, there are no loose ends but still a little bit of a feeling that there could yet be a twist and something else will come out.
The paperback version is currently on sale on Amazon for £5.60 and there are 480 pages. While I was looking up the price I found out that it had been the winner of the Bram Stoker award for the best novel in 1997 but that it was for an out of print version so I am not sure whether there has been a rewrite or if a newer version has anything different.
It is in some parts a sad story but in others very uplifting and I thought that the uplifting part shines through very well. Yet another masterpiece from Stephen King and I imagine that I will read it again in the future.
Summary: Well worth reading