Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Green Mile by Stephen King (CBR-V #47)

Cannonball Read V: Book #47/52
Published: 1996
Pages: 548
Genre: Mystery

Having read most of Stephen King's books, I'm not sure how I managed to never pick up The Green Mile. I've also never seen the movie (yet...working on that), so I went into this book only knowing the basic plot: It takes place on death row and there's a giant guy who may or may not have done the crime that landed him there. 

Paul Edgecomb is the narrator who is in a nursing home type place writing down this story that happened when he was a prison warden in the 1930s. He saw a lot of people die while working on death row, but John Coffey stood out to him. He was brought to the prison after being convicted of raping and murdering two little twin girls (but did he actually do it?). He's a strange man - absolutely huge, but gentle and soft-spoken and seems to never stop weeping tears. Turns out, John Coffey has some special healing abilities as well. 

I really liked this book. It was originally released as a serial in several parts, so I think that's what made the pacing so good. The characters were great and I loved how King humanized the death row inmates. The wardens weren't always the good guys and the inmates weren't always the scum. I never thought I'd start liking some of these people who were imprisoned for doing awful things. Delacroix, for example. He and his pet mouse almost made you forget the fact that he was a murderer. Then King would remind you what they did just to throw you off. 

This is a great Stephen King book for people who may not be into some of his more horror or supernatural themed books. It has a touch of the supernatural, but it's mostly a character- and emotion- driven novel. 

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