Carrie's Reviews > The Green Mile

The Green Mile by Stephen King
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Aug 22, 12


Another novel to dispute those that think King only writes horror. The Green Mile is a story for all types of readers and one that will surprise you at so many turns of the page.

The Green Mile is told through the eyes of Paul Edgecomb – the ward superintendent of Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Edgecomb tells the story looking back, thinking about the 78 inmates that spent their final days on his death row and eventually walked the green mile – the walk to the electric chair. But one of them – John Coffey – stands out in his memory above all others. And not because of how he died on the Green Mile, but because of how he lived on it.

Coffey is accused of the horrific crime of raping and murdering 2 nine year old girls. As he awaits death, however, Edgecomb begins to see that the shut and closed case is anything but what it seems. As a gentle giant who lives peacefully on the ward and almost seems to embrace his punishment, it becomes hard to believe Coffey committed the crime at all. And as those on the ward realize and benefit from Coffey’s supernatural gift to heal those around him of all illnesses, Edgecomb begins to wonder if Coffey accepts his fate on the Green Mile, not because he is guilty, but because he will be released from the weight of such a power.

The Green Mile is truly an exceptional story about the secret burdens people carry. Illness, guilt, racism, violence, misconception and misunderstanding, and even the responsibility to help others are the weights we place on ourselves and those around us. Which of them should truly be punishable by death? To what length would you go to release someone else from their burden?

King doesn’t disappoint with an imaginative plot featuring his trademark unforgettable characters. Even more amazing –the novel was written and originally published serially. Nothing like publishing the beginning of a novel before you have written the end…yet, King amazes with a perfectly woven story.
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