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The Green Mile
by Stephen King
ISBN 0452278902 / 9780452278905 / 0-452-27890-2
List price $14.95
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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 one 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 colourful 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 --Fiona Webster [via]