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The Green Mile by Stephen King - Book Review


The Green Mile
Stephen King

Fiction-Net Rating 4 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Welcome to Cold Mountain Penitentiary, home to the Depression-worn men of E Block. Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk The Green Mile, keeping a date with "Old Sparky", Cold Mountain's electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile but he's never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime terrifying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about John Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs - and yours.

We Say

There aren't too many people who haven't read a Stephen King book or seen one of his movies. While he is famous for horror, it is perhaps his ability to prey on our worst fears that makes him as successful as he is. Stephen King's serial novel, The Green Mile, is an amazing book.

I do not consider myself a die hard Stephen King fan. I haven't read all of his books and I don't consider him to be a favourite author but I found myself caught up in this story. King has done an excellent job of telling John Coffey's story through Paul Edgecombe's eyes. This novel is not only about the horrible things man is capable of doing but also about our inability as humans to do the right thing.

When one thinks of 'death row', we usually think of hardened criminals who deserve to be in prison. If we do not think of them as individuals, we can justify the death sentence. We distance ourselves and focus on the nature of the crime, not the person who committed it. If something bad happens, we are so eager to place blame that we will convince ourselves that we are right in our assumptions, no matter how wrong we may be. Stephen King creates characters on death row that are not only hideous but also pitiful and heartbreaking in their weakness.

Once again, King does an excellent job exploring human nature in The Green Mile. The horror of this story is that in each of us exists the ability to kill - directly or indirectly. The beauty of this book is that the good in many of the characters provides the reader with hope in the face of hopelessness. While some aspects of the novel were predictable, the 'why' was not. At times, you knew something was wrong or was going to happen but you didn't know why or how the story was going to play out.

Overall, I was impressed the most by the characters Stephen King created. As with many of this author's books, the battle between good and evil rages on without a fairy tale ending. I could continue this book review, telling everyone that this is a great novel but I won't. Just read it for yourself.

Review by: Yumi Nagasaki-Taylor

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