seak's Reviews > Different Seasons

Different Seasons by Stephen King
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Jul 05, 13

bookshelves: to-read, stephen-king

This is a book of four novellas, three of which were turned into movies, and two of those three nominated for multiple Oscars. Incidentally, they're also the three novellas in this collection that aren't even King's typical fare, horror.

I haven't read a whole lot of King, but what I have I've loved. This set of books is supposed to be some of King's best writing and even with my limited experience, I can tell he's in top form.

I've been on a King kick lately and couldn't resist reading the inspiration for one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption. I don't know if I'll get to the rest any time soon, but here's a review of the first:


Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (finished reading May 23, 2012)



The movie is only titled "The Shawshank Redemption" and with the little research I did, I learned it was because they didn't want people thinking it was a movie about Rita Hayworth's life (before the movie was really underway, they received multiple solicitations from actresses to play the lead).



For me, and I'm sure plenty of other people, the movie and the novella will always be intertwined. Not only did I see the movie first (and as many times as it's been on TV), but I had no idea it was based on a Stephen King story. It's a classic in both formats.

Of course, directly after reading this, I had to watch the movie again, and it's really spot-on. There are actually very little changes made to the story (like what happens to Tommy) and absolutely nothing that changes the story in any way. I was honestly wondering if Stephen King thought the minor changes were actually improvements even.

Also, for some final movie trivia facts, King considers this movie, Stand by Me (film adaptation of The Body below), and The Mist to be his favorite adaptations of his works.

I doubt you need a synopsis, but if you've been living under a rock and haven't actually seen the movie, this is a tale of an innocent man falsely sent to prison for killing his wife and her lover. It details his trials with people such as the "sisters," the ways prisoners cope (or don't cope) with prison life, and as the title of this section of the book suggests - hope.

I've been told that this is some of King's best writing and I have to admit it is some of the best I've ever read. So much of the movie is filled with the same narration as the book and even some of the same dialogue and there's a reason for it - there's no need to change it, it's perfect the way it is. (5 out of 5 Stars)


Apt Pupil


The Body (finished reading July 1, 2013)

This was the second story in Different Seasons I decided to read and probably the second most famous on account of the Rob Reiner film. After having read the book and just watched the movie, it's apparent why the movie is so great. It almost mirrors the book exactly, with many of the great lines from the book. I don't know why filmmakers don't learn already that this is what makes a great book-to-film movie. Don't deviate or at least attempt a minimum of deviations.



From the "goocher" to "ranking out" someone's mom to everything being "boss," The Body might be a bit dated, but it still amazes me how King can really bring you into his world, slang and all. This book really describes the relationship amongst boys and the thought I continued to have throughout was how sad it is that kids these days just won't have experiences like this anymore. Well, not that anyone really wants this type of experience (this is King and that means it ain't pretty), but we don't have adventures anymore and that makes me truly sad.

Not only is the world we live in filled with pedophiles and psychos so that parents can't even let their kids out on their own, kids are so busy with TV and video games (amongst the myriad of electronics) that we literally have to have commercials telling them to go play for 60 minutes a day.



There are so many things wrong with this I can't even begin to explain.

So it's a sad day for adventures, but it's a good thing we have Stephen King to remind us what it's like to never show fear in front of your friends and never (and I mean NEVER) rank out someone about their family unless you mean it. (4 out of 5 Stars)


The Breathing Method
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Reading Progress

05/29/2012 page 44
9.0% "Like everyone else, I looked after my own ass first. I have to. It's cracked already, and in Shawshank there have always been Hadleys willing to finish the job of breaking it." 4 comments
05/31/2012 page 106
21.0% "Finished Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Amazing." 6 comments

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Stefan Yates These are definitely some of my favorites. The Breathing Method was a bit odd to me, I still liked it but not nearly as much as the other three. ENJOY!


Bill Apt Pupil is quite good as well, and The Body is excellent. King really excels when he writes about kids. I wish I could totally erase my memory of it and read it fresh again.


message 3: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten Great shot of Rita. I love the glamour of old Hollywood.


message 4: by seak (new) - added it

seak Stefan wrote: "These are definitely some of my favorites. The Breathing Method was a bit odd to me, I still liked it but not nearly as much as the other three. ENJOY!"

I'm sure I will. I'm taking a break for a bit to get to some other things, but I'll get back to this when I can really savor it.


message 5: by seak (new) - added it

seak Bill wrote: "Apt Pupil is quite good as well, and The Body is excellent. King really excels when he writes about kids. I wish I could totally erase my memory of it and read it fresh again."

Oh good, I'm really excited for those. I want to read IT as well, now that you say he does a good job writing kids.


message 6: by seak (new) - added it

seak Jeffrey wrote: "Great shot of Rita. I love the glamour of old Hollywood."

I completely agree, I took a film class and was "forced" to watch some black and white movies. Loved every minute of it.


Bill I was going to mention IT, too, but wasn't sure if you had read it. Oh, you've got some good reading ahead of you :)


message 8: by seak (new) - added it

seak Bill wrote: "I was going to mention IT, too, but wasn't sure if you had read it. Oh, you've got some good reading ahead of you :)"

I'm criminally under-read when it comes to King. For a while I thought I didn't like his writing when I picked up the complete and uncut The Stand and just couldn't get into it after 300 pages. I plan on going back because I'm sure I'll enjoy it now.


message 9: by Carl (new)

Carl V. I read this one a long time ago and loved it. Years later I was watching The Shawshank Redemption and right near the very end it all of a sudden dawned on me that I had read this story and I knew how it ended. It was an odd experience, but a fun one. A couple of days ago I bought Stand By Me on bluray because I found it for a good price. Both of these are two of the few examples of stories adapted to film where both the stories and the films are terrific.


message 10: by seak (new) - added it

seak Carl wrote: "I read this one a long time ago and loved it. Years later I was watching The Shawshank Redemption and right near the very end it all of a sudden dawned on me that I had read this story and I knew ..."

That's awesome that you realized you read it during the movie. I (sadly) count myself in those that had no clue it was a book first. Obviously didn't come into my King fandom till just recently. :)


message 11: by Carl (new)

Carl V. I read a lot of King when I was a teenager and then, other than his On Writing book (which is excellent), haven't really read much of his work since then. However, I picked up Joyland when it came out a few weeks back because of great reviews and an intriguing premise. Hope to get to it soon.


message 12: by seak (new) - added it

seak That's at the top of my list, hope to get to it soon.


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