taralovesbooks’ #CBR5 Review #47: The Green Mile by Stephen King

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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.

Read the rest in my blog.

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Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #78: The Green Mile by Stephen King

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On a list of movies that improved upon the book, I’d put The Green Mile right up top. It’s not that the book was a disappointment compared to the movie, which I saw years before I’d even given thought to reading it. The Green Mileis, as many claim, one of King’s best. It might even have landed near the top of that list for me as well if the order were switched and I saw the movie second.

What held The Green Mile back was its transcendent film adaptation. Compared to the pitch-perfect representations in the movie, King’s characters felt shallow, fake almost. This opinion might also change if the book had been first for me, but I couldn’t piece together a cast that would improve upon the one Frank Darabont assembled.

Outside of that, the differences between the two are negligible. There’s a reason I hold that Darabont should be in charge of every King adaptation from here on in, and that’s precisely it. Even when he makes more drastic changes, such as when he completely rewrote the ending of The Mist, even King himself can’t help but approve.

Adaptations don’t get much more faithful than Darabont’s. Nor do they get much better, all around. Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP) may not have been as King pictured John Coffey, but I bet the movie had him thinking maybe it should’ve been.

That all said, I’m heavily biased, what with the movie all the way up at #38 for me all-time (The Shawshank Redemption’s #6). As a result, I suggest you do the opposite of me and read the book first. It’s usually best done that way, no matter the quality of the book and movie. And be sure to tell me if your experience differed, and how.

 

Travis Smith’s blog, containing this review, as well as others, photography, and more, can be found here.

narfna’s #CBR5 Review #48: The Green Mile by Stephen King

greenUgh I’m in such a bad mood right now, guys, and bad moods are not conducive to writing reviews. Certainly not good reviews. So right up front, I’m just warning you this is going to be a shitty review. I promised myself I would write at least a review per day until I was caught up, and dammit, that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ve never seen The Green Mile. I DVRed it from AMC the night before Michael Clarke Duncan died and it’s been sitting by its morbid little self ever since. I’m afraid to watch it. The only reason I read the book is because I’m tutoring this high school kid and I let him pick a book to read so we could work on his skills and shit, and this is the book he picked because that kid fucking loves Stephen King. So it was like the reverse of when teachers make you read things in high school, which is a kind of trippy thought I just had right now as I’m pulling this review out of my butt.

Anyway, it was a pretty good story. It got a little repetitive at times, but I love stories with conversational narrators. Also stories about prisons. And weird mystical shit (even though I totally didn’t even know that part was coming.) It’s like, one second this is a prison book and I’m thinking I’ll get something along the lines of The Shawshank Redemption except with Death Row, but then all of a sudden WHABAM WELCOME TO NARNIA MOTHERFUCKERS.

Stuff I know: this book is really good for teaching high school kids about motifs, themes, and recurring images. Michael Clarke Duncan was born to play the role of John Coffey. Thank God for penicillin. Stephen King’s brain is crazy. I still haven’t seen The Green Mile.

BEST REVIEW EVER.