Mike Reviews: The Green Mile by Stephen King

Genre: Mystery/Drama

Format: Audiobook (also available on Kindle and paperback)

I’ve been on a bit of a Stephen King binge recently, with his novel The Green Mile being the most recent of the bunch.

It’s also been, possibly, my favourite by him so far, except for perhaps IT, and Misery, two among my list of favourite stories written by any author, and books by him I’d read many years back.

The Green Mile excels in an area where the former two do not, and it has been a pet peeve of mine that I have always disliked about King’s work, and why it’s taken me this long to go properly through his extensive library.

King tends to diverge from the main plot, too much, for my liking. He fleshes out his minor characters and gives them backstories, which although sounds like a good idea, personally I find it distracts me from the main plot. I want to know what’s going on in the story, not what the mother of character ‘F’ had for breakfast yesterday, or why they suffer insomnia.

Fortunately, The Green Mile doesn’t suffer from this problem, neither does most of his newer work, either. I think his writing has gotten much better over the years, even if most of his better “ideas” are found in his earlier work.

The plot of The Green Mile itself has been known to me for many years. I watched the Hanks / Duncan movie when I was 15, and was moved quite emotionally by it.

I won’t go into the details in case there are others who are lucky enough not to have had the plot spoiled for them yet, but should they choose to read the novel, or watch the movie, they’re in for a treat.

The book is set in the US, in the early 1930s, in a prison, more specically, in part of a prison that deals with the prisoners on the death row, which is called the Green Mile in this particular prison.

The story follows the life of a prison guard, Paul Edgecobe, who’s given a new inmate to take charge of, John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, who is condemned the most horrifying crime it’s possible to commit.

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.

Goodreads rating: 4.5

Mike’s rating: 4.5

Page count: 592

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