The Green Mile
by Stephen King
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When Stephen King originally wrote The Green Mile as a series of six novellas, he didn't even know how the story would turn out. And
it turned out to be of his finest yarns, tapping into what he does best: character-driven storytelling. The setting is the small "death house" of
a Southern prison in 1932. The Green Mile is the hall with a floor "the color of tired old limes" that leads to "Old Sparky" (the electric
chair). The charming narrator is an old man, a prison guard, looking back on the events decades later.
Maybe it's a little too cute (there's a smart prison mouse named Mr. Jingles), maybe the pathos is laid on a little thick, but it's hard to
resist the colorful personalities and simple wonders of this supernatural tale. And it's not a bad choice for giving to someone who doesn't
understand the appeal of Stephen King, because the one scene that is out-and-out gruesome (it involves "Old Sparky") can be easily
skipped by the squeamish.
The Green Mile won a 1997 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel; and Tom Hanks stars in a film of the novel by Frank Darabont, the
director of The Shawshank Redemption (from King's collection
In the Old South of the 1930s, a gentle giant of a man is sentenced to
death for the murder and rape of two little girls. The fact that he is black and the girls
are white is inflammatory enough, but the situation is further complicated by his near
muteness and gift for healing. This novel was published serially in six installments:
'The Two Dead Girls', 'The Mouse on the Mile', 'Coffey's Hands', 'The Bad Death of Eduard
Delacroix', 'Night Journey', and 'Coffey on the Mile'.
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