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The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel by…
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The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Stephen King

Series: The Green Mile (1-6)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,088150511 (4.25)1 / 296
Here is this history-making serial novel -- from cliffhanger to cliffhanger -- in its entirety. 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 Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs ... and yours.… (more)
Member:ccm1080
Title:The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Plume (1997), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

The Green Mile by Stephen King (1996)

  1. 40
    Different Seasons by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: If you enjoyed The Green Mile, you should read King's novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, contained in this collection.
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English (144)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (148)
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
Rarely does it happen to me that I read a book which actually causes me to tear up to some extent and which I can't stop thinking about even months after turning the last page. You might should have heard about the movie adaption starring Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan (may he rest in peace), and if you haven't considered watching it yet, then please don't hesitate to do so for even one moment. The Green Mile is easily one of my favorite movies of all time, and to be completely honest, I had certain doubts about whether the Stephen King novel it was actually adapted from would be capable of causing the same range of emotions in me as the movie did.

And oh, how it succeeded with doing that.

First off, allow me to mention something about my love-hate-relationship with Stephen King. During the 80's, he built up for himself a reputation as being one of the major horror writers of his time, but few people actually know about the few touching, emotionally affecting stories he can be called responsible for - let me just mention Stand By Me and Shawshank Redemption, both of which are beautiful movies actually based on a less famous work by Stephen King. I am the first one to admit that King has a capability to write novels you will have a lot of troubles with if you expect to find stories with literary worth. But books like The Green Mile are what I love this author for.


For those who are unfamiliar with the story, The Green Mile is the nickname for the death row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary, a prison in Louisiana. During the 1930s, our protagonist Paul Edgecomb receives John Coffey into his custody as supervisor of the death row. Coffey turns out to be physically intimidating, but mentally challenged. How could a man like him, a man who is afraid if the lights are not kept on during the night, have been capable of murdering two innocent girls? Trust me, this is not a story about Coffey's guilt or innocence, however. What King confronts us with is a character-driven story about the daily events on the death row, raising moral and ethic questions along the way, allowing us to care about the small amount of characters he presented to us. Untypically for King's novels, we only meet a few characters, but even those of minor importance to the story are drawn out in such a fascinating way that it becomes difficult to resist caring for all of them.

Originally, King published this book in six different installments before releasing the six parts altogether in this novel. Each of those six parts focuses on different elements to the story, with all these parts interfering with each other along the way and finally weaving together a convincing picture of a prison in the 30's. Is this book only about life in prison, however? No, it isn't - by far it isn't. In a frame story, King introduces us to the older Paul Edgecomb who revisits the events on the Green Mile in an attempt to write down his story before his memory can begin to fade away. King starts off each of the six installments of the story by including more insight on the story of Paul's older self, until he finally manages to masterfully create the illusion of two deeply connected plots.

Supernatural elements are a minor part of the story, though - as skeptical as I usually am about stories involving magical realism - its inclusion mainly just allowed to emphasize the beauty of the story.


"Coffey like the drink, only not spelled the same way." Coffey is introduced as a simple-minded man who is not capable of even understanding what he is accused of, and Paul Edgecomb realizes this - just like he realizes that there is more to the character of John Coffey than just the accusation of having raped and murdered two girls. The cast of characters in this novel is truly convincing - we meet Brutus "Brutal" Howell, Eduard Delacroix with his beloved pet mouse Mr. Jingles, and of course Percy Wetmore. If you haven't met Percy yet, you just have to know that there are actually polls circling around the internet asking whether Hannibal Lecter or Percy Wetmore is the most evil antagonist ever to be introduced in a novel/movie. And Percy actually has more than just a few votes.


Talking about Mr. Jingles, I will miss him. Oh, how I will miss him.

In the end, this story manages more than just to raise questions. It turned me into a pile of emotions, ranging from nostalgia over grief up to relief - but mostly nostalgia. The last pages included some of the best writing I have ever encountered and yes, I will gladly admit that both the movie and the book made me cry, and I don't find it difficult to believe that they will continue to make me do so in future. Because out of all the movies I have seen and the books I have read, The Green Mile in both its book and its movie version is a story I am going to revisit over and over.

If you have only seen the movie, then please don't fear reading the book because even though it is a completely different experience due to a few minor changes and, obviously, a huge distinction in its narrative, the book doesn't fail to convince even after having watched the movie. And if you have only read the book - then what are you waiting for? The Green Mile is, in my opinion, one of the best book-to-movie adaptions which have ever entered the big screen.

A beautiful, touching book which I am never going to forget.

Buddy Read with Anne who I have to truly thank for continuously encouraging me to keep up reading! ( )
  Councillor3004 | Sep 1, 2022 |
8401485002
  archivomorero | Jun 27, 2022 |
Ero partito poco convinto, superato un po' lo scoglio iniziale ho letto questo libro dovendomi fermare a forza per non finirlo tutto in una sola seduta... forse uno dei migliori, forse IL migliore di Stephen King. ( )
  louchobi | May 12, 2022 |
This is absolutely one of Stephen King's BEST! This is the kind of work that made him the legend that he deserves to be. It stands alongside his greatest works like It and The Stand, and I daresay Lisey's Story!

A great tale might actually have a very simple premise. And though, really the tale does not have that simple a premise, its plot is only a few feet deep and yet, the way he followed the style of Dickens in publishing this in parts, is amazing. I of course listened to the whole, and maybe that made the listening much better!

There are parts of this great tale that simply move you to tears, and that, is what a great author is wont to accomplish! ( )
  yamanoor | May 4, 2022 |
ABSOLUTELY KING AT HIS FINEST!! ( )
  TrishLittle | Dec 16, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
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[Introduction] Wednesday night . . . early September . . . the end of a long, late summer day.
[Foreword: A Letter] Life is a capricious business.
This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain.
Quotations
Atonement was powerful; it was the lock on the door you closed against the past.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This isn't actually just one volume, but a collection of six separate parts of the whole...
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Here is this history-making serial novel -- from cliffhanger to cliffhanger -- in its entirety. 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 Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs ... and yours.

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At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, along the lonely stretch of cells known as the Green Mile, killers await death, whilst their guards watch over them. Good or evil, innocent or guilty, none of them have ever seen the likes of brutal new prisoner John Coffey, seemingly a devil in human form.
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